MV Council discusses arena, food bank and more

Madawaska Valley Council had a busy day on October 6th, beginning with a Public Planning meeting held prior to the 10 a.m. start of its monthly Council in Committee meeting. The Agenda included two delegations, from Renfrew County ATV Club and from Madawaska Valley Food Bank (see below), as well as the usual monthly reports from all committees of Council and from staff. The 225-page Agenda was eventually concluded in three separate video sessions. Here are some highlights:

Madawaska Valley Food Bank seeks new home in Combermere

MV Food Bank requested the municipality allow them to use the former Golden Years Activity Centre at 1090 Farmer Road in Combermere. (Shown above, photo google.maps) Tish Whitfield and Paul Thompson explained the restrictions of their current 19×19 ft. garage space, which does not have sufficient space for food deliveries much less COVID-safe protocols, client privacy, running water or a loading dock. The search for a suitable property in Barry’s Bay with space, heat and running water was unsuccessful, so MV Food Bank told Council they would implement ride-shares and home deliveries to accommodate clients living outside Combermere who do not have vehicles. Council heard that MV Food Bank would be responsible for hydro costs, cleaning, snow shovelling and potentially the construction of a loading dock. MV Food Bank volunteers offered to work with MV staff and representatives of the Combermere seniors’ group to provide shared use of the facility that would include MV Food Bank, small groups and storage needs. Council directed staff to bring back a draft agreement for approval “before the snow flies.”

GameOn! youth programs coming to Barry’s Bay, Combermere

MV Recreation and Community Development Coordinator Stephanie Plebon told Council that the GameOn! youth programs run by CRC Killaloe will be returning as outdoor programs in both Barry’s Bay and Combermere. MV will provide use of the washrooms to program participants at the Railway Station in Barry’s Bay and at the Combermere rink building.

Paul J. Yakabuski Community Centre update

Plebon told Council she approached four suppliers and had obtained three quotations for a detailed structural survey of the PJYCC, including its roof. Timelines ranged from three to eight weeks to get a final report, with the earliest inspection possibly coinciding with this week’s ice-on preparations. MV aims to obtain that report and then hold a public meeting about the PJYCC. Friday October 9, 2020 was the 40th anniversary of the grand opening of the facility.


Ice-on date at the PJYCC is Oct. 17 2020 (photo Facebook/Madawaska Valley)

Councillor Carl Bromwich pointed out that if COVID regulations required the arena to be closed and the ice taken out, the public should be aware that due to cost the ice surface would not be restored later this season.


Treasurer Amanda Hudder provided several reports including a recommendation that Council consider borrowing funds to purchase a sand dome now. She said the cost of a dome was rising faster than MV was able to set aside reserves to buy it, and she calculated $60,000 annually would cover a loan repayment. Hudder also reported on a 20 percent premium increase for renewal of the municipal insurance policy on October 1st.

Video available

MV’s four video recordings of all public parts of the Oct. 6 meeting, including the Planning matters dealt with prior to the start of the 10 a.m. Council in Committee meeting, are available on YouTube; just search for Madawaska Valley and click on Videos.

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