The Ministry of Finance has released the education rates for 2012. With this, the three numbers needed to decipher this year’s municipal taxes are complete and property owners can expect to pay a slight increase.
“By my speculation,” said South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds on Tuesday, “it will be just over three per cent, but I can’t be 100 per cent positive without all the numbers.”
“There’s a small decrease from the South Dundas end.”
The Township of South Dundas completed their 2012 budget deliberations on March 12th while the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry completed their budget on March 19th.
Byvelds pointed out that “the Counties had a 3.1 per cent increase and ours is 3.5 per cent.”
To determine the amount to be paid out by a residence for the education portion of the tax bill, South Dundas treasurer Shannon Geraghty provided a comparison example:
• A 2011 assessment at $149,090 equates to taxes of $344.40.
• A 2012 assessment with phase-in at $157,260 equates to taxes of $347.54.
The education rate, determined by the Ministry of Finance, is standard on all assessments regardless of school board, whether it be public, Catholic or French Catholic.
As explained in the March 14th edition of The Leader, each home’s taxes are affected by the Municipal Property Assessments.
There has been a 5.48 per cent average increase on assessments due to the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation’s four-year phase in.
What all of this boils down to is an approximate overall increase of just over three percent in municipal taxes for South Dundas.
Visitors to the Port of Johnstown Embayment project in Riverside Heights will quickly discover the habitat creation initiative has helped more than just the local fish species. Representatives from South Nation Conservation offered tours of […]
They are all widows who visit the graves of their late husbands once a month.
However, do not let that rather melancholy fact keep you from attending the wonderful Ivan Menchell play, The Cemetery Club, which opens at Upper Canada Playhouse on Thursday, September 5. To do so would result in your failing to meet three of the most colourful, funny and lovable characters ever to grace the Playhouse stage.
Director Donnie Bowes has said that The Cemetery Club will be an evening of “pure pleasure that will make you glad that you went to the theatre.”
He likens the women in this production a little to The Golden Girls, an enormously popular television show of the 1980s and early 1990s. This is not surprising in that the author of the play, Ivan Menchell, wrote for situation comedies, and uses the almost episodic approach common to sitcoms with The Cemetery Club.
“The play develops over a series of events,” Bowes said, at a recent press conference. “There is a strong story line which draws audiences in as they share the widows’ journey toward life changes during the play. There are plot surprizes, some touching, some hilarious, and certainly the punchy lines and dialogue very common to the best sitcoms.”
Audiences can be assured that this will be an outstanding production simply on the basis of the talented and distinguished cast Bowes has brought together for this show.
Returning to the Playhouse Stage are Linda Goranson, Patti Kazner and AnnaMarie Lea (with a special appearance by Brenda Quesnel).
Joining these veteran stage actors is Doug Tangney, well known to Playhouse audiences. Tangney’s widowed Sam, according to Bowes, “stirs the pot a bit,” when he makes the acquaintance of Ida, Lucille and Doris.
AnnaMarie Lea, who now hales from Alberta, has impressed and entertained Playhouse audiences in several past productions. Her Lucille is “very shy – NOT! Lucille lost her husband 18 months earlier, but she is determined to get out there, to move on,” Lea laughed, hinting that her rather flamboyant character has “money, so she’s had some work done. She’s gives the impression of a ‘merry widow’, but perhaps, in the end, that is something of a facade.”
Linda Goranson, as Ida, has just completed the enormously successful run of No Sex Please, We’re British. “Ida is two years a widow,” Goranson explains. “She has only recently begun to toy with the idea of moving on in her life, not simply closing herself off. Ida, Lucille and Doris have been friends, oh forever, despite being in this slightly horrible ‘club.’
We laugh a lot, we do things together, we actually all love each other a lot despite our differences.”
As Doris, Patti Kazner, known to UCP audiences for her performances in On Golden Pond and Maggie’s Getting Married, among others, “lost her husband, Abe, nearly four years ago. Probably Doris is the one who is ‘most addicted’ to these graveside visits, to the idea that by going to his grave she can still somehow be with Abe. Their late husbands still remain part of each woman’s life.”
“Sam is a catalyst,” Doug Tangney said. “The play is about the journey of the ladies, but meeting Sam changes the direction of that journey. The group balance is upset by this widower of two years.”
