Aylmer councillors submit budgetary requests for improvement projects
Aylmer’s councillors submitted their budgetary requests to the city a few weeks ago, hoping to see several long-awaited projects approved in 2021. Mostly focused on pedestrian and road safety, as well as the reinvigoration of local parks, Aylmer district Councillor Audrey Bureau requested funding for seven projects. Hoping to improve one of Aylmer’s outdoor gems, Bureau requested the creation of a park going along the sector’s former railway from rue Front all the way to the Pontiac.
Not recognized by the city as a park or municipal trail, Bureau said renovating the railway trail would give the city incentive to maintain and keep it safe. “It goes through the entire neighbourhood and a lot of people use it,” Bureau said. “So, the improvements are about amplifying the trail and encouraging people to be active.” Bureau believes it would also reduce issues caused by ATV motocross and snowmobile riders using the trail. Bureau also requested the city increase its budget for speed reductions, especially in rural areas like on rue des Saisons and chemin Perry, noting two-year delays in response to civic demand.
The Aylmer councillor also requested an estimated $20-$25 million to finance the Plan directeur du parc des Cèdres; $100,000 for a pedestrian crosswalk on rue Principale in front of the Marché Laflamme and a $500,000 boost to the budget for sidewalks and walking paths. She also requested the city increase its paving budget by $5 million dollars – noting that many of her district’s roads, such as rue Front and chemin Perry, are in disastrous shape.
Collaborating with Lucerne councillor Gilles Chagnon, Bureau also requested $100,000 to implement a Sens Rink in the Aylmer sector – noting that the closest one is at Parc Central in the Plateau. Having discussed plans with the Sens Foundation for more than a year, Chagnon said the organization seems very interested in establishing itself in Aylmer. While parties involved must decide on a location for the project, Chagnon hopes his dream of a Sens Rink nearby will come to fruition in the fall or winter of 2021-22. “We’re looking at two or three places,” Chagnon said. “But it will be in the west.”
---Eco-centre for Aylmer?
Going with one of his priorities since the start of his mandate, Chagnon requested $7.5 million for the construction of an eco-centre in Aylmer. Hoping it can be built before 2025, Chagnon said the city still needs to choose a location, select professionals to undertake its construction and obtain an environmental certificate from the provincial government.
Also concerned about pedestrian safety, Chagnon requested – no specific amount – that the city implement crosswalks with traffic lights on boulevard Wilfrid-Lavigne – with one beside l’École du Vieux-Verger and another on the intersection of rue du Verger. “Right now, there are just yellow lines painted for pedestrians and cars often don’t respect them,” Chagnon said.
With a new school (040) opening in his district in 2021, Chagnon also request the city put in a bike path along rue Samuel-Edey to keep kids safe from roadway traffic. “I don’t want there to be an accident,” Chagnon said. “People drive fast enough nowadays. I want to be proactive on this.” Lastly, Chagnon requested the city repave chemin Cook. Noting that he would be delighted if the city repaved the entire road, he’ll be satisfied with whatever he can get.
In the Deschênes district, Mike Duggan made three requests for funding, all aimed to address pedestrian safety by building new sidewalks. Estimated at $765,000, $500,000 and $80,000 respectively, Duggan asked the city to build sidewalks on chemin d’Aylmer between rue Atholl-Doune and chemin Rivermead (500 metres), on chemin Vanier between rue Stuart and chemin McConnell (750 metres), and on rue Winston-Churchill between rue Riesling and l’École Euclide-Lanthier’s adjacent access point (250 metres). As a major artery for city buses and traffic rolling at around 70 km per hour, and with huge side street snowbanks building up in the winter, Duggan said chemin d’Aylmer can be quite dangerous for pedestrians, making it important for the city to build a sidewalk there in the short or medium term.
Councillors sent their submissions to the city’s administration and executive committee in May, prioritizing submissions according to their district’s respective needs. Gatineau’s administration and Executive Committee will discuss councillors’ proposals during budgetary talks this fall, to decide which projects will be included in next year’s budget before municipal council votes on the matter in December.