Spring 2008 Newsletter (extract)
Blue tit song
In this Issue
President' s Message
Water Quality Study
New Nautical By-laws
BYLAW BILL No. 2007-97-30
Green Day in Wentworth North
Fish Restocking 2008
Welcome Wagon Project
Garbage Collection Newaygo Junction
Calling All Hummingbird Lovers
Settling at Newaygo in 1959
Garage Sale Fundraiser
From the Boat to the Surprise
Our Beautiful Loons
This winter has been exceptional; I have not seen so much snow at the lake in ages. Luckily, the days have gotten longer, the sun is finally started to shine and the white stuff has started to melt. I guess I am like everyone, just waiting for the ice to depart and get back to business. Your association has many projects in the works for 2008. After many years of planning and jumping through governmental hoops, our nautical bylaw package has had a first reading in Ottawa early in the year; the second and final reading should occur at the end of April 2008. By the time you read this, the signs and buoys should have started to appear on our lake. You will find a separate resume of the four nautical by-law package in this newsletter.
Your association has decided to participate in a water study program that will be under the care of the University of Montreal, the municipal biologist and the government of Quebec. Our municipality has voted a $10,000.00 grant for this project alone. This project was undertaken in response to the presence of blue algae on our lakes. There is a separate article on this study in your newsletter.
2008 is the 125th anniversary of the village of Montfort. Your association wants to celebrate this milestone and hold a special activity with the residents of Montfort. It is also the 50th anniversary of our municipality; our councillor, Mrs. Caron Czorny, should mention this in her “Councillor’s Corner”. Your association and the Andrew Schell fish fund will restock our lake with 850 trout on June 20th. Your AGM will be held this summer at the Montfort Pavilion on Saturday July 26th 2008 at 10 a.m.. We will have plants and small trees available to our members.
Our first encounter with this blue algae plague on Lake St-François-Xavier last summer was an eye opening event. We should all be very aware that only proper environmental management (using bio products, protecting the shoreline and upgrading or repairing our septic systems) will preclude having Public Health post those horrible signs announcing to all the presence of blue algae on our body of water. This has to be a community effort; every little undertaking counts. The health of our lake is in our hands. Have a great summer.
André Soucy , President
Here is an up to date of current issues the Municipal Council is working on:
Since I last wrote to you, there has been a lot of work done by the Fire Services Installation Review Committee. The mandate of this committee was to submit a proposal for the 3 required fire stations, which would be acceptable to our citizens and to the Municipal Council. You will remember that the original proposal for the 3 stations, requiring a loan of $1.5 million, was abandoned after 458 citizens put their name on a register to hold a referendum on the matter. This was well above the 265 required signatures to hold a referendum, and the Council felt that the majority of citizens would not support the project, mainly because of the cost.
After four meetings of this new Committee, which included members of the community, a new proposal was submitted to Council, supported unanimously by the Committee. This time the project was paired down and the total estimated cost for the 3 buildings was reduced to $980,000. For a 20-year loan, at an estimated interest rate of 6%, this represents 3.5 cents per thousand evaluation per household per year. For example, if your house is evaluated at $200,000 on the municipal role, this would add approximately $70 per year (or $17.50 for each of the 4 property tax payments per year) to your property tax bill for the next 20 years. This is with the current number of taxpayers. As more houses are built, and more taxpayers are added to the tax role, this amount would go down, assuming the same interest rate.
This resolution was passed at Council. Again, as per the usual process for a loan regulation, this was followed by a public register, where citizens could sign, if they wished to have a referendum on the loan proposal. This time only 244 citizens put their name on the register. This is below the 265 required to force a referendum, so no referendum is required. Of the 244, only 24 names were from Montfort districts 5 & 6 (only 12 from our district 5). On the original register there were 58 names from districts 5 & 6. (As a reminder, the Montfort facility is rented, has no running water and no sanitation services. In addition, it is far from the highest risk areas in Montfort.)
However, the debate continues, since the vast majority of those who signed the register are from one or two districts in Laurel. Should the Laurel portion of the proposal be paired down? Should the proposal be split into three, with each district having their own loan and project? These points are currently being debated.
In the meantime, a request for financial aide was made to the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Nathalie Normandeau. She has indicated that the construction of the three fire stations should qualify for aide, which would further reduce the price.
