MRC agrees to change septic contract

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by Trevor Greenway on February 25, 2010

A group of about 200 residents of La Peche, Quebec found out that pressuring council on issues that don’t smell right can yield results.

At its Feb. 18 meeting, the mayors of the MRC des Collines made a much-anticipated decision to modify the septic waste treatment plant contract with CIMA +, the engineering firm hired to conduct a study for potential sites for the plant.

Feb. 24 front page

Feb. 24 front page

The resolution now states that the first step in the process is to conduct a regional needs assessment. After that, a technology assessment will be conducted to find out which treatment technology best suits the area.

After these two assessments are done, a public consultation will be conducted with no mention of a potential site. This final change to the contract is the group’s biggest victory.

“Basically we have consultations before site selection,” said an excited Tamara Tarasoff who leads the residents group.

“You can’t have sites off the bat, otherwise it precludes a certain technology. That’s what we have been saying all along.”

After the consultation process, CIMA + will study potential sites, though several other public consultation will be held prior to site selection.

The group had showed up at four council meetings in a row, protesting La Peche council’s decision to offer up two potential sites in the municipality to build a septic waste treatment plant that would serve all of the MRC des Collines de l’Outaouais. The group also voiced disappointed in a lack of transparency; Tarasoff said if it hadn’t of been for an article in this newspaper, the septic waste treatment plant issue would have slid right under the noses of residents without so much as a whiff.

The city of Gatineau announced earlier in the month that by Dec. 31, 2010 the city will no longer be accepting outside septic waste.

La Peche Mayor Robert Bussiere offered up two potential sites to the MRC des Collines, one on Echo Dale Rd., where Tarasoff lives, and another on Hwy 105 just south of Wakefield by Beausoleil Home Hardware.

Bussiere could not be reached for comment by press time.