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Starting Jan. 1 2008, Montréal’s municipality of Westmount will maintain its own water and sewer systems.

The move will save tax payers about $200,000 per year, according to city managers.

The City of Westmount decided to cancel its contract with Dessau-Soprin after two years of using the company to perform routine and emergency maintenance on its water and sewer systems.

Westmount, and other former cities that voted to de-amalgamate from the city of Greater Montréal, had to take over some services - including the water system -0 provided by the city both before and after amalgamation.

CUPE 301 and the City of Westmount have negotiated a sidecar agreement to cover the new personnel who will be doing the maintenance work. Calling the agreement a “key step”, the city’s website “thanks union officials for their commitment to reach this mutually acceptable agreement”.

The city’s coalition for public water, Coalition Eau Secours praised the decision. The coalition had waged a long campaign to keep the services public. Coalition president André Bouthillier said “Contrary to what the Iron Lady of Québec, Mrs Jérôme-Forget, and her very conservative boss would like everyone to believe, our calculators were not broken.”