Council begins building review and proposed four-year plan

SOUTH DUNDAS – With the goal of beginning a broader discussion about the buildings owned by South Dundas, council tackled a proposed four year work plan for updates and renovations.

The committee of the whole meeting, the first of the new term of council, took place December 11th at the South Dundas Municipal Centre.

A committee of the whole meeting is a different meeting format than a regular council meeting.

Other than opening and closing the meeting, no motions or bylaws are passed. The meeting allows for more discussion between members of council and staff on issues presented.

At this meeting, the first of several planned before the 2019 budget process, director of recreation and facilities Ben Macpherson presented his proposed four-year plan for upgrading and maintaining buildings.

Macpherson’s four year plan comes from the province’s changes to the asset management plan system.

The responsibility for an AMP for municipal buildings has been made a municipal rather than a provincial responsibility.

The plan, as presented, had the bulk of repairs and rehabilitation occurring in the first two years.

“We’re ahead of the game,” said Macpherson regarding the planning process.

Previously, Engineering For Industry, an engineering company, was contracted to conduct inspections of all municipal buildings as part of the AMP process.

A few buildings owned by the municipality were not discussed in the lengthy meeting. Those included the Dunbar Community Hall, which was only built six years ago, and the Iroquois outdoor rink building, which council had discussed on December 4th.

The plan has an estimated cost of $437,000.

Over $300,000 of the plan would take place in the first two years on seven buildings.

In year one, Matilda Hall, Carman House, the Iroquois outdoor rink building, and the Brinston archives building all would be tackled, costing over $200,000.

Work on the interior of the Iroquois Civic Centre, and the Service Ontario building would be the focus of year two.

The George Jowlett Hall in Riverside Heights would be done in year three of the plan, the South Dundas Justice Building in Morrisburg in year four.

A tenth building, Forward House in Iroquois, was on the list but with no estimated cost nor recommendation made.

“We need to meet with the friends group,” said Byvelds. “If the building can be saved, and there is a use for it, great.”

Gardner added that the municipality can support the project in many ways besides financial, including helping the friends group apply for certain grants that would help with repairs and restoration.

A deputation from the Historical Society of South Dundas and its Friends of the Forward House subcommittee plans to present to a council meeting in January 2019.

Since you’re here…

… Thanks for reading this article. Local news is important. We hope that you continue to support local news by reading The Leader, online and in print. Please consider subscribing to the print edition of the newspaper. Click here to subscribe today.