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CN overpass project slated for this summer

This summer local traffic will experience delays as work takes place on the County Road 1 railroad overpass north of Iroquois.

SDG Counties Council awarded the $698,000 tender for the bridge rehabilitation work at their May meeting.

Carlington Construction Inc. was awarded the contract.

South Dundas deputy mayor and county council member Jim Locke said that the rehabilitation of the bridge will see it reduced to one lane, controlled by traffic signals for 14 weeks.

He reported that the work will take place this summer and that the municipality of South Dundas will receive notice when a start date is set.


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Seaway athletes exceptional EOSSA results

“There were  63 teams taking part at the 2015 EOSSA track and field competition held at Thousand Islands Secondary School in Brockville May 21-22,” said track coach, Mark Lewis. “Seaway ended up 14th in the team standings. We sent just 13 participants. For that many athletes to go to EOSSA and do so well is really impressive.”

The Seaway team numbers may be small, but there is little doubt that they are ‘mighty’. The results of the two days of competition tell the story.

David Swerdfeger took first in the Men’s 300 Meter Hurdles Midget,  (43.78), first in Men’s Triple Jump Midget (12.05m) and fifth in Men’s Long Jump Midget.

“David had another great day. He won the hurdles Thursday night by 30 meters or 3 seconds, which is a lot,” said Lewis. 

“He won the triple jump very, very convincingly with a jump of 12.05 m. And he was one centimeter off his personal best in the long jump. He simply had a really big day out there.”

Maggie Wells had outstanding results in her events. She placed second in Shot Put Junior (11.22 m), and third in discus throw junior (30.55m). 

Grant Wells qualified in 1500 Meter Midget (4:36:68) and 3000 Meter Midget (10:00:39). “Grant ran his personal best in both those events,” said Lewis. 

One surprise for coaches Lewis and Lindsay Waddell (described as a “track coach extraordinaire” by Lewis) was Sid Sideratos’ showing in Men’s Shot Put Midget. He placed second with 12.61m. 

“Sid actually posted a personal best of a half meter,” said Mark Lewis.

Julenea Barnhartd placed fourth in Women’s Long Jump Midget (4.42m) while Jaycie Maville came 6th in Women’s Shot Put Midget (9.6m).

Kaitlyn Stewart was 5th in Women’s Long Jump Junior  (4.55m) and third in Women’s Triple Jump Junior (10.24m)

Cassie Hummel placed third in Women’s Javelin Throw Junior (25.48m).

“I was really impressed with how these kids competed,” said Lewis. “They had a competitive mind set, they focussed on technique and they went out there and did what they had to do. We had these great results up and down the board.”

Seaway is sending eight athletes to the eastern Regionals May 28-29, also at TISS. 

If they are successful, four could move on to OFSSA competition: the stakes for Seaway are high.

“We have some kids who I feel have a good shot,” said coach Lewis. “Our kids are young and they listen. They are focussed on technique and on race strategy, and they go out there and get the job done. They’ve ‘overcome’ a lot of coaching this year,” he added laughing.


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Williamsburg Cigars play their way to Casey at Bat finals

Much to the delight of the hometown fans, the Williamsburg Cigars lit up the diamonds at J.C. Whitteker park in Williasmburg over the weekend, playing their way into the Casey at Bat Memorial Fastball tournament finals Sunday afternoon.

“I knew we had a pretty good squad going into the tournament, but I didn’t expect us to have three shutout games,” said Lyle Schell, tournament organizer, and captain of the Williamsburg Cigars. “It was the first time on the diamond for us, so I was very happy with the outcome.”

In the opening game of the weekend-long tournament, the Cigars shut out the Lyn team 8-0. The winning pitcher was Cory Alkerton with relief pitcher Trevor Lahey.

In their second game of the tournament the Cigars played to another shutout, this time winning 10-0 over Eastons Corners. Trevor Lahey was the winning pitcher.

The Cigars third game of the tournament was their closest game, playing to a 7-6 win over Peterborough. Again, Trevor Lahey was the winning pitcher.

The Cigars three wins put them into the semi finals against the Napanee Juniors where they again shut out their competition, this time 6-0. Winning pitcher was Jason Smith with Cory Alkerton in relief.

In the finals, the Cigars chances at the title were snuffed out by Donnacoa handing them their only tournament loss, 6-1. 

The Williamsburg roster included Dan Loney, Kevin Williams, Christian Knapp, Cory Alkerton, Matt Alkerton, Bobby Jack Hart, Jamie Smith, Jason Smith, Jeff Hannah, Trevor Lahey, Lindsay Medynski and Lyle Schell.