No other major fire service equipment spending is planned at this time, and that includes the replacement of fire trucks. This will be reviewed in 2009 or 2010, as we finish paying for the fire truck acquired by the former Council.
Your House Number
Just a reminder that a recent regulation passed requires all houses to have the house number affixed to the house and easily visible from the street. This is for the use of emergency vehicles.
Keeping Our Area Beautiful
Please remember to use your own garbage and recycling bins and keep the garbage bins at the Newaygo Junction for those who do not have road access. We are considering using monitors to catch and fine those who do not respect this rule.
Keep our lake clean by making sure your septic system is cleaned. Also, bio-degradable products are now readily available, including dishwasher detergent. If everyone makes an extra effort, perhaps we can avoid an algae problem this summer.
50th Anniversary Activities
There are activities planned in Montfort for the week of July 10th to 17th, to mark the 50th anniversary of Wentworth-Nord. These include a wine and cheese reception, an art exhibition and a regatta. Please mark your calendar and plan to attend. We have much to celebrate!
As a reminder, Municipal Council meetings are held at the Montfort Pavilion every 3rd month. They are always held the 2nd Monday of the month, unless there is a holiday. They start promptly at 7:00 pm. The next meeting in Montfort is scheduled for July 14th, 2008. I look forward to seeing many of you there.
Don’t hesitate to give me a call, should you have any issues or concerns. Have a great summer and see you around the lake!
From the boat to the surprise...
Since my arrival here, my rowboat has become as precious as my car. More often, this is for pleasure rather than for necessity. I rarely have to rush when I am on the lake.
However, my small rowboat ( a motor boat for others) also serves me as a means of delivery. When one has nothing else but a path as access to one’s cottage, the lake becomes essential for the transport of merchandise. A single horse motor; nevertheless, cannot compete with my neighbour’s powerful motor.
On a beautiful Saturday morning, one of my first destinations was to look for “La Presse” at Montfort. From my place in the bay to the village would simply be good exercise. I thought I would be back at my cottage for lunch without any problem.
This was without counting on the unscrewing of the fastenings of one of my oarlocks on a continuous basis. Without any tools I could only put the screws back using my fingers. I would row a few more strokes, and then have to do it all over again. The screws had pulled out the first time, somewhere near the trestle at Newaygo, under the imperial eye of Napoleon’s cap.
Finally arriving at what used to be Dot’s Café, I borrowed a screwdriver from the owners. They lent it to me with pleasure. The round trip took me some three hours.
Since this event, I now warn my visitors, who might arrive on a Saturday, to stop at Erica’s, the owner of the Austrian sausage factory and small store, and bring “La Presse” with them. Otherwise, getting and reading “La Presse” would determine the program of the day, three hours to fetch it and another three hours to read it.
Also, keep in mind, that when I propose a small boat trip to my friends or family, there is always the question of the oarsman. Who will row? I do wonder if I am imposing a hardship on my guests, or a privilege. One can say” Everyone will have a turn”, but it is too dangerous to change places without first putting one’s foot back on the shore!
It once happened that a very strong lady( an Amazon type) took the oars, leaving 6 gallant arms doing nothing for the whole trip. Meanwhile, they were hoping that no neighbor on the shore was watching to see such an example of contemporary art.
One time, we even attempted sitting side by side, each with his own oar, as had been done in my childhood; but something had changed- there was really no place for both people now.
Then there was the episode of hand moving my old stove range which had to be ferried to the dump. It was placed right in the center of my rowboat, and then, unfortunately, there was no room for maneuvering the oars.
Indeed, it was this latest problem of a need for increased power and the previous problem of sharing the rowing that brought me to the idea of creating a galley. I imagined equipping my rowboat with a pair of additional rows. It seemed like a fun idea! At my last visit to the hardware, I put in my basket a pair of the much needed extra fastenings. My strange project was beginning to take form.
Unfortunately, the rowboat is, as is usual in the winter, on the bank and buried under the snow. I really cannot yet see how to create more rows to allow two synchronized rowers to do their job. However, hopefully,the galley will soon take form. At the time of this writing, I am not yet able to show you the results. Soon some will see it when I see it. … or maybe it may be a participant in the annual regatta on our majestic Lac St. Francois_Xavier.
By Carl Chapdelaine
Translated by Edna Schell