Does South Dundas appear any different to you? One year after the current South Dundas council was sworn into office, an unprecedented amount of progress has taken place, improving how South Dundas’ government represents its citizens. That progress has been evident in three ways: people, infrastructure, and community.
There has been a concentrated effort to celebrate the work people do in South Dundas. This is evidenced by the new firefighter graduation ceremony, the new business awards community breakfast, and how quickly South Dundas council supported renaming a street after one of its community builders.
Improved community engagement has become a focal point. The youth engagement survey undertaken by South Dundas has highlighted much of what is needed here, and there are now economic development and tourism committees working on ways to attract new businesses to the community. Multiple consultations on hot-button issues like local schools and infrastructure have taken our voices into consideration. And the round of “Coffee with Council” sessions were a hit.
Many of the big infrastructure issues from the last municipal election have seen movement. One of the two landfill sites permanently closed in June, but South Dundas is on its way to a sensible landfill solution. What was a messy situation over the Iroquois Campground building has been deftly handled, with the construction of a replacement presently underway. Refurbishment, not replacement, is the plan now for the aging water towers in Iroquois and Morrisburg.
There are still issues. Not everything has been resolved as planned. The building code issues and subsequent renovations to Carman House remain ongoing. Just down the street, the Forward House is a building still looking for a purpose. The replacement of the floor at Matilda Hall was to be completed this year: it has not even been touched. Nor has the planned renovation/replacement of the Morrisburg Village Plaza clock tower occurred. All are straightforward projects, still sitting incomplete or ignored.
The overall theme of the first year of this council has been progress. That in-and-of-itself is refreshing. It is our hope that the council’s energy has not all been spent in the first year, and that we can look forward to more progress in South Dundas in each of the next three years.