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Shawville Mayor responds to inquiries about council minutes, water meters

Shawville Mayor responds to inquiries about council minutes, water meters

19 December 2022 à 3:57 pm

Shawville Mayor Bill McCleary spoke with CHIP 101.9 about some questions that have been circulating on social media regarding the availability of the town council’s minutes and the possibility of water meters being required in the future. The questions originated from the community Facebook page Hello Shawville, which is run by resident Carolann Barton.

McCleary said that the council minutes haven’t been posted to the municipality’s website since April as a cost-saving measure. Currently, if a resident requests the minutes from town hall they are provided with copies. McCleary said that they were paying several hundred dollars a month for translation services from Danielle Bélec, the former communications advisor for MRC Pontiac. According to McCleary, if the minutes are posted publicly on the website, they will need an official translation, however he said they are only required to “provide them if asked” not publish them proactively. Though it hasn’t yet happened, if a resident were to request a copy of the minutes in French, he said they would pay for the translation and provide them, as required by law.

Other nearby municipalities that are predominantly anglophone, such as Clarendon, Bristol and Thorne, publish their minutes regularly in both languages.

Though they have staff at the town hall who are capable of French translation, McCleary claimed that they are busy with other activities. He estimated that they’ve saved several hundred dollars per month by not paying for the minutes to be translated, though they pay for other services from Bélec.

Water Meters

In her post, Barton asks: “Is the Town planning to charge taxpayers for water in the new year?” Residents already pay a fee for water which is itemized on their tax bills. McCleary stated that the provincial government has mandated that commercial properties must install water meters by 2025 and then pushed back the deadline to 2029. They are currently required for any new commercial properties being built. He speculated that the government is planning to require meters for residential properties down the road, but nothing official has been put forward at this point.