It was a sad day on October 7th when the Dunbar Recreation Hall was devastated by fire.
With sighs of relief and several shout-outs of “thank you,” the South Dundas council decided on December 6th that the hall will be rebuilt.
Until that meeting, local residents had been very concerned about the fate of the former hall. So much so, in fact, that they came out in droves to the December 6th council meeting to hear the council’s verdict.
Clerk Brenda Brunt recommended to council that they choose one of four options to determine the fate of the former hall. The first option was also the only one that allowed for the hall to be rebuilt on the same spot.
Deputy-Mayor Jim Locke quickly chose option one saying, “prior to the fire the building was not slated to close. We have full replacement cost insurance. We have a committed community group. I believe it’s an asset in that part of the township.”
Councillor Evonne Delegarde suggested council consider option two, “use the depreciated value of the building and put towards an existing building.”
Delegarde pointed out that while the building hadn’t been slated to close, it was also not being used very much. She suggested that the township building in Williamsburg would be available in the near future and could possibly become a replacement for the lost hall.
Councillor Archie Mellan, choosing option one, said, “these little communities make South Dundas great. They rally around their communities. They rally around South Dundas, and I think we should rally around them.”
Mayor Steven Byvelds also chose option one, pointing out that “it gives us our asset back and it is covered by insurance.”
He also pointed out that the well and the sewer on the site would need to be investigated. Should either require a lot of work and financing to bring to code, then “we’d have to come back to this because that could change things.”
However, at this time, Byvelds wanted to make it clear to the inhabitants of the hall’s community that “they are part of South Dundas, not part of Chesterville, and we want them to know they’re part of South Dundas.”
He concluded: “let’s take the opportunity and rebuild it.”