Lachine seeks increased investment and operating budgets from Montreal

Revenue sharing for new development another issue on the table

By Kevin Woodhouse

Lachine borough residents can expect to see an average increase of about three percent rise in taxes for the year.

The average tax bill is set to rise about $100, with 90 per cent of that revenue heading towards the city of Montreal, an unequal share Lachine Mayor Claude Dauphin is determined to change.

“The operations budget allocated to the borough by the City of Montreal has been insufficient for the past few years and does not allow us to meet our day to day operational needs, which affects the quality of the services provided to our citizens,” said the mayor.

In the past, Dauphin has met with members of the city’s agglomeration and executive committees to come up with a new standard but “now that there is a new administration, we are starting again from scratch,” Dauphin told The Suburban.

Dauphin has been told the new operating budgets will be reviewed this year for implementation in 2015.

Another issue Dauphin has with the city is the borough’s investment budget. “It is meager and prevents us from properly maintaining our public buildings and infrastructure. And all the while, the total amount of taxes forked out by Lachiners never ceases to increase over the years!”

With 55 public buildings to maintain, the largest marina on the island and “many roads that need to be replaced, our investment allotment of $1.2 million is simply not enough.”

Dauphin believes at least $4 million a year would suffice to handle the borough’s commitments.

“Last chance, or we demerge”

A final concern for the mayor is for a comprehensive agreement needed between the city and the borough for any proposed development, namely Lachine East where the goal is to build new residential and commercial opportunities to replace the “old factories. We need a way to share the revenues since all of the money will go towards the city of Montreal,” said Dauphin. “The present system is obviously inadequate, because in Lachine, the more we build, the poorer we become.”

During the recent municipal campaign, Dauphin told electors that Montreal was “getting one last chance and if our operating budget, investment costs and revenue sharing are not settled in a timely fashion, then we would have to take the steps towards demerging from the city.”
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