Val-des-Monts residents oppose $9.6M loan for new fire station

Some residents of Val-des-Monts, Que., are asking for a referendum on the municipality's plan to borrow $9.6 million to expand the town hall and build a new fire station, fearing it will increase their taxes.

The municipality's council approved the loan April 4.

Mayor Jacques Laurin said their council chambers feel cramped.

"We can have a hundred residents who attend our meetings. It starts to get a little small," he told Radio-Canada.

Laurin maintains the increase in taxes associated with the loan wouldn't be excessive — amounting, over 25 years, to about $61 per year on a mid-sized home worth $247,000.

'Already the tax rate is quite high'

But residents like Jean-Pierre Valiquette aren't so sure. 

"I think it's a big amount. Already the tax rate is quite high in Val-des-Monts," he said. "We've been asking for years that the municipality keep up the roads with our taxes. Imagine if you to pay extra taxes and you don't even have a service for our roads."

Others, like Michel Caron, think a new city hall and fire hall are overdue.

"We've been waiting a long time for a new fire station," he said.

The municipality's register will be open Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. for residents to sign a petition opposing the loan bylaw. It needs 500 signatures to trigger a referendum. Otherwise, the projects can go ahead.