BY SOUTHGREY.CA STAFF — Last November, the Township of Southgate officially applied for funds to renovate the Dundalk Olde Town Hall. It was hoped that the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) grant, which serves to provide provincial and federal funding for community, culture, and recreation projects, could go a long way to seeing this project to fruition.
"We were thrilled to find such a well-suited grant for our Culture Hub Renovation/Rehabilitation at the Dundalk Olde Town Hall project," said Samantha Parent, one of the organizers of Team Town Hall, consisting of ten dedicated volunteers with a much larger group of working supporters/volunteers ready to help. Something that makes our group unique is the age diversity we have as well as new residents and old alike. The local advocacy group worked with staff and members of Council throughout the entire application process and according to Parent, were able to have a great amount of input. "We believe we have put forward our best application. All we can do now is hope we are recipients of this funding which would cover up to 73.3% of the overall project cost.
Dundalk Olde Town Hall seats approximately 220 people.
News of the application's success or failure could come in June but Team Town Hall is not just sitting on their laurels, waiting for the outcome. They have been using this time organize themselves and get ready for the launch of a fundraising campaign and everything that will entail. Fundraising events began in March with what was to be the first of many held this year and although it came off without a hitch, further plans were somewhat thwarted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the meantime, the group has posted a petition to support the cause. With a goal of 1,000 signatures, the petition is fairly close to reaching that target. It is hoped that this initiative will show the Township a level of support not previously displayed, something Samantha Parent has already experienced. "(There have been) many amazing comments on the petition," she said. "We also have gained an email list from our petition of supporters we can contact." To add your name to those who have already supported the project, visit the Change.org online petition.
Team Town Hall will be soon turning to the community for support, looking for creative and inventive ways to pull together a large scale fundraising campaign in the community. At the moment, there are three ways to show your support with a little cash-for-the-cause: etransfer to email@