Kirkland city council holds moment of silence for Lac Mégantic

By Matthew Guité

The monthly city council meeting in Kirkland began Monday night with a moment of silence for the missing and deceased in Lac Mégantic, followed by a comment from Mayor John Meaney stating that a donation to the disaster-struck town would be in the works in the future. Meaney also reminded those present that the Red Cross was accepting donations and would be aiding residents in the area for some time.

On the agenda for the meeting were a number of routine issues that were passed without question or comment, such as a renewal of the contract for the company which has been painting the fire hydrants in Kirkland over the past 12 months, work which the council said they had been very pleased with.

One item which almost did not pass was an amendment to bylaw 2011-52 which would order “the establishment of an environmental restoration program to rectify crossed sewer connections affecting certain residential immovables and of a financial assistance program to carry out remedial work.”

The amendment passed 4-3.
Councillor Domenico Zito, who was one of the three members who voted against the amendment, explained to The Suburban that while he was not opposed to the spirit of the amendment, he did not support the specific measures it involved as they were unfair to citizens who had already addressed the issue.

“I don’t disagree with the fact that for environmental reasons we want every single problem rectified, and there’s an importance to that but—by the same token—for these environmental reasons, this should have been done a long time ago,” he said. “Obviously we want to help everyone in the town, but at the same time it’s not right for those people who did rectify the situation immediately and did it without questioning the situation immediately.”

During question period, a resident called into question the longevity of Kirkland’s roads, saying that the rate of cracking and splitting in new asphalt was surprising to him. The city’s Director General Joe Sanalitro said that he was confident that Kirkland’s roads were some of the best on the island, and mentioned that they were also looking into the viability of using a sealant to pack cracks to help add longevity to the road’s lifespan.

Speaking to The Suburban afterward, Sanalitro explained that the effectiveness of using sealant was still debatable, but that the city would be trying it regardless to see for themselves if it was a worthwhile option.

“Some feel that it stabilizes the road, others feel that it doesn’t any more than packing earth and dirt in there, so we’re going to evaluate and do a couple of streets and see if there’s any change,” he said.

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