Council discusses budget for development and infrastructure projects
In the presentation of the City’s annual report on infrastructure projects, it was announced that in 2023, 89% of commitments were met. However, there are some major delays regarding yellow water in homes throughout the city. The net surplus of the $744.4 million budget is projected at $1.8 million, which is equivalent to 0.2% of the budget.
Residents may have to deal with yellow water for years to come
Despite the commitments met by the city, there are some major delays regarding yellow water in Gatineau homes.
This was brought up by a resident of Deschênes in the municipal council meeting on October 17. The resident said she has orange- and yellow-coloured water that stains her sinks, toilet, and bath. She has been complaining about this problem since 2018.
The Aylmer resident is not the only one on Gatineau’s territory with this problem. The problems stem from corrosion of the iron water mains, which make up 774 km, or 64%, of the network. The corrosion leads to deposits which are often in older neighbourhoods. The iron concentration in the water is safe for consumption but affects the colour and taste of the water.
The $56 million project to fix the yellow water problem is behind schedule. Some areas that are experiencing the issue are not included in the plans. Despite councillors expressing urgency to fix the problem, the current plan is not scheduled until 2028.
Deschênes Councillor, Caroline Murray, stated that the proposed plan was insufficient to meet the needs of the population living with yellow water. Later in the week, an amendment was made to provide more funds to fix the problem.
Aylmer Projects requiring more funding
During the investments and infrastructure budget discussions on day one, the city administration went over the projects, their costs, and timelines. Construction costs have increased by 48% from 2016 to 2023. For two of Aylmer’s projects, the city recommends allocating additional funds to complete them.
The first is the extension of Bruxelles Road in the Plateau between the Agora development and the Donalda-Charron library. An additional $620,000 is required to complete the project.
After re-evaluating the cost of the construction plans for the expansion of the Front Community Centre, the project needed an additional $2 million to complete the project.
The presentation also indicated a delay for the sports complex in the west of the city. The original plan foresaw the completion of construction by 2028, but this deadline has been pushed back to 2029. Gille Chagnon, Lucerne Councillor, voiced his concerns about this delay stating that the sports complex is an infrastructure need in Aylmer.