South Dundas council grants storage deal to Seaway Surge

Unused space in the lobby of the Dundas County Archives building will become winter storage space for the Seaway Surge’s baseball equipment following a decision by South Dundas council September 25. Pictured above, is DCA archivist Susan Peters outside the archives building in this 2021 photo. (The Leader/file photo)

MORRISBURG – Against staff’s judgement and recommendation, South Dundas council unanimously agreed to lease storage space to the Seaway Surge baseball club.

South Dundas mayor Jason Broad, who is president of the Seaway Surge, declared conflict of interest so he did not participate in this decision.

The request from the Surge made by Matt McCooeye on the club’s behalf, was to rent the lobby area of the Dundas Archives building in Iroquois from September 2023 to March 2024 for sorting, labelling and sorting baseball equipment used throughout SDG.

David Jansen, director of parks, recreation and facilities for the Municipality of South Dundas in his September 25 report to council said: “Staff do not recommend renting the space out to the Seaway Surge, giving seven reasons for the recommendation.

Among those reasons is the fact that: “the building does not currently meet building code requirements to have two or multiple tenants within the building.”

Jansen also pointed out that this decision could be precedent setting as it provides taxpayer subsidized storage space for about $0.50 per square foot when typical market rates for similar spaces would be upwards of approximately $13 per square foot.

Nonetheless, South Dundas councillor Danielle Ward argued against the staff recommendation. “It’s not being used. I have no problem renting a room to a community group,” said Ward. “I would like to see us get some revenue rather than no revenue.”

Councillor Tom Smyth agreed. “Revenue helps offset cost,” he said.

Councillor Cole Veinotte explained that he is concerned about the precedent and the fact that doing this takes business away from private storage companies who offer the service. However, in the end he decided that: “some revenue is better than no revenue.”

“Staff has their direction,” said South Dundas deputy mayor Marc St. Pierre who had assumed the Mayor’s chair for this discussion.

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