South Dundas municipal officials have been taking a hard look at the Morrisburg Plaza, and know that it is definitely in need of a rehabilitation.
As owners of the canopy, sidewalks and roadways, upkeep of that infrastructure is the responsibility of the municipality.
Paint, general repairs, and replacement of damaged wood are some of the most pressing issues, when it comes to the appearance of the aging plaza.
In 2012, council set aside funds for some rehabilitation of the plaza, but not enough to get the work done, or even started.
“In 2012, the price to get the priority work done was $120,000,” said South Dundas chief administrative officer Steve McDonald, at a recent orientation session for council-elect. “Just to give you an idea, the Iroquois plaza project was $1.1 million, and we have $100,000 set aside.”
South Dundas manager of planning and enforcement Donald Lewis said, “What’s needed is not just aesthetics. There are other issues as well, and they are significant.”
The Iroquois Plaza project was funded through a one time grant from the Province of Ontario called the Municipal Infrastructure Investment Initiative.
Manager of public works Chris Bazinet then spoke about the difficulties that arise with the potential excavation of a 12 foot deep sewer line that runs along a section of the Morrisburg mall.
Bazinet, informed the group that the sewer work done at the plaza earlier this fall, when a large area behind a portion of the plaza was dug up for days, represents only about 30 per cent of the sewer work that needs to be done in the Morrisburg plaza.
He added that they have just completed a three month investigation of the area sewers, and that the deterioration of certain underground infrastructure is starting to present a service issue.
Morrisburg Plaza fund allocations will definitely be part of budget discussions which will take place in the new year.
“It’s time we look at imposing a special tax rate on the downtown sections,” said South Dundas deputy mayor Jim Locke.
That too will be a discussion for budget time.