"Enough is enough:" Resignations cloud BIA's future

preparing to merge.

was to destroy and not build. We will have

He stressed that the BIA did not cost

to rebuild,” adds the mayor.




from business people.

in 1985, was debated briefly at Monday’s

Last year, the commission collected

council meeting. The only remaining board

The fate of the Downtown Business

$98,150 in taxes on 172 properties in the

member, Councillor Michel Thibodeau will

Improvement Area (BIA) Commission is

downtown area.

be joinedbyCouncillorsJohannePortelance

up in the air following the resignation of


and Marc Tourangeau on the board. The

the commission’s board of directors.

while members in other parts of the zone

plan is to call a meeting of BIA members to

<“We have given it back to the town.

pay $250.

elect four more board members.

The council will now decide what to do

The merchants are getting a good deal,


with it,” says Denis Charlebois, who had

Charlebois contends.

to the Society did not fully comprehend the

been president of the organization for

However, not all members share that


several years.


The BIA board quit following town


abolition of the organization was presented

council’s December 20 decision to halt


to council.

funding for the Société de development

Thibodeau was backed by Councillors

“The vastmajority of the peoplewho pay


André Chamaillard, Portelance and

taxes to the BIA no longer want it,” says

When the town eliminated its $120,000

Tourangeau when he presented his motion

Roger Charest. He and Marielle Charlebois

annual grant, the Society’s board of

to end financial support for the SDCTH,

presented a petition signed by 29 people



who own 106 properties in the BIA zone.

quit and closed its office at La Maison de

2004 and was paid $120,000 last year. The

Council took no action because its


mayor and Councillors Michel Beaulne and

mandate was coming to a close and the

The money had been used to pay the

Alain Fraser opposed the resolution.

petition had not been properly presented.

salaries of two employees who worked for


Meanwhile, the chamber of commerce is

the Society, the BIA and the Chamber of

necessary because the town had its own

doing well, said Briggs. “The chamber is


economic development director. Portelance

very strong,” he said, adding that

“It was a devastating impact,” says

and Tourangeau contended that taxpayers

membership has increased from about 80 to

Mayor René Berthiaume, one of three

were tired of supporting an organization

100 members.

members of council who opposed the

that they said generated few benefits for the

decision to cancel the grant. “The result


Denis Charlebois

St-Isidore arena on ice

“There was a big lack of information,”

said Briggs.

“It was decided in advance to destroy the



society,” Charlebois related.

He said that prior to the December 20

The St-Isidore arena has been closed as

decision, the society had one chance tomeet

the facility undergoes repairs to correct

council, when he presented a long-term

some structural defects.

action plan. “We were not consulted. The

“We are not taking any chances with the

four members who voted for this did not

safety of the public,” The Nation Mayor

really know what the repercussions would

François St-Amour says. Several damaged

be,” said Charlebois.


“Enough is enough. We did not have the

Studio Casa Bella est fier d’accueillir Manon Ouelette

In preparation for the installation of solar

support of council. The people who have

panels on the arena roof, The Nation

been working as volunteers for all those

undertook an inspection of the structure,

comme styliste.

years are no longer interested,” said

which must be done every five years. The

Charlebois, who has been an activemember

Manon a 15 ans d’expérience et se fera un plaisir de vous servir.


of the BIA since it was formed.

firm to close the building to the public to

Charlebois, Marcel Laviolette and Marc

ensure nobody would be injured.

Boucher quit in late December; Bernadette

Studio Casa Bella is proud to welcome Manon Ouelette


Blais had stepped down in October.

with steel. St-Amour believes that the work

“The town will decide the future of the

could cost $100,000. Built in 1961, the arena

BIAnow. I hope that more peoplewill come

as a stylist.


forward to keep it going. It would be a big

Manon has 15 years of exprerience and will be happy to serve you.

which includes the construction of two

loss for the community. The three

1-2475, rue Laurier, Rockland, On 613 446-8880

wings. This project has been financed by the

organizations worked together. We had a

municipality and the federal and provincial

super good formula,” said Charlebois. The


Chamber, the BIA and the society had been

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