Some construction or renovation projects undertaken by citizens require the moving of municipal infrastructures such as a driveway access or a drain. The costs related to such work must be paid by the citizens concerned and they can be quite expensive. It is, therefore, important that citizens be well informed, as soon as possible, of the extent of the costs they may have to incur in this regard, in order for them to better plan their budget.

In the course of an investigation we conducted in Arrondissement de Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles, our office noticed that the preliminary bill given to the citizen, when his construction permit was issued, did not adequately inform him of the extent of the amounts he could have to take on, regarding the municipal infrastructure work: the preliminary bill only stated the minimum cost of work related to the driveways, an amount likely to be substantially lower than the actual cost to be taken on.

The actual cost of all infrastructure related work was communicated to the citizen only at the end of his project, in a final bill that had to be paid, before the borough would execute this municipal work: this final bill often caused a very bad surprise to the citizen. In the file we handled, the difference between the preliminary bill and the final bill rose to thousands of dollars.

Following our discussions with the borough, the content of the preliminary bill was modified. A new section “Forecast of the actual cost” was added to this bill. The borough now writes, therein, all the work it plans to do as well as a more realistic estimate of their costs. Moreover, the document gives notice that unforeseen costs can occur during the execution of the work and an approximate estimated surplus amount, for such contingencies, is also specified, with a note informing the citizen that: “It is still possible that the actual cost be higher than the said surplus amount indicated.”

These modifications address the concerns we had expressed in regards to the sufficiency of information given to citizens, from the very start.

By quickly and systematically making a more accurate estimate of the costs and by providing this information to the applicant requesting a permit in the preliminary bill, the borough better informs its citizens who as a result, are less likely to have a bad surprise when they receive the Final Bill.

We apologize but this Website is available in French only.