With the city of Montreal releasing its lasted budget, the ASM (Association of Suburban Municipalities) is demanding that the city renegotiate the payment process between the suburbans and the central city.
“From our point of view, the amounts paid in shares by the citizens of the related cities of the agglomeration are, in a very large proportion, significantly higher than those of Montreal for agglomeration services,” stated ASM president and Montreal West Mayor Beny Masella.
The ASM is even seeking input from the provincial government on the matter in the event that the city of Montreal cannot come to an equitable agreement with the ASM.
“We, therefore, ask the City of Montreal to review its position and broaden the scope of discussions in order to find a method of calculation that is fair, equitable and acceptable to all. Otherwise, we are asking the Quebec government to appoint an independent mediator to resolve this impasse,” said Masella.
The association also contends that suburban cities are excluded from the budgetary process as “mayors are discouraged that despite promises to improve the active participation in the municipalities linked with each step of the budgetary process with the Agglomeration Committee, we have found ourselves once again with a budget prepared in advance with no room for improvements.”
Masella also commented as demographically, the ASM represents about a quarter of a million residents, “it is essential to review the current formula establishing the distribution of the bill of agglomeration services that related cities must pay. This outdated and inequitable formula is no longer acceptable and needs to be reviewed and improved before the next budget year.”
Representatives of the ASM’s Finance Committee will be analyzing the City of Montreal’s budget to determine whether the association will support it.