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The La Nation municipal building. Photo: James Morgan

La Nation: new Christmas lights, ward boundaries under review

There are new decorative lights along the main streets of St-Albert and Limoges this Christmas season.

Back in January of 2019, La Nation council found it would cost $58,602.77 to purchase and install new lights in the two villages.  The lights and installation in St-Albert cost $33,087.55 and the price tag in Limoges was $25,515.52.  The decorative fixtures are mounted on utility poles.  Brackets and some additional wiring was required.  On February 25 2019, council agreed to pay 70 per cent of the cost of the new lights in each village using $48,976.00 in main street revitalization funds it had received from the Ontario government.  The remaining 30 per cent was covered by donations from community organizations.  This put the municipal cost for St-Albert at $23,161.30 and the cost for Limoges $17,860.86 to make a total municipal cost of $41,022.16 for new lights in both villages.

A report from La Nation Planning and Economic Development Director Guylain Laflèche stated municipal funding was also available for new decorations in St-Bernardin.  Laflèche said in an interview on Tuesday that the municipality is still waiting for a proposal from residents there and that they are considering decorations other than Christmas lights.

Mayor François St-Amour said St-Isidore was not part of the plan because community residents did not have a project proposal ready when the funding was available.

The main street revitalization program has been discontinued by the Ontario government but St-Amour said many municipalities are pressuring the government to bring it back.

Boundary review

La Nation is reviewing its municipal ward boundaries.  The sprawling municipality is the largest geographically in Prescott and Russell counties and is divided into four wards that each elect one councillor.  The mayor is elected at-large.  The current ward boundaries do not follow the boundaries of the former municipalities (Caledonia, Cambridge, South Plantagenet, St-Isidore) that compose La Nation.

According to Mayor François St-Amour, a review of the boundaries was requested by Ward Four Councillor Francis Brière because of the significant amounts of residential development taking place in and around Limoges.  The village has become a popular place to live for people who work in Ottawa.

In August, council selected the firm Watson and Associates to study the strengths and weaknesses of the current ward structure and recommend alternatives.

St-Amour said public consultations will be taking place in January so the public can see what the options are and offer suggestions before the consultants develop a final report to council, which is expected in March or April of 2020.

James Morgan

James Morgan is a freelance contributor. He has worked for several print and broadcast media outlets. James loves the history, natural beauty, and people of eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

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