Chelsea, Quebec’s Meredith Centre going ahead on less than solid grounds


by admin on August 25, 2010

The Editor,

It seems that the oxymoron Meredith Centre is going ahead and Chelsea, Quebec Mayor Green is authorizing the use of our ground water knowing very well that we don’t know if the present drain on the aquifer is sustainable.

I am sure a good many of us have heard of someone’s well going dry. The Golder Report of 1991 is very clear on water in Chelsea. Here is what Golder says in Section 13 of the report, Development Potential in the Municipality of Old Chelsea:

Page 73 – “The existing approvals process for subdivisions should be modified to require site-specific investigations of terrain conditions with respect to septic conditions.”

Page 70 – “In the absence of any site-specific subsurface data, suggested lot sizes for the various terrain units within the Municipality are as follows: Terrain Unit 1 (shallow till over Precambrian bedrock) – 2 acres; Terrain Unit 2 (deep clay/silt deposits) – 1 acre,  1.5 acres where the deposits are less than 15 feet thick; Terrain Unit 3 (sand or gravel deposits) – 1 acre, to be reduced only in special cases (see section 11.3 of the report);  Terrain Unit 4 (organic deposits) – not suitable for development.

I have asked Mayor Green on two occasions, one as recently as July 30, how much of this year’s taxes has been spent on engineering or other studies for the Meredith Centre. The mayor was not able to answer, but it seems to be in the range of $300,000 to $600,000.

Why is it this council can’t get it in their heads that Chelseaites don’t want any major expansion. It is no longer acceptable to have tax increases to prop up infrastruture and projects that serve a (small) portion of the population.

The Vision Chelsea Report clearly states: no major changes. As of Aug. 18, a poll undertaken by the Low Down has revealed that 90 per cent of respondents oppose the proposed recreation centre.

Mayor Green promised a comprehensive audit. Why hasn’t it started? Are there irregularities? The state of our roads is deplorable, and council has cut the provisions for road repair.

I am looking forward to the day when Mayor Green proclaims that she is mayor of  Chelsea as a whole and that she will give the same attention to all groups, and not one more than the other.

If I were the CEO of a minimum $10-million dollar business, I would manage it with all the business acumen I could muster. My council and administration would deal primarily with sustainable essential services. Non-essentials would no longer be a priority and non- essentials would be user-pay.

I would like to see a business plan that will clearly state that a public/private-run recreation centre is a financial viable undertaking. Every city and municipality in the

country will want a copy. The Meredith Centre, it’s promised, is to be a very profitable enterprise. Why doesn’t private business build one?

Jacques Cayer

Chelsea, Quebec