Eviction bombshell at South Dundas council candidates meeting

Around 170 people fill the Iroquois Civic Center for the second of three South Dundas all-candidates debates. Candidates received a bombshell during an audience question that the municipality is looking again at evicting its tenant at the Carmen House Museum. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

IROQUOIS – Candidates for South Dundas council had a bombshell dropped on them Thursday night with word the municipality is looking again at possibly evicting its tenant at Carmen House.

During questions from the audience, Hans Bosman said this is the fourth time the potential eviction of his sister from the municipally-owned museum has come up.

“Late last night, I received some emails from (CAO) Shannon Geraghty that they’re going to reopen the eviction notice and again, Elly (Bosman), might be leaving the Carmen House,” he said.

Bosman, directing his question to incumbents Evonne Delegarde (mayor) and Bill Ewing (councillor), wondered why the municipality was “starting all over again” with the eviction after it made a decision to fix up the building in March.

Elly Bosman has been the sole tenant at the museum for 27 years. In March, council reversed its decision to send her packing and approved $35,000 in repairs to the aging building at 5895 Carmen Road in Iroquois. The previous year, council had wanted to get out of the landlord business.

Mayor Evonne Delegarde appeared to be rattled by the question and tried to find words to explain why the money wasn’t spent. Forty per cent of the money has been spent on a consultant but nothing on bricks and mortar. Delegarde didn’t address the eviction action. During council meetings she has declared a conflict because she is a relative of the tenant.

Coun. Bill Ewing acknowledged he had also received some of the emails and said the $35,000 in work, approved in March, should be done “now.”

“I am of the opinion that we have allowed Elly to have use of that building for the past 12-14 months. After the eviction notice was put in, it was removed from the walls for the Carmen House to function this summer. We have accepted rent of Elly for this whole period of time. I’m of the opinion that she should be able to stay in that building,” Ewing said.

Bosman added that there’s a meeting tomorrow (Friday) at 2 p.m. at the museum to talk about this latest development.

Around 170 people were at the Iroquois Civic Center for the second of three Q&A meetings in South Dundas. The next one is Monday at 7 p.m. at the Upper Canada Playhouse in Morrisburg.