By Tracey Arial
Councillors in Verdun celebrated their first year in office during their November 4 regular council meeting.
They handed out a brochure emphasizing key accomplishments in administration, finances, capital expenditures, and citizen involvement.
They also approved the minutes from October in which the financial ramifications of possible construction collusion where detailed.
In October, Mayor Jean-François Parenteau released an 11-page report estimating that construction collusion may have cost the borough $325,000 in lost permit revenue. A committee has been set up to examine all the permits given out to Nun’s Island projects to search for anomalies and determine whether corrective measures might be warranted. Snow removal and residential waste contracts.
The companies Verdun hired to remove snow and residential waste may be among those whose operations are under examination by the Office of the Inspector General. Verdun has snow and waste contracts in place until April 2017 and October 2018 respectively.
A budget for 2015 of $41 million has been established under new rules. This budget includes two millon dollars from local sources, 32 million dollars from the city centre, six million dollars in local taxes and the use of a half-million dollars in surplus funds. It will set aside another $4 million for capital cost expenditures.
Since staffing costs more than half of Montreal’s budget, Verdun will comply with city centre requests by eliminating 29 jobs in the next five years.
The borough of Verdun awarded another $429,310.82 for compost and recycling pickup to Services Environnementaux Richelieu Inc., a Beloeil-based company owned by Laval-based 9199-5290 Québec Inc. and BFI Canada Inc. The total contract is now worth more than 30 million dollars.
Almost $500,000 was spent on truck and vans, including $233,610.33 to Les industries Halraie, $134,000 to Montreal Chrysler Dodge Jeep in LaSalle to purchase four Ram cargo 2015 trucks and almost $60,000 to Le centre du camion Ste-Marie.
Several organizations received grants in October and November, including:
· The Centre local de developpement de Verdun got $118,150 in November to cover operations from Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2015;
· The Société de développement commercial (SDC) Wellington received $50,000.