Although no deal or plan has been struck with Transport Quebec regarding a noise barrier along Highway 20, Beaconsfield will send out a questionnaire to homeowners to gauge if they are willing to pay directly for a potential project.
Last week, council approved an explanatory letter to be sent to about 850 residents south of Highway 20 regarding steps to be taken regarding the possible installation.
Councillor Wade Staddon, who has met a few times with a focus group regarding a highway noise wall, said the letter addresses the cost citizens might have to pay through a local improvement tax, a scenario brought up earlier this year.
“It’s basically to ask people who live in the area how they feel about paying for this through their taxes,” he said.
“It’s not official notification of a local improvement tax, but it’s basically getting their opinion on it.”
Depending on where people live, the amount of a local improvement tax could be staggered, depending on how much residents benefit from any noise reduction, Staddon said, adding he hopes residents respond to the city’s letter in short order.
“This is not a commitment,” he added. “It’s more to gauge how people really feel about it. Are there enough of them willing to make that kind of commitment, which is rather substantial in order to do this.”
A local improvement tax could be levied over 10 to 20 years. “It’s hard to know until we have the actual bill,” Staddon said.
“This (letter) just kicks off the process, to say to the minister people are serious about doing it and are willing to pay for it. It sets us off on another long, tedious road to see if anything actually comes of it,” he added.
Staddon said Transport Quebec is willing to look at using alternatives to concrete for a sound wall.