Christian Knapp was named tournament MVP.

The tournament opened with a ceremonial first pitch by former Williamsburg councillor and South Dundas mayor Robert ‘Rowdy’ Gillard, who started his political career in the 1970s being mentored by tournament namesake Casey Schell.

After the ceremonial first pitch, the host Williamsburg Cigars gathered to present a donation of $1,200 to the Dundas County Hospice.


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Plowing ahead to UCV spring planting weekend and 2015 IPM

 An Upper Canada Village media event held May 21, gave 2015 SDG International Plowing Match and Rural Expo chair Jim Brownell the opportunity to mark something off his bucket list.

“I have always wanted to do this,” said Brownell who took his turn at the reigns of an Upper Canada Village Canadian horse team.

The demonstration was held to promote spring planting weekend at Upper Canada Village which takes place May 30 and 31. 

During this weekend, the importance of agriculture will be demonstrated. 

Twelve teams of horses and oxen will be working the fields. In addition to the Village’s teams of Canadian horses, and working Devon Oxen, teams from the region have been invited. Those include Percherons of Marwin Antoine, Belgians of Brent and Christina Christie, Clydesdales of Don and Cheryl Cook, Belgians of Gabriele Lacavalier, Percherons or Ron McMillan, Percherons of Alan Moulton, Belgians of Roy Sherrer and Belgians of Jake and Sam Wensink. 

A variety of horse drawn equipment will be on site courtesy of Walter Hambleton and Mary Hume, and Upper Canada Village.

At last week’s media event, St. Lawrence Parks Commission, Upper Canada Village and IPM officials drew attention to the important partnership formed between the SLPC and IPM. 

Bookings for hotels and campground spaces throughout the region are starting to fill up as thousands of visitors plan to attend the SDG IPM which takes place near Finch, September 22-26.


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SDG downloading snowplowing services

The United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry and the lower-tier municipalities within it are working on agreements that will change the snowplowing service to some area roads.

In April, SDG’s eight contract plow routes expired. 

Rather than re-tendering the routes, the SDG is proposing to contract certain roads to local municipalities. This will eliminate the need for three contract trucks, and even with the compensation that will be provided to municipalities for their services, a savings of $165,000 could be realized over the five year contract term.

“There will be changes in the level of service,” said South Dundas manager of public works Chris Bazinet. Local municipal roads have a lower minimum maintenance standard than County Roads, so the roads changing from Counties to municipal snowplowing services will see a lesser level of service.

Those roads likely to change hands in South Dundas are County Road 4 (Lakeshore Drive), County Road 1 (Carman Road) south from County Road 2, and County Road 40 (Stampville Road). 

South Dundas would receive about $20,000 financial compensation. 

Two sections of County Roads in South Dundas will see new snowplow service providers if this plan comes to pass. The United Counties of Leeds and Grenville will take over plowing SDG County Road 2 from Marine Station Road to County Road 1 and SDG County Road 18 from Byker Road to County Road 1. In exchange, SDG will plow a Leeds and Grenville section of County Roads 43 and 20.

“The proposed plan represents a significant change to the winter maintenance operations and will result in measurable savings with minimal impact to the overall service provided by the County,” said Ben deHaan, SDG County Roads engineer. 

“It’s a great plan,” South Dundas deputy mayor Jim Locke told South Dundas council when he provided his regular County council update to South Dundas council, May 19th. “It’s common sense.”

South Dundas mayor Evonne Delegarde added that Riverside Drive is being considered for a change in service too. She said that it would be plowed by the Counties rather than the municipality of South Dundas. 

If that happens, Riverside Drive residents are likely to see a higher level of service than in the past.


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Roadside weed spraying commences May 20th

As part of the Region’s vegetation management program, the Counties, Township of North Dundas, Municipality of South Dundas, Township of North Stormont, Township of South Stormont and Township of South Glengarry will be spraying noxious weeds with approved herbicides along pre-selected county and municipal roads. 

The work is scheduled to start on May 20th and should be completed by June 30th; however the schedule and progress greatly depends on the weather conditions during this period.

Information about the program, roads which will be treated, how to erect “no spray” signs and daily updates can be found on the County website at

 The main purpose of the Weed Control Act, R.S.O. 1990, is to reduce the impact of noxious weeds on the industries of agriculture and horticulture. 

Wild Parsnip was added as a Provincial Noxious Weed in 2015.  SDG had designated Wild Parsnip as a Local Noxious Weed in 2013.

