Before the former Morrisburg Collegiate Institute is transformed into a new municipal and health centre, it and the surrounding area will become a construction zone.
In preparation for the upcoming construction, municipal officials have had to re-locate the crossing guard on Ottawa Street and divert those students who walk to school from the east, away from the St. Lawrence Medical Clinic parking lot.
“We don’t want the kids walking through a construction site,” said Stephen McDonald, South Dundas chief administrative officer. According to he and South Dundas clerk Brenda Brunt, the municipality has been trying to work with the school to choose the best route and to inform students and parents of the needed changes since about June.
The new route the municipality has chosen for students has gotten a lot of attention and raised concerns among some of the parents whose children are now crossing Ottawa Street at Second Street.
They are concerned with the danger of having the children walk along one of the town’s busiest roadways along a sidewalk that is nothing more than two painted lines from the corner to Trillium Street.
Second street is the street which includes the school bus loading zone for Morrisburg Public School, is used by many parents who drop their children off at school, and is also home to the Morrisburg arena, Dundas County Food Bank and the office of the South Dundas fire chief.
The painted lines that denote a sidewalk run between Second Street and the length of the Morrisburg Arena parking lot.
Parents are especially worried about how the new route will be maintained during the winter months.
According to Brunt, this route was not the municipality’s first choice, explaining that they wanted to leave the crossing guard where she was, at the intersection of Alice Street and Ottawa Street. Students would enter the school yard there, through a gate that is unlocked only during the time when the crossing guard is on duty.
However, the board would not agree with this walking route.
Brunt says the reason she was given by the board is that the board would be required to install a sidewalk for the students.
School board officials were contacted for comment on the matter but declined saying only that this entire matter is the municipality’s responsibility.
“This was all done in consultation with the Upper Canada District School Board and the school’s principal,” said Brunt.
Nevertheless, the municipality has implemented a number of changes to help ease the transition to a new walking route for area students.
A new cross walk has been painted on Ottawa Street, parking barriers have been installed in the arena parking lot, no parking signs have been painted along Second Street, which will soon have signs that limit the no parking regulations to school hours, and temporary road blocks have been set up at both ends of Clinic Road to eliminate any through traffic.
In an effort to help the children become familiar with the new route township staff were out over the last week guiding children along the route and keeping them from passing through areas that will become part of the construction site. They too were available to speak to the parents and explain the reasoning for the changes.
Asked if more crossing guards would help the situation Brunt said, “We believe we have sufficient crossing guards to get the children safely to school.”
“Construction will commence shortly and safety of the children is first and foremost,” reads a staff report to council.
“This, guys and dolls, is the Private Eye,” says private detective Harry Monday at the end of Monday Always Leads to Murder.
Then, with a flourish, he holds up the Egyptian jewel that has been the source of two hours of murder and mayhem in Pat Cook’s comic whodunit set in New York, 1939.
The 15th Iroquois-Matilda Lions’ play, Monday Always Leads to Murder, which ran at Upper Canada Playhouse April 26-28, scored another major hit for the cast and for the Lions’ Club.
For the cast of 12, who has been in rehearsals for the production since January, the three day run was the culmination of a lot of hours of hard work and dedication.
Judging from the audience laughter and cheers at all four performances, it was definitely worth it.
The cast brought to life a collection of colourful characters, all of whom appeared to have their own reasons for landing in Harry’s seedy office on a spring day in 1939.
Pop (Bill Rumble) was definitely more than just a “know nothin’” custodian.
The enigmatic Pearl Van Beesley (Joan Mann) was clearly interested in a lot more than just a play about Harry’s life.
Miller Bannister (Brian Speer), fearful client, and Desmond Sloan (Jim Mustard), ham actor, had a lot more up their respective sleeves than undershirts. So did Veronica Reynolds (Ruth Robertson), the weepy actress, who may or may not have been as confused as she claimed.
Professor Hamadan (Donna Swank) experienced a major, very final surprize in Harry’s office.
Two comic burglars (Pat Goetz and Sam Decker, who also played Horace Barnstable) came to steal a priceless jewel but left with Harry’s wooden desk chair.
The very sultry Courtney Delecroix (Margaret Swerdfeger), was definitely after more than just Harry’s…heart.
Lt. Brogan (Glenn Swerdfeger), one of New York’s finest, couldn’t figure out which murder suspect he should nab.
Sol Johar (Barry Fawcett, using one of his very unique accents) arrived to collect a poker debt, and ended up knee deep in corpses.
And detective Harry Monday (Rick MacKenzie) had to survive bootleg hooch, gunshots through his window, burglars in his office, dead bodies on his desk, the enmity of the police and Sol Johar’s prophetic statement, “I’d like to report a murder. Somebody shot my car.”
Albert Dejong, prompting for the first time ever, did not lose his mind or his cool.
The office set for the play, designed by John Thompson, featured an impressive New York skyline. Sean Free, technical director at Upper Canada Playhouse, handled sound and lighting effects. Donnie Bowes, artistic director of UCP, and his entire staff, remained supportive and endlessly helpful throughout the run.
Club members (under Jim Locke) built and later struck the set: others handled publicity, programs and tickets, posters, photographs and video taping, as well as ushering duties.
Stage manager Diane Fawcett kept props and actors under control during the production, while some truly outstanding volunteers handled make-up and wigs and catered great food for the final reception.
Wendy Gibb directed the show.
Although the final tallies are not all in, Monday Always Leads to Murder, should net the Lions nearly $15,000.
Combined with past shows, the Iroquois-Matilda Club has raised nearly $200,000 through their theatre productions.
Funds from this show, as has always been the case in the past, will be channeled back into local Lion charities and into the Club’s many community works.
South Dundas manager of public works Hugh Garlough submitted the department’s monthly activity summary for the March 20th South Dundas council meeting.
In the summary, he reported that “Robinson Consultants have been asked to give us a life expectancy for both landfills.”
The current South Dundas landfill sites are the Church Road Landfill and the Matilda Landfill.
During the March 5th budget meeting, Garlough introduced the landfill life expectancy into the discussion. It was suggested that a new garbage policy may be necessary depending upon the “life” left in each of the landfills.
On March 27th, Garlough reported that Robinson Consultants Inc. are currently “completing the 2011 year-end report. In that report, we will get a projected life expectancy for each of the two landfills.”
“The residents will be affected as we will have to transport our household and any other garbage to an approved landfill site, as well as a tipping fee.”
“The planning will begin when we know for sure what our life expectancy numbers are,” continued Garlough. “Options we have already considered are having our household garbage contractor dispose of the garbage as part of the contract.”
“More options will be considered as we get closer to the end of landfill site life,” he added.
Chief administrative officer Stephen McDonald reported that another possible solution to a short landfill life expectancy is a “100,000 cubic meter expansion in Matilda.”
He said, “we don’t have any other sites once those are filled to capacity.” In that case, McDonald pointed out that the township would have to look outside South Dundas for disposal options.
Once the Robinson report is in, McDonald said the township will have “a better handle on where we need to go in terms of restrictions.” Until then the garbage policy remains the same.