Montreal

Vaudreuil-Dorion suspends plans to build new city hall near flood zone

The mayor of Vaudreuil-Dorion is shelving plans to build a city hall and parking lot on a piece of land that borders the flood zone.

Mayor Guy Pilon says project is 'on hold' until province releases new flood plain maps

Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon says the proposed city hall and parking lot would be built closer to St-Charles Avenue, on land that never flooded. (CBC)

The mayor of Vaudreuil-Dorion is shelving plans to build a city hall and parking lot on a piece of land that borders a flood zone.

There had been calls to scrap the project after parts of the land had been flooded.

"First of all, nothing will change for now because we put that project on hold," said Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon. "We are waiting for the government to give us the new flood lines."

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard had said his government wants to take a closer look at urban planning and flood maps, after weeks of heavy rains affected hundreds of municipalities across Quebec, including the off-island community of Vaudreuil-Dorion.

The site of the new town hall would be built on 405 St-Charles Avenue on Vaudreuil Bay, by the waterfront.
Vaudreuil-Dorion bought the waterfront property for $1.1 million. (CBC)

The city bought more than 17,000 square metres of land from la congrégation des Frères du Sacré-Coeur for $1.1 million.

The land includes green space and a house, which would be torn down to make way for the new town hall and parking lot.

Flood risk, mayoralty candidate says

But Pierre Séguin, mayoralty candidate for the party Team We Are, says the project is a bad idea.

The latest map of the flood plain shows the site in mind borders a low risk flood area.

Areas closer to Vaudreuil Bay are seen as high risk.
The site in mind borders a low risk flood area, seen in dark blue. (Centre d'expertise hydrique du Québec)

"The city administration of Vaudreuil could be paralyzed. Can you imagine if City Hall would be flooded?"

Michael Pagé lives next door to the proposed site. He said that during the floods, the water went up to the back porch of the home on the land.

"Everything in the basement is finished," said Pagé.
Michael Pagé, who lives next door to the proposed project site, said there was flood water up to the back porch of the home on the land. (Sudha Krishnan/CBC)

Pilon says the proposed city hall and parking lot would be built closer to St-Charles Avenue — on land that never flooded.

He said the building and parking lot would take up less than a third of the land. The rest of it would be green space and parks.

Currently, Vaudreuil-Dorion rents out space at a strip mall on 2555 Dutrisac Street, for $240,000 a year, according to Pilon. The lease expires in 2019.

Pilon says the city needs a building of its own because the off-island community is growing, adding that the site by the waterfront would be a nice space for citizens.

"It is the most beautiful place where you can put a city hall."

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