Deputy Mayor: Recreation Plan falls drastically short

MORRISBURG – Fifty-eight people attended the July 20 in-person reveal of the draft South Dundas Recreation Master Plan at the Morrisburg arena.

Along with the six panel display summary of the plan set up by the consultant from Monteith Brown, 15 participating existing South Dundas recreation and community groups set up a display expo promoting each of their respective organizations.

Director of Parks, Recreation and Facilities David Jansen was pleased with the participation of the recreation groups.

“It’s good to get all these like-minded people here in the same room,” Jansen told The Leader.

Asked for his thoughts on the draft plan presented, Jansen said: “I like it. There are many recommendations – big and small– that are achievable for the community.”

“I think the input from the surveys and the stakeholders is well-represented in this plan.”

While this plan advocates for new/ improved amenities, including a refurbished Iroquois Civic Centre, Iroquois Splash Pad, and expanding basketball and skate park opportunities throughout the municipality, it provides arguments rejecting the community’s will for new amenities such as swimming facilities, indoor multi-use recreational facilities/indoor walking track.

Asked if he thinks this document will limit South Dundas’ ability to successfully apply for grant/ government funding opportunities, Jansen said that every funding opportunity is different and this plan offers both big and small projects for which South Dundas could potentially receive funding.

“This is a strong guiding document,” said Jansen. “What this document does is provide us with and update, which reflects current trends.”

South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds attended the July 20 meeting but refrained from commenting on the plan.

South Dundas deputy mayor Kirsten Gardner, who also attended the meeting, said: “Recreation is important to our residents. While there are some key elements in this plan that work, there are so many key elements missing.”
“At this point, the plan falls drastically short of what the intention of this exercise was,” added Gardner.

South Dundas chief administrative officer Shannon Geraghty said that “This plan is the community plan.”

As such, the municipality continues to want citizens feedback.

“We want to know what you like, and what you don’t,” said Geraghty adding that this document is a living document.

A summary of the draft South Dundas recreation master plan is available online (www.southdundas.com) or at the South Dundas municipal office. (The full 160 page document is also available in both places.)

“Any feedback can be emailed to us or feel free to reach out to staff to chat about it,” added Geraghty. “We are open to all of your feedback.”

Feedback will be received and compiled until August 3. The plan is slated to be presented to South Dundas council for approval at a special meeting in August.

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