The decision made by the administration of the City of Ormstown regarding the upcoming relocation of the municipal library is contested by many citizens.
According to a citizen of Ormstown, Don Rosenbaum, the decision to transfer the library, currently located on a quiet street where students from two primary schools can safely benefit from services, was taken without citizen consultation. The problem in this case is the location chosen by the Municipality. The administration has plans to move the library to a new medical center, under construction on Highway 201.
“There is a lot of traffic, no sidewalks, bike paths or speed bumps. The rent for the 5-year contract would be $ 70,000 per year, nearly $ 200 per day! More than 100 residents signed a petition protesting the move before it was approved, but it was rejected on the grounds that it was based on misinformation. We were refused the possibility of a referendum, based on certain technical details, which seems to contradict Quebec regulations”, said Mr. Don Rosenbaum.
The current library is in poor condition and its move is necessary since the roof is leaking, but according to several citizens, it would be better to rebuild it rather than renting a space whose estimated rental cost would cover the work of re-construction.
Citizens excluded from the decision-making process
In this case, many citizens of Ormstown are concerned about their exclusion from the decision-making process. As a result, some are calling for a referendum so that their voices can be heard. In response to this request, Mr. Rosenbaum received a negative response from the mayor, which goes against that received by Mr. Chapdelaine, counsellor for the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy. “Any by-law or resolution which authorizes a municipality to enter into a contract, other than a construction contract or an inter-municipal agreement, under which the municipality makes a financial commitment and which entails, explicitly or implicitly, the obligation for the other contracting party to construct, enlarge or substantially modify a building or an infrastructure used for municipal purposes must, on pain of nullity, be submitted for the approval of the qualified electors according to the procedure provided for the borrowing by-laws”, the counsellor wrote in his response to Mr. Rosenbaum.
Citizens do not intend to let go easily and demand that elected municipal officials take their opinion into consideration on such an important decision. According to certain information obtained, the lease has already been signed, which is a concern to the citizens of Ormstown.