From The Gazette

Ile Perrot

Could Île-Perrot towns merge? Mayor floats idea

  • Pincourt Mayor Yvan Cardinal.
    Pincourt Mayor Yvan Cardinal.
    Photo credit: Marla Newhook, The Gazette

Pincourt Mayor Yvan Cardinal has a vision for the future of his town: it could be part of a one-island, one-city in Île-Perrot, if it is the will of the people.

“For sure we’ll have to talk about one city on the island, but that will have to come from the citizens,” he said. “To get the expansion that we’re trying to do by ourselves, we have to get the co-operation of everyone and work together.”

With a tax base dependent on 90 per cent residential properties, Cardinal feels that Pin-court would benefit from joining other municipalities with more commercial development.

“To put something in the budget, it has to come from more than just the citizens. It must come from commercial zones,” he said.

A merger of Île-Perrot municipalities is not a new concept. The idea has been bandied about in the past but not everyone is in favour.

“Personally, I’m not sure that it would have a great economic value,” said Pincourt councillor John Kinnear. He is also concerned that Pincourt would lose its official bilingual status if a merger were to go ahead.

He concurred that a merger would only be realized if it was something residents themselves wanted.

For a municipality that once faced bankruptcy in the 1970s, Pincourt has not only survived, it has thrived.

As Pincourt council prepares to table its budget for 2013, financial reports show a $2.5-million surplus for 2011.

In the last four years alone, the population has increased by 27 per cent, the second-largest population boom off-island behind Vaudreuil-Dorion, which saw a 29-per-cent increase.

In spite of the spike in new residential development putting additional strain on local infrastructure, Cardinal said it wasn’t too much of a challenge considering that the services and programs grew along with it.

Pincourt will be releasing its three-year social development plan in January, which address some of the issues raised by residents, like social housing, transportation, and programs for young adults and seniors, during the public consultations in June.

Some of the biggest challenges Pincourt will face is how to develop services and programs catering to an aging population as well as the youth. According to demographics, the average age in Pincourt is 37 years old.

To read a related story: Ile-Perrot municipalities find synergy, click here.

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