Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac Secures Additional $8 Million for Dike Renovation

In a significant financial boost for Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, Mayor François Robillard announced the successful acquisition of an additional $8 million in funding from the Quebec government. This increase brings the total grant to $48.8 million, earmarked for the essential strengthening, elevation, and waterproofing of the city’s dike.
For two years, intense negotiations have persisted between Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac and the Quebec government over the funding for the dike renovation project. Initially, the city was slated to receive $40.8 million but has now secured $48.8 million, covering 89% of the total costs and interests incurred since the commencement of the works.
A major point of contention during the negotiations was the ownership of the dike. The Ministry of Environment, Fight Against Climate Change, Wildlife, and Parks demanded that the city assume ownership – a proposal initially refused by the city. This stance was rooted in the belief that the new dike was a replacement for the one established under a 1978 agreement with the government.
Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, facing financial pressure, had to undertake a temporary loan of $40.8 million to finance the dike works. The loan’s interest payments, initially $60,000 per month, doubled to $120,000 by early 2022 due to rising interest rates. This escalation in costs necessitated a resolution to prevent further strain on the city’s finances.
After prolonged discussions, the Quebec government initially proposed an increase of $750,000 to the grant, bringing it to $41.55 million. However, this offer failed to cover the accruing interests. Further negotiations led to the government’s agreement to increase the grant to $48.8 million, contingent on the city accepting ownership of the dike. Reluctantly, the city agreed to this condition.
Mayor Robillard expressed disappointment over the transfer of dike ownership but emphasized the need for responsible management to prevent financial risks to the city and its residents. He expressed pride and relief in securing an additional $8 million over the initial grant. The mayor also highlighted that the dike, now a municipal structure, will require the city to bear maintenance and repair costs. He stressed the importance of government collaboration, given the dike’s location in the Quebec hydric domain.
With the additional funding and resolution of ownership issues, Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac can now move forward from this challenging chapter in its history. The city’s residents and administration can look ahead to a fortified and secure future, thanks to the collaborative efforts and persistent negotiations that have culminated in this substantial funding increase.