Agglomeration fees: the check for $27 million accepted, but the battle continues

Agglomeration fees: $27M check accepted, but battle continues

BET À DAY

The legal and political battle is far from over, warn Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures and L'Ancienne-Lorette, who nevertheless agree to cash the $27 million check offered by the City of Quebec to settle part of the the dispute over agglomeration fees.

Despite the change of guard at the mayor of Quebec, the nagging issue of the quota continues to animate relations between the city center and the two cities demerged.  

Last week, the Marchand administration offered a check for $27 million, $17 million to Saint-Augustin and $10 million to L'Ancienne-Lorette to settle part of the dispute for the years 2016 to 2021.  

“The City of Quebec has finally decided – in any case we are happy – to pay its due, in part, to the related cities”, welcomed the mayor of L'Ancienne-Lorette, Gaétan Pageau, during a council municipal held Tuesday evening.  

The sum, however, represents only a “partial payment” of the amounts due for the quota bill (2016 to 2021), he insisted. “For us, this is not a final offer,” he reiterated. The heads of complaint are not all satisfied.” 

Extraordinary Council

Reasoning similar to Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures where an extraordinary meeting of the municipal council was convened tomorrow (Thursday) noon. In all likelihood, the cashing of the check for nearly $17 million will be approved there, confirmed Mayor Sylvain Juneau. 

“The offer allows above all the City of Quebec to stop pay interest”, explained the latter. 

That said, litigation before the court and negotiations of an administrative nature continue. Discussions between the three mayors concerned could take place, but it will not be before the fall, underlined Mr. Juneau. 

“Huge” bill in sight in 2022 

The latter also expects the agglomeration's share to be “enormous” for the year 2022, because expenses of a mixed nature have not been capped for this year. The two demerged cities are contesting this decision, which may suggest that this file is far from closed, agreed Sylvain Juneau. 

At the City of Quebec, spokesperson David O'Brien reiterated that “the acceptance of this offer (of $27 million) would not have the effect of putting an end to the various disputes between the parties, including that relating to the legality of the new tax regime of 2022”. . 

According to him, “for the next steps, the parties will meet again in order to continue the work and the negotiation on the remaining elements”.