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Opinion

Perspectives by Rev. Janet Evans

 

New Path for 2012

“I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year-give me a light that I might tread safely into the unknown, but he said put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

These words have been used by me several times before in this column, and I always find them inspiring.

As we walk into 2012, may we indeed place our hand into God’s hand–our Lord will comfort, sustain and guide us as we travel along life’s journey.

What will 2012 bring? We do not know.

Have we made any New Year’s resolutions–perhaps we have done this! 

We would do well to offer compassion to someone who is hurting, who has asked us for help.

Perhaps we could resolve to feed the hungry, uplift the ill, visit the lonely.

We can forgive those who have shattered our lives and maybe another individual will forgive us when we have said we are sorry for making a mistake.

In the coming year, may we draw closer to God and to one another. May we remember that “the old things are passed away. Behold! I make all things new.” (Revelation 21:5).

We can in 2012, become new beings, set on a new path. God teaches us to believe that the life before us in the new year is part of His plan and will unfold for us as it should if we are prepared to accept His guidance.

Rev. Janet Evans, 

Iroquois United Church

 

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No Picture
Sports

Novice B Lions win Winchester tournament

 

The South Dundas “Pizza Hut” Novice B Lions continued their tournament success by winning the “A” Championship at the North Dundas Demons Novice B Tournament last Tuesday. In the championship game the Lions defeated the tournament host team Demons, 6-2 while in preliminary action the Lions defeated Smith Falls 3-2 and South Stormont 3-0.

With the tournament title on the line, the Lions faced their county partners the North Dundas Demons. 

The Demons came out early and put the pressure on the Lions and were able to grab a 1-0 lead one minute in. 

With the Lions on their heels, goalie Brendan Shaver had to come up big to keep the lead to one. 

The Lions got going late in the first and Nolan Henry tied the game, 1-1, with only 13 seconds left. 

Ben Lapier started the play at his own blue line and made an excellent pass to Henry who stick handled into the offensive zone and beat the Demons goaltender.

In the second period, the Lions had the momentum to take the lead they would not relinquish. 

Joshua Broad set up Kayne McCadden as he went top shelf for the 2-1 lead, and moments later Lapier struck from the slot on a pass from Owen Fetterly for a 3-1 Lions lead. 

Sitting out the game was defenseman Emytt Fetterly, so Spencer Barclay, Cassidy Bilmer and Trent Rae had to pick up the extra ice time.

In the third, the Lions iced the game with another three counters. 

Trent Rae started a play in his own end, getting the puck to Joshua Broad who made a breakout pass to Kayne McCadden which sent him on a breakaway where he would score again.

Off the centre ice draw, McCadden got the puck and broke in on the Demons goalie beating him for the third time, a “hat trick” goal. 

Lapier rounded out the Lions scoring before the Demons netted one late for the 6-2 final. 

Kayne McCadden was selected for the game MVP award and the Lions were crowned tournament champions.

In their second game against the South Stormont Selects, the Lions grabbed an early lead and then left the rest up to goalie Brendan Shaver who was extremely strong in the Lions cage making several point blank saves. 

With the score 2-0 on two goals by Ben Lapier, Selects Owen Carter stick handled to the slot and ripped a shot glove slide that Shaver snagged. 

The Selects continued to pressure Shaver who made three saves on a scramble in the blue paint. 

The Selects out shot the Lions, but Shaver made all the saves for his second shutout of the season. 

Kayne McCadden scored a power-play goal in the third to round out the scoring. 

Assists went to Lapier, Owen Fetterly and Nolan Henry.

Brendan Shaver earned his forth tournament game MVP award in only his eighth try this season. 

In the tournament opening game, the Lions faced off against the Smith Falls Bears and once again fell behind 1-0 in the first period before Joshua Broad dug the puck out of the corner after it hit the referee’s skates and centered a pass to Ben Lapier who scored with a shot on the ice. 

The Bears grabbed a 2-1 lead, before Joshua Broad and Kayne McCadden hooked up on the same line with Kolby Latulippe to score on back to back shifts. 

McCadden grabbed as loose puck in the corner after a Spencer Barclay rush and centred it to the slot where Broad was standing all alone. 

Broad held the puck until the goalie went down and then shot it over him into the open net. 

Moments later Broad would grabbed a loose puck in his own end and banked a pass off the boards to McCadden who went end to end to score the game winner.

Joshua Broad received the game MVP award.

In three tournaments this season, the Lions have earned the “A” Championship in North Dundas, the “B” Championship in Gananoque and they were the “A” Finalist in Finch, losing the “A” Final in overtime.

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No Picture
News

Year-end money matters

 

“We do appreciate staff’s due diligence in working with numbers,” said Mayor Steven Byvelds at the December 20th South Dundas council meeting.

He was referring to the three end-of-year reports from the township’s Treasurer, Shannon Geraghty: Year End Surplus/Deficits; Tax Write Offs for 2011 Taxation Year; and, Budget Amendments for 2011.

The second report requested the write-off of $88,446.89 for the 2011 taxation year. According to Geraghty, the number breaks down into $624.55 in residential write-offs and $87,822.34 in commercial write-offs.

