Kirkland Mayor Michel Gibson reflects on 2019

With 2019 coming to an end, The Suburban has been checking in with area mayors to talk about projects for the coming year, tax increases, REM and dealing with city of Montreal’s agglomeration committee.

The city of Kirkland has several projects in the work for the coming year, with one of the biggest being the eventual residential development on the Merck Frosst property.

To date, the city has held two roundtables with area residents “because we want them to be part of the process to see what will be developed there,” Mayor Michel Gibson told The Suburban.

There is no builder presentation for the site yet as “that is not our priority just yet, as we want the residents to be informed and part of the process.”

The city will also have a universal park ready for next spring that will be located near the arena and will be a first as it, along with a neighbouring splash pad, will be adapted for the handicapped.

When asked about local tax increases, Gibson said that the final budget will be tabled by mid-December but giving The Suburban a hint, Gibson said that for taxpayers “it will be good.”

Relations are not as good with demerged West Island municipalities and the city of Montreal’s agglomeration council “since we have taxation without any representation. When Mayor Valerie Plante was first elected, there were several committees created to hopefully reform the agglo taxation reform, but when they realized we were paying too much, they backed off.”

Gibson said he and other members of the ASM (Association of Suburban Municipalities) have reached out to the provincial government “to bring Montreal to the table because there has to be a better solution other than going after the taxpayers, our residents.”

Regarding the REM project, Kirkland’s main priority is to ensure that “for us, the parking issue is resolved but we are still in limbo in that situation.”

Gibson said that the REM project is in talks with the owners of Fairview for parking approval for eventual light rail users, “and we need to be part of that discussion.”

Another important priority for the city this coming year will be creating even more programs for Kirkland seniors as programs have been introduced and there is an interest for more.

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