Rebuilding of Lac Mégantic bar mired in red tape

A ceremony will be held tomorrow to mark the start of the rebuilding of the new downtown Lac Mégantic, devasted by last year's train derailment and explosion.

The owner of the Musi-Café bar that was at the epicenter of the disaster says it's been tough getting the support and funding to rebuild.

But he adds he's relying on patience and goodwill.

Yannick Gagné said it's been a long ten months to get enough funding and support just to even get to this point.

"It's been frustrating, we went through a great tragedy and unfortunately we were caught in it, so it'll take some patience," Gagné told CJAD 800 News.

Gagné said the provincial election made for delays and bureaucracy made things complicated, such as landscaping and other things he had to pay for that he didn't at the old site.

Gagné said he still has debts from his old property and is hoping on getting a loan to help pad his expenses. In the meantime, he said negotiations continue with the Quebec government and the town to see how much more funding they can provide. He estimates he needs another half a million dollars after the one million that's already been earmarked.

Gagné said that he understands sometimes the hands of officials are tied by laws and directives, but that it's up to small businessmen like himself to make himself heard and to tell the different levels of government what's working and what's not.

Forty-seven people died in the July 6, 2013 rail disaster.

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