In spring 2015 the counties will also be undertaking a weed audit of all county roadsides to confirm the effectiveness of the program and to document new weed pressures within agricultural areas. 

“The program which will be undertaken targets unmaintained rural roadsides where the proliferation of these weeds can impact adjacent fields.  The roads that have been selected for treatment are roads with the highest weed pressures,” said Benjamin de Haan, Director of Transportation and Planning Services, for the United Counties of SDG.


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Nine Mile Wind Project reports to South Dundas council

A second wind development company courting municipal support for a project proposal was presented their project to South Dundas council at the May 19th meeting.

On the agenda were James Murphy and Ryan Ralph of Invenergy, North America’s sixth largest renewable energy generation company.

 Murphy is the vice president of business development and Ralph is the senior manager of business development for the company headquartered in Toronto. Invenergy Canada is based in Toronto.

The purpose of their presentation is to update council on the Nine Mile Wind Project being developed in the municipalities of South Dundas and North Dundas.

Option agreements have been secured with 30 landowners for the Nine Mile Wind Project.

This is the second wind energy company to make a presentation to South Dundas council. Municipal support is an important criteria in the new competitive energy procurement process, although project decisions are made by the province.

At present, the previous South Dundas council deemed this municipality, ‘not a willing host’. However, this newly elected council has decided that they are open to seeing what these projects are proposing before taking a stance on future wind generation projects.

South Dundas’ current position states that proposals will not be considered unless there is a demonstrated need for energy.

Both companies presenting to South Dundas council are contending that there is a need for increased wind power generation.


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Local Bike-A-Thon Plus to raise funds and awareness of Children’s Treatment Centre

Awareness of the Children’s Treatment Centre is slowly spreading across Dundas County, largely thanks to the annual Bike-A-Thon Plus fundraiser now in its seventh year.

For the last six years, lawyer Doug Grenkie – along with a team of supporters – has organized a smaller-scale version of Cornwall’s Bike-A-Thon Plus in Dundas, generating donations to maintain the centre’s counselling services for abused children and their families.

“The Children’s Treatment Centre treats all the counties and Cornwall the same, and Akwesasne too,” said Grenkie. “We all have to chip in and do our bit.”

The Bike-A-Thon will be back this year, with walking and cycling events in both North and South Dundas on Saturday, May 23.

“The community is really talking about it and rallying around it,” said Grenkie.

Grenkie has some help at the helm this year, with fellow lawyer Leslie Ault and North Dundas mayor Eric Duncan lending their support.

Duncan participated in fundraisers for the Centre in the past, but came to realize the need for a contribution specifically from Dundas.

“We have a lot of not-for-profit organizations that have a physical presence in Cornwall but struggle to let people know in the counties,” he said.

Duncan said he believes the Bike-A-Thon is as much about raising awareness of the Children’s Treatment Centre’s services in the area as it is about raising funds.

“We have a responsibility,” he said. “People are more likely to support it if we have a local event … It raises the profile.”

“I am amazed that so many families in Dundas are helped by the CTC, but how few Dundas County citizens are aware of the centre’s activities,” added Ault in an email.

While Dundas is so far the only county to host its own fundraiser, Duncan said he hopes Stormont and Glengarry residents will soon take notice.

“Hopefully we can play a leadership role and show it can be done,” he said. 

The coordinators are also hoping for a sunny day and an increase in turnout from last year’s 60 participants.

“There’s more interest this year than ever before,” said Grenkie, noting the local Lions and Leos Clubs will again be helping with registration and checkpoints along the bike and walk routes.

Cyclists can check-in starting at 10 a.m. at the Lion’s pavilion, Winchester Arena, North Dundas High School or the Morrisburg Docksyde. Those in the northern township will head to the Chesterville Fairgrounds, while those in the south will circle back to the docksyde. 

Walkers will head out from the North Dundas High School or the Morrisburg Docksyde and join the bikers at their destination. Refreshments will be served at 1 p.m.


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Gardening for Groceries


Lesley Johansen knows how important fresh fruit and vegetables can be in any one’s diet. And she also understands that good, fresh produce can often be beyond the financial reach of many families in this area.

“About a year ago, while I was working at the House of Lazarus,” Lesley explained, “I was living in a cabin in Mountain. At the time, I found myself in a very tight financial situation where I needed to turn to the Dundas Food Bank. I realized then that Food Banks often don’t have fresh fruit and vegetables on hand.”

Three months ago a plan to help remedy this situation came to her.

