Age catching up with Matilda Hall

The inside of Matilda Hall during a municipal all-candidates meeting on Oct. 14, 2014. The municipality is looking at long term investment in the hall after receiving a complaint about its condition. (Cornwall Newswatch/File)

DIXONS CORNERS – With more people renting out Matilda Hall, the Municipality of South Dundas believes some long term investment and improvements need to happen.

It comes after a letter of complaint was received by the municipality on Nov. 28 from Darlene Fawcett, a spokesperson for the social committee of the Matilda Pastoral Charge, after renting the building on Brinston Road.

Matilda Hall is at least 16 years old, bearing the name of the former township, before it was amalgamated with Williamsburg, Iroquois and Morrisburg in 1998.

In her letter, Fawcett detailed having to do “extensive” cleaning of tables with commercial cleaner, “filthy” floors with sticky residue and a number of electrical issues, including the tripping of circuit breakers while plugging in “leaky coffeemakers” that should have been trashed long ago.

There were also problems with hot water and the air conditioning when the group rented the hall in May 2014.

Fawcett questioned why her group should be paying the same rent for the facility as others when they had to go in and clean in.

CAO Stephen McDonald was very matter-of-fact when suggesting part of the problem is the people cleaning the building. “It’s cleaned by men…and men clean like men.”

Coun. Archie Mellan suggested bigger problems need to be addressed at Matilda Hall because the building is aging. He said, at some point, you can’t “clean something that’s old.”

South Dundas council has asked for a report from staff on “an analysis of the hall” and to consider next steps.

The municipality will also respond to Fawcett’s letter.

Mayor Evonne Delegarde said there will be significant investment in the Matilda Hall kitchen next year.

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