Champlain Township council agrees that there are a lot of “unknowns” when it comes to the United Counties of Prescott and Russell’s (UCPR’s) inter-municipal transit project.

Champlain Public Works director James McMahon says he feels that clarification is needed before the municipality makes any decisions.

A list of 13 proposed bus stop locations within Champlain Township was sent to the municipality and the UCPR would supply the signs and posts, but the municipality would be responsible for the installation of the signage and winter maintenance of the stops. The UCPR also requested that the municipality sell bus tickets at its front counter.

Champlain Township CAO Paula Knudsen added that a bus stop at the municipal offices was included on the list. She said that there was no extra parking available at the municipal offices.

The proposed bus stops include: 36 Mill Street (Vankleek Hill Community Centre), the intersection of Mill Street and Boyd Street, the intersection of Main Street East and Hibbard Street, 10 Terry Fox Drive, the intersection of Stanley Avenue and Higginson Street, the intersection of Home Avenue and St. Denis Street , the intersection of Perreault Street and Highway 34 (all of these are in Vankleek Hill), 948 Pleasant Corner Road (the township offices), the intersection of Eldemer Road and Pattee Road and the intersection of Pattee Road and Fox Run (both near Hawkesbury), the intersection of Bay Road and King Street and 59 Court Street (both in L’Orignal) and 265 Front Road (mobile park).

McMahon provided a report to council outlining his concerns about the stops, which included, for example, having bus stops in areas that have no sidewalks.

“Are we liable if someone falls and are our winter crews responsible for clearing the bus stop areas”? McMahon said, giving one example of his concerns.

Champlain Township Mayor Normand Riopel agreed that it was a “touchy subject” and said that the public works department report should be  sent to the counties.

Council briefly discussed the transit project, and recapped that the first phase of the $2-million project was to create a minibus route with about 20 seats and reserved wheelchair spaces. The public works report reiterates that a second $500,000 grant for a community transportation project will be to support vulnerable individuals such as the elderly, people with disabilities, women in abusive situations and single parents. UCPR was one of 40 regional government selected for a pilot transportation project.

McMahon’s report concludes by saying that the municipality has asked the counties to make a presentation to council about the transit project.