Sean Free has designed the very versatile, very unique set for this production. Because it is such a key part of the play, Free has developed a set where the cemetery can “be incorporated as a surrounding element to the main living room set. Lighting (also designed by Free) is very important in this show,” he explained, “to contrast between the inside and the outside scenes.”
“Yes,” added Bowes, laughing, “Sean and I have been negotiating lighting and set placements. Friendly negotiations mostly.”
The cast of The Cemetery Club clearly love the characters they portray in this classic production.
Audiences will soon share that love.
For tickets to the final production of the Playhouse summer season, contact the UCP box office at 613-543-3713 or toll free at 1-877-550-365
The final notice has been received and the Helping Hand, a mission of the Pentecostal Church, has until October 17th to vacate its location in the old Morrisburg High School, where it has been a source of clothing for those in need for the past 11 years.
Unfortunate, but true, the Helping Hand used clothing depot, answers a very big need in South Dundas and the surrounding area with an average of 2000-2,500 visitors benefiting from it each year.
The fact that the Helping Hand has to vacate is not a surprise as they were put on notice way back in 2009, that they were in their location on a monthly basis. With the upcoming renovation to the historic high school building to house an expansion to the St. Lawrence Medical and the South Dundas Municipal offices, the monthly basis has ended and the Helping Hand is closing.
The problem is that since they were put on notice of the eventual loss of their location they have been unable to find a new location that would be rent-free, or at the very least, very cheap.
“We have a lot of people not happy about it,” says Pentecostal minister, Rev. Duncan Perry. “But we can’t afford to go somewhere else. We have a couple thousand dollars (donations) a year coming in, but that is not enough to rent.”
“We don’t want to locate in the mall, and the only other building in town is the former St. Lawrence Parks building.”
According to Rev. Perry, that building is in such poor shape it is no longer an option, and he understands the Food Bank will replace the County Library in its lower level arena location should the library move to the high school, once renovated.
“I was really hoping they (municipality) would give us half of the bottom of the arena,” says Rev. Perry. “But I understand that it is going to the arena staff for a workshop/storage. It would have been a perfect fit for us.”
“We’ve been open for 11 years, and we are averaging 2,000 to 2,500 people a year. The $2,000 we receive in donations (goodwill donations from those who benefit from the Helping Hand, and donations from the community) is put back into the community.”
Recently, money was donated to the Breakfast Programs at Seaway High and Morrisburg Public Schools. “We’ve also given a lot to the Food Bank over the years.”
“People have come to us and told us that if we weren’t (Helping Hand) here, they didn’t know what they would do. The clothing donated to us is top notch and we made a decision at the start, that if we wouldn’t wear it, it wouldn’t be used.”
“One lady has been using it over and over through the years to clothe her children.”
“Those are the kind of stories we hear every week.”
“It is really amazing what we have done locally, and we’ve sent truckloads of clothes overseas when we couldn’t handle it all.”
The Helping Hand is run by volunteers and there is no charge for the clothing, although visitors can make goodwill donations.
“We have helped people from all over. We wish we could keep it open, we really do. It’s too bad, and I understand the town doesn’t have the money for a building.”
“I do believe the number of working poor is getting larger. It’s unfortunate we need a place like this but we do. If there was a place found, we wouldn’t even think about shutting it down. If they would reconsider letting us share with the Food Bank that would be ideal.”
That, however, according to Rev. Perry, is not an option at this time, and the Helping Hand is preparing to close by the October 17 deadline. Arrangements have been made for representatives from Agape in Cornwall to visit the facility, with the hope that they will be able to take the clothing.
Located at 40, Fifth Street West in Cornwall, the Agape Centre runs a Food Bank, Soup Kitchen and Thrift Shoppe.
South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds says he is appreciative of the service the Helping Hand provides to the community. “It’s unfortunate, but hopefully they will find somewhere in the community.”
Byvelds confirmed that the long-term plan is for removal of the former Parks building. “That building is done, and we are only spending what we have to, to keep it going.”
He says there has been some discussion of moving the Food Bank to the arena location, but the discussions are very preliminary and nothing is decided and nothing can or will be decided until the final plans are in place for the high school.
Those plans, are for the St. Lawrence Medical Clinic to occupy the first floor (ground level) and the municipal offices to occupy some or all (if necessary) of the second floor. Once these two entities are accommodated then the remaining space, including the third floor, will be considered.