South Dundas three-way tourism deal inked…with new partner

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 has found a new partner, Job Zone, for a three-way deal with the municipality to have a temporary summer employee hand out tourist information at the chamber office. Council agreed to the deal and its $2,000 commitment on July 21, 2015. (Cornwall Newswatch/File)

SOUTH DUNDAS – A three-way deal to have a person provide tourism information in South Dundas during extended hours has been inked.

It was thought the original $6,000 project was dead after the Morrisburg DBIA turned down the deal with the South Dundas Chamber of Commerce and the municipality.

In an earlier interview with Cornwall Newswatch, Coun. Bill Ewing, who is the municipal representative on the DBIA, had indicated board had decided against the deal because it wasn’t within their mandate.

Council heard last week the chamber secured the interest with Job Zone, which will provide $8 an her for 12 weeks, based on a 30 hour week, for a tourism employee for the project.

A number of councillors felt the township had to do something this year but were also concerned with how tourism is being handled long term.

Coun. Ewing was concerned about too many gray areas. “We are hiring somebody to work inside the chamber building for information so we didn’t upset the chamber employees. Now were saying we’re going to have somebody out on the road…they’re either working in the building or they’re out on the road. It just keeps going ascrew (sic),” Ewing said.

“This is a dog’s breakfast the way we’re handling tourism,” Coun. Archie Mellan stated, “We’re all over the place. I want the chamber to do this because right now we’re not doing anything. We’re spinning our tires.”

Mellan reluctantly agreed to the $2,000 commitment for just this year saying the entire tourism season would be lost if the township didn’t do something. “We gotta fix tourism because we’re missing the boat.”

Coun. Marc St. Pierre agreed with Mellan. “This fall we’ve got to get our ducks in a row and figure out what we’re going to do to move forward,” he said.

Mayor Evonne Delegarde said the chamber, based on a report from the chamber manager, has logged 307 visitors and has handed out over 700 brochures since May 1 – the duties that would be covered by the new temporary position.

South Dundas Chamber President Carl McIntyre, who was in the gallery during the discussion, that the position has already been filled. McIntyre also indicated the travel time would be to deliver pamphlets to events – a minimal commitment. “Ninety-nine per cent of time will be spent in the office working on tourism,” McIntyre said.

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