We’ll be one-third partner: South Dundas wants Chamber, DBIA to chip in on tourism

South Dundas Chamber of Commerce President Carl McIntyre, back right, and chamber administrator Geri Fitzsimmons, second from left in a blue t-shirt, listen to the South Dundas council meeting May 19, 2015. The chamber and the Morrisburg DBIA are reviewing an offer from South Dundas to provide one-third funding for students at the chamber office for the summer to provide tourism information, provided both groups kick in one-third funding. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

MORRISBURG – South Dundas is willing to meet the South Dundas Chamber of Commerce and the Morrisburg DBIA one-third of the way for the summer tourist information season.

Council agreed Tuesday night (May 19) to give $2,000 toward a plan to have summer students provide tourist information during extended hours during the summer.

The money will only come from the municipality if the chamber and DBIA each kick in their one-third share.

The chamber had been asking for $6,000 from the municipality to hire summer students, who would work extended hours leading into the weekends at the Morrisburg Village Plaza office.

“I don’t think $6,000 is good value for the money…I don’t think it’s good bang for the buck,” CAO Stephen McDonald told council during opening remarks on his report.

McDonald said council had turned down a tourism funding request during budget time and the municipality had agreed to use the municipal center on Ottawa Street as the tourist information outlet. The report states that the Morrisburg DBIA office had already been designated as a location where tourists could get information as well as the chamber office.

“We got to look at the whole tourism thing before putting new ones up,” Jim Locke said.

“We have the information booth in Iroquois which we bury in snow in the winter. We have nothing up at the point where you might run into 15-20 cars at one time, an ideal spot for tourist information. We have nothing out at the dockside, where people would pull in at the waterfront,” said the frustrated deputy mayor.

Bill Ewing thought the matter should have been put off until the 2016 budget.

“I wasn’t real crazy about this when it was brought up,” Coun. Archie Mellan stated. The councillor was troubled with “yanking” $6,000 from somewhere after the budget had been finalized. But Mellan said he understood the importance of first point of contact with tourists and agreed to $2,000.

“The groups (chamber and DBIA) have good contact with the public,” Mayor Evonne Delegarde said. “The location, it goes without saying, the place where tourists migrate to, just because of grocery stores and their location in the front (at the Morrisburg Village Plaza),” she said. The mayor also thought the mall parking was conducive to tourists hauling trailers.

Partners mulling the offer

“We have no choice but to accept this decision,” South Dundas Chamber of Commerce President Carl McIntyre told Cornwall Newswatch outside the council chambers shortly after the decision. “We have a different stand, that’s all I’m going to say now, we have to digest it.”

Morrisburg DBIA coordinator Grace McDonough reserved comment on the decision “so that our board of management can go over it knowing they have all the correct details and then we will meet to decide how to move forward.”

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