MORRISBURG – The RFP process is underway for the refurbishment of the Iroquois and Morrisburg water towers, but before they can proceed any further municipal staff need direction from council about colours and logos for the water towers.
While no final decision was made at Monday’s regular council meeting, members of council did agree that white towers with bold lettering with the town names – Iroquois and Morrisburg was their preference.
While South Dundas councillor Donald Lewis said he would like “the Indian head put back on the Iroquois tower,” South Dundas deputy mayor Kirsten Gardner strongly disagreed.
She spoke about Orange Shirt Day which just took place in schools September 30th.
The day honours children who survived residential schools and remembers those who didn’t, recognizing the harm the residential school system did to Indigenous children.
“There were 150,000 kids in these residential schools that existed until 1995. Our kids are learning these stories. I strongly recommend that we move past that part of history,” said Gardner, adding that she has been told that symbol isn’t even authentic Iroquois.
Byvelds suggested that the towers be kept simple because simple can be economical.
He said that the Canadian Tire logo should not be on the Morrisburg water tower and the Indigenous symbol should not return to the Iroquois tower.
“Some in Iroquois are attached to it, but my personal opinion is that we need to move past that. That symbol is disrespectful to Indigenous people and I am willing to consult with Chief Benedict about it.”
“I’ve never thought of the Indian head as disrespectful or demeaning, but maybe it’s time we get past that part of history,” said South Dundas councillor Archie Mellan.
Councillor Lloyd Wells spoke at the end of the discussion saying that he agrees with the mayor that the towers should just be white because white is the cheapest colour. He would entertain the idea of the municipal logo being part of the design, but only if it doesn’t cost a lot of money.
“We’re in the business of providing water, not in a water tower beauty contest,” said Wells.
Given council’s suggestions, a couple of options will be drawn up by staff for council to choose from at a special council meeting Thursday.