If the disbursements for the first two months of 2017 are any indication, Hudson’s spendthrift ways will continue up to November’s municipal election.
And residents who voice their concerns may as well save their breath.
To nobody’s surprise, the big payouts to the town’s legalists Dunton Rainville continued into the New Year. The town cut a cheque for $30,296.73 to cover Drain-the-ville’s representation on 11 files. No indication of whether these are continuations of the golden oldies of the last three years or whether these are new fights that will continue to milk the repaving budget.
I also see the town lost its grudge match against defeated mayoral aspirant Jacques Bourgeois in Small Claims Court, being ordered to pay Bourgeois’s Raris Communications $15,000 and costs. (Echoes of Trump’s ‘see you in court.’) Now, that’s small-town cheap.
Take road salt. In February, supplier Cargill’s bill had topped $155,000. As of the end of February, the town had blown another $46,000.
The record of disbursements tabled at the March council meeting also revealed that the town paid snow clearing contractor Transport André Leroux $87,000 for sand. This was over and above the cost of the base contract, which pays Leroux $399,500 plus taxes in four instalments of $103,348.15.
Worse, the documents show the price was based on a three-year contract with these incompetents with an option to renew for another two years.
More simply, the town leaves it to Leroux to decide how much salt and sand to use and when to use it.
Residents who attended the February meeting will recall councillor Rob Goldenberg and town manager Jean-Pierre Roy vowing to more closely monitor Leroux with regard to its use of salt.
Here’s my two-part question to Goldenberg and Roy:
Given this winter’s atrociously poor snow clearing, what is this administration proposing to do to correct the situation for the next two winters?
What was the average total cost of snow removal, salt and sand over the previous three winters? If my suspicions are correct, this administration has managed to stick Hudson residents with two more winters of botched snow removal at greater cost than if they had renewed with Gruenwald.
Long after November’s municipal election, this administration’s legacy of bad decisions will live on. In that respect, they’re no different that the bunch they replaced. What a surprise.