The public square project in front of Saint-Joachim Church hit a snag at the Châteauguay City Council meeting on September 21st.
A majority of city councillors declined to apply for a grant from the Government of Quebec for the said project as Mayor Pierre-Paul Routhier had wanted.
Opponents pointed to the $2.5 million borrowing by-law that had been passed to move forward. The mayor argued that it was not the actual cost. He indicated that a new draft of the project had been presented to the councillors and regretted that none of them had provided any comments. “This new formulation could be evaluated to determine the cost,” suggested the mayor. He mentioned that the diocese and parish supported the creation of a public square. “They aren’t supporting it financially. At $2.5M I think we can put a stop to this project,” Councillor Éric Corbeil retorted. “You won’t be getting hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants,” he observed.
“We’re not at $2.5M. We have not accepted anything. There has been no evaluation of a project that would cost $2.5M. I want to make sure this is very clear,” Mayor Routhier replied.
“There is a $2.5M borrowing by-law,” Mr. Corbeil reminded.
“We made a request, but we didn’t get it. We’re just not there. We have not submitted our project,” the mayor emphasized.
Mr. Corbeil, Barry Doyle, Lucie Laberge, Mike Gendron and Éric Allard voted against, Michel Énault for. Mr. Gendron justified his position on the basis of the economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19. “There is no point in submitting grant requests for something that we aren’t going to do,” hammered Éric Allard.
(Translation Amanda Bennett)