He also reported that: “an amount of $75,000 was set by council in the approval of the final 2011 budget and therefore we are over budget by an amount of $13,447, which will be financed through the operations budget.”

The third report asked for council’s approval on $26,950.55 worth of amendments made to the 2011 budget during the year. 

The amendments consisted of the following previously approved expenditures: $2,000 to the Morrisburg Lions Club; $1,000 to the Iroquois Plaza Celebration; $6,086.70 to fix the Roof Top of the Iroquois Civic Centre; and, $17,863.85 to fix the Roof Top/Heat Exchanger for the Justice Building in Morrisburg.

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No Picture
News

Heritage signs for South Dundas

 

“The services of the militia of Dundas County and sister counties deserve an honoured place in history, and in no better way can we cherish the memory of  those fellows than by paying tribute to the spot on which they fought and bled for their country,” wrote J. Smyth Carter in 1905.

Bill Shearing referenced this quote during his proposal to South Dundas council on December 20th where he recommended that council erect four signs along County Road 2 recognizing specific historical events connected to the War of 1812. 

“Our township has much forgotten history,” he said, “especially with the War of 1812.”

While council agreed with Shearing’s reasoning and historical documentation, they decided that Shearing needed to do more research into possible funding for the  signs as well as options for sign construction and design.

Councillor Evonne Delegarde was very supportive. “I think that would be nice to have,” she said, reminding council that “it’s going to be a great year for tourism.”

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News

South Dundas council takes stock: looking back over 2011 and looking forward to 2012

 

“We won’t change South Dundas overnight, but we do need to grow. How we grow is something that we will all have to work on,” said Steven Byvelds during his first year end review as Mayor of South Dundas, just 12 months ago. 

On December 16th, Byvelds had the opportunity to discuss and report on just how much South Dundas has changed in the past year, good or bad, and what council’s plans include for 2012.

Old High School

The refurbishment of the old high school, according to Byvelds, was and continues to be the big news item for this particular South Dundas council. He reported that, for the most part, he is hearing good comments from the public. 

Byvelds revealed that council is looking forward to the completion of the project, saying, “it holds great promise and hopefully we don’t hit too many roadblocks.”

He reiterated council’s stance on the reasoning behind the project, saying, “this building (in Williamsburg) was in theory a temporary building.” In any case, he also pointed out that council’s needs have “outgrown” the present building.

In terms of how this move will affect Williamsburg, Byvelds admitted that “from a municipal point of view, it will be good. From a Williamsburg point of view, it’s another thing leaving.”

He suggested that council will “work with them (residents) to see what we can bring here” to Williamsburg.

Byvelds admitted that, most often, South Dundas residents remark on the seeming favoritism toward Morrisburg and Iroquois. 

He reminded reporters that “council is always concerned that we have to think of all of South Dundas.” However, “we aren’t really growing as a community. Morrisburg and Iroquois are growing.”

Budget Talk

In terms of tightening the belts in 2012, Byvelds said, “it will be a little tighter of a year. Economically when things change in the world, we have to recognize that as a council, and work within those parameters.”

“Going forward, we’re certainly going to have to look at our budget. We don’t have the growth or the high income jobs.”

“I don’t see us overspending, but we have to do what we have to do to not get behind.”

For example, “we want to do something in Industrial Park (in Morrisburg). We think that is a good investment. We need to invest to get that going.”

He finished the discussion on budget concerns, reminding reporters of two things: “we’re in a very healthy fiscal position,” and, “growth has to pay for itself.”

Iroquois Golf Course

“It’s one less thing that we as council have to worry about,” said Byvelds, referring to the Iroquois Golf Course and the lengthy controversy that surrounded it.

“I think we were as open as we could be concerning that.” Referencing public meetings devoted to the issue, he continued, “we gave people an opportunity to voice their concerns.”

“They have a two-year lease there. They have the possibility of looking at development. It’s their business. They’ve paid their bills.”

“From a municipal point of view, we were looking at another 50 grand easy and we weren’t prepared to do that.”

Improvements

In discussing some of the improvements made during 2011, Byvelds talked about the boil water advisory protocol that was initiated. He referred to the drinking water and wastewater systems being upgraded and he talked of the study being done on the storm drain systems.

“Hopefully it will not only be better for the community, but it will hopefully drive more people into the community.”

Jim McDonell

Byvelds was asked to comment on how he thought the election of PC Jim McDonell would affect South Dundas considering that the province is run by a Liberal Premier.

Byvelds responded, saying, McDonell “will have his work cut out for him. It was easier for Jim Brownell. 99 per cent of rural MPs are progressive conservative. It will have its challenges. The money is not going to flow as easily. He has a tougher row to hoe.”

Byvelds reminded reporters that he would be attending the Rural Ontario Municipal Association conference in February and, he noted, “the Premier will be there that day.”

Working as Warden

Byvelds assured reporters that he did not let his decisions as Warden for the United Counties interfere with his responsibilities as Mayor for South Dundas and, vice versa.

