Carmen House tenant’s brother ‘skeptical’ after Friday meeting; new reno plan to council Tuesday

South Dundas CAO Shannon Geraghty, left, speaks to Hans Bosman outside the Carmen House Museum in Iroquois, Ont. on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018 shortly before a meeting between the Bosmans and municipal officials. Heading in the door is South Dundas Planning Director Don Lewis. Another plan for Carmen House will be coming to council Tuesday. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

IROQUOIS – Things are looking a little more optimistic for Carmen House tenant Elly Bosman a day after she believed she was facing eviction from the municipally-owned Iroquois museum.

Her brother, Hans Bosman, revealed the municipality’s intentions during an election candidates meeting Thursday night. “Late last night (Wednesday), 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 before an audience of 170 at the Iroquois Civic Center.

CAO Shannon Geraghty, Planning Director Don Lewis and Coun. Archie Mellan met with the Bosmans Friday afternoon at the Carmen House – the first meeting between the two sides in 20 months, according to Hans Bosman.

The meeting lasted nearly an hour and when the parties left – both appeared to be optimistic about a future outcome.

“I think we’ve got a solution,” Don Lewis said. He declined to speak further on the issue because the matter could still head to court. Finishing Lewis’ sentence, CAO Shannon Geraghty said, “and we’ll bring it to council on Tuesday.” The Bosmans have indicated they are ready to hire a lawyer.

Hans Bosman told Newswatch he’s cautiously optimistic but wants whatever the municipality has planned in writing. He said the tone of municipal officials and their emails changed overnight from looking at eviction to wanting to work with Elly.

Bosman believes the municipality and his sister are looking at an “intern” arrangement rather than a landlord-tenant agreement.

“If she’s an intern then she can stay like being in an old farm house. If she’s tenant, they have to have all the codes in place. But if she’s an intern then it’s just like she’s an occupant of a building that’s in repairs and is going to be going through that process,” he said.

What’s on the table is the $93,000 in repairs, outlined in a new report, which would include a second storey exit from the east side of the building and it would also close off the existing staircase, Bosman explained.

The renovations would take “several months” where Elly couldn’t live there while the repairs are made and all the contents of the 1815 building, including hers, would have to be moved out, according to Bosman.

“I’m skeptical,” he said, adding that he’s worried the renovation plan might be cleverly disguised ploy to get her out of the building. “I’m 60 per cent positive,” he added.

The South Dundas council meeting starts at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16.