Editorial: Over a decade of benefit

There have been few programs in South Dundas over the past decade that have been more successful than the $ for $ Capital Funding program. The program provides matching funds up to $25,000 from the municipality for a community-driven capital project located on municipal land. Allocations are approved at council’s discretion annually, based on an application process.

Many community recreation initiatives have benefited, aiding volunteer community groups to improve all areas of South Dundas. These improvements would never have happened without the support of the volunteer organizations – and the municipality.

In 2006, South Dundas council approved four groups to receive funding in the initial year of the program. Benefiting that first year were the South Dundas Soccer Association, the Galop Canal Revitalization/Iroquois Landing Marina group, Dunbar Recreation and South Williamsburg Recreation. That first group of projects built soccer fields, installed finger docks, repainted buildings, and renovated sites for handicap accessibility. Since that first year, many groups and projects have been aided by this program.

Among the many projects: the construction of the beach washrooms and a canteen at the Iroquois beach, and the subsequent renovation of the two 10 years later; the dog park, playground and splash pad in Earl Baker Park in Morrisburg; ball diamond fencing in Riverside Heights; repaving tennis courts in Williamsburg. These are just a few of the projects that have received support from this program.

The $ for $ Capital program has always been open to any community group in South Dundas willing to apply. Funds from the program are not the only money involved in any project. However they provide a vital form of support which has always been appreciated by hard-working volunteers.

The $ for $ Capital program was intended to pair community involvement with volunteer efforts. Consequently, it has been tied to projects that the community has made clear it wants. The determined efforts of volunteers, demonstrated by the funds they have raised, clearly reflect the strong community interest in, and support of, specific projects. Such volunteers have essentially “put their money where their mouths are.” If the community has thrown its support behind a specific project, the municipality owes it to everyone to fairly consider it.