“When I’m for South Dundas, I’m thinking about what is best for South Dundas,” he said.

Byvelds pointed out that “lots of systems within our society are trust. You’ve got to have some trust in society.”

New Fire Chief

In January 2011, a new fire chief was hired, uniting the three South Dundas fire stations of Morrisburg, Iroquois, and Williamsburg. Byvelds stated: “Fire Chief McDonough has really done a good job. He’s getting our three stations working on the same page. Chris has brought a lot of expertise in fire prevention and how things should be done on scenes.”

“It’s been fully demonstrated that when we have to work with other municipalities that we have one point person. As council, we needed that,” he explained.

In assessing the new South Dundas Fire and Emergency Services, Byvelds said, “I think we’re starting to sinc up. It was an investment we had to do. It was just the right move to do. We did our research.”

He maintained that the decision was based on safety, not politics.

Byvelds pointed out that “after a year, we haven’t heard any significant negatives.”

Council’s Objectives

Byvelds maintained that council’s objectives have been and continue to be “reinvestment, to not raise taxes, and to keep community involved.”

He advised patience, saying, “You can’t expect those 10 issues to be dealt with in one day.” He wasn’t referring to any issues in particular, just the speed at which issues get resolved.

Byvelds believes that “overall, council has worked well together.”

He admitted, “we don’t always agree,” but, he continued, he would be concerned if they did always agree.

Attendance at Meetings

When asked how he felt about the low turnout of residents at the regular council meetings, Byvelds pointed out, “they’re always concerned for the most part, but if they feel things are going well” then they don’t feel the need to show up.

Strategic Plan

Byvelds told reporters that “the strategic plan will be rolled out in the new year. Council is hoping that the community does get involved.”

He hopes the plan is “steered more by the community rather than by the council.”

“Give us an idea of where you want to go with South Dundas,” he invited.

He pointed out that this plan is meant to cover all of South Dundas, including the smaller rural communities. He also said that council wants to hear from “everybody, not just the special interest groups.”

According to Byvelds, council is interested in learning about the attitudes of South Dundas residents and what it is “they want to grow in South Dundas.”

He would remind everyone: “It’s not council’s plan; it’s your plan.”

In Summation

There were “a lot of good things” in 2011. As Byvelds pointed out, the Iroquois Golf Course situation was resolved, council successfully completed their first budget, and council reinvested in the community.

Looking ahead to 2012, Byvelds admits that the “budget is going to be a challenge.” He and council want to “reinvest in the community without bankrupting the community.”

He maintains that it is important to “always have a vision.” And, in addition, he wants council to continue being open  to new ideas from staff, as well as from the community.

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No Picture
News

Funding for funerals

 

It’s the topic many prefer not to discuss: death and funerals.

At the December 20th South Dundas council meeting, it was brought to council’s attention that there are many within South Dundas who are in need of financial assistance when it comes to funeral costs.

Deputy-Mayor Jim Locke, referring to local funeral homes who, at times, provide funeral services at basically no cost, said, “private businesses shouldn’t be expected to provide social assistance as the norm.”

Councillor Jim Graham agreed, saying, “I certainly think indigent funerals are our responsibility, not the responsibility of the funeral homes.”

“It’s our responsibility to look after our residents be they rich or poor,” he continued.

Mayor Steven Byvelds agreed and it was decided that the township should look into setting up a reserve fund for the purpose.

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No Picture
News

Getting it right: boil water advisory protocol

 

“A lot of people didn’t even know it had happened until it was over,” said South Dundas Councillor Evonne Delegarde, in reference to the Boil Water Advisory in August.

On December 20th, Chief Administrative Officer Stephen McDonald put forth a final version of the new Boil Water Advisory Protocol. Discussion ensued and it was eventually decided that more work needed to be done on the protocol, leaving the motion deferred until a later date.

The report included lists of establishments to be notified, lists of places to mount warning advertisements, and lists of media to be contacted in the event of another emergency situation. 

It was also suggested that a database of resident contact information be compiled so that people might be contacted via phone, whether by township employees or by a paid outside source.

After reading the report and listening to McDonald’s recommendation, Delegarde pointed out, “a lot of elderly don’t get out” to see posted signs in the community.

She told council: “my preference would be to go door-to-door right off the start.”

Councillor Archie Mellan reminded council: “the first few hours are probably the most critical.” He maintained that “whatever (method) is the most thorough and the quickest is the best, in my mind.”

Council discussed the positives and negatives of several methods  for conveying critical news to the residents of South Dundas. 

In terms of telephone versus door-to-door, Mayor Steven Byvelds said, “most young people don’t use land lines anymore and most cell phones aren’t listed. Door-to-door is our best and most economical option.”

McDonald reminded council that “our response is contingent on how many people we have available to do it.”

Deputy-Mayor Jim Locke suggested the Lions Clubs as possible volunteers to help in such a situation.

It was agreed by everyone that a resource base of volunteers would be a very valuable tool. The  underlying idea being that the more people on hand to spread the information, the quicker people are informed. 

In the end, McDonald agreed to come back to council, in January, with revisions to the protocol.

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