“I thought, what if people who gardened planted an extra row in their vegetable gardens, then took what they raised in that row and donated this overflow to the Food Bank? Most gardeners end up with more vegetables than their families can use anyway, and often give this extra produce away. Why not give it to the Dundas Food Bank, or the House of Lazarus?” She contacted both organizations, and organizers are excited about her plan for “Gardening for Groceries,” and very willing to take in all the fresh produce she and the community can supply them.

Lesley would be the first to admit that she is just a novice gardener herself, but she has already started a garden plot in the backyard of her home, and intends, like many more seasoned gardeners, to get her plants in on the upcoming long weekend. She did research for her Gardening for Groceries project, and discovered many sites that provide advice and information for gardeners who would like to help provide healthy, fresh food alternatives to Food Bank clients.

Some local businesses have already donated tools, started plants and seeds for starter kits for Food Bank clients who might like to plant a vegetable garden themselves.

If this project takes off, Johansen has some long term goals in mind. “In the long term, I would like to set up a year-round facility to grow produce locally. I found an amazing company called Freight Farms which actually uses re-cycled transport trailers, which they turn into a hydroponic system, basically an indoor garden in a trailer. This system allows the production of leafy greens, in particular, which can be grown in a 4-7 week cycle, year round. It is totally suited to even our Canadian climate. Such a system already exists in Cornwall called Smart Greens, and they can hardly keep up with the interest.”

Knowing that fresh produce is often not available, or very expensive and outside the budgets of the working poor, Johansen is seeking help to put healthy food on all dinner tables in this area. She knows that Food Bank clients would appreciate food grown locally, by neighbours, rather than products trucked in from thousands of kilometres away. She hopes to make it as easy as possible for gardeners getting on board with her Gardening for Groceries project, to get their overflow produce to those who would most appreciate it.

“People can take their garden produce directly to the Food Bank. If they mention Gardening for Groceries, that food will be weighed and a record kept to gauge how the idea is catching on. I will also be personally arranging for once-a-week pickups, going around the community and gathering fruits and vegetables.”

Her phone number for pick-ups is 613-282-0660. People can also go to to find out more about the project, or to make a donation, money which will then be spent in local food markets. Interested visitors can also check out

“The idea of this project is to help the people in our community,” Lesley Johansen said. “We hope to accommodate what is seasonal in our pick ups. And no donation of fresh produce is too big or too small for us. I will be glad to pick up any produce that people want to donate.” 


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IPS Entrepreneurs come home with a prize


“It was a tough competition,” said Derrik Jansen, a member of the Iroquois Public School team which entered the May 1, 2015,  Innovation. Creativity. Entrepreneurship. competition held at Kemptville College. “And nerve-wracking. I did a lot of speaking.”

“The three judges asked every team really hard questions,” said team member T. J. Barnhardt, echoed by fellow students Liam Adams and Brett Fodey.

The students, under the guidance of their teacher, Madame Chantal Lacroix, took their project, Make the World A Better Place, an innovative, eco-friendly website, to the Upper Canada District School Board sponsored I.C.E. event. They came home with $300 to help keep their not-for-profit business project up and running.

Judges for the junior category of the competition included: McKenna Modler, an UCDSB student, a cancer survivor and a fund raiser who raised $130,000 for cancer research; Sandra Lawn, former mayor of Prescott; and Adrian Harewood, co-host of the CBC Ottawa’s Nightly News.

The Iroquois team was first up of the nine competitors. Under the rules, they had to present their project, demonstrate its possibilities and answer any questions put to them by the judges, as they tried for the $500 top prize. While Mme. Lacroix was present, she could not, per the rules, assist the boys in any way during their ‘sales pitch.’

“Adrian Harewood asked the hardest questions,” said Derrik. “One was, how do you measure success with a face book page?”

“Then he asked us to explain what age group our web site would appeal to and why,” added Liam.

“We really had to think up there,” said T.J. “Since we were first on stage, we couldn’t even see how other teams handled their questions.”

“But the judges were tough on every competitor. They didn’t take it easy on anyone,” said Brett.

The project chosen for first place was a Kids Garden, which targeted farmers. The IPS students also found a project proposing a solar panel phone charger very interesting.

The Iroquois team will use their $300 prize towards t-shirts and stickers, which will help promote their on-going website. They all agree that “other kids should get involved in a competition like this.”

“We’d like to enter again, although we will need to develop a new idea,” said Derrik, “but for right now we are focussing on our website, Make the World A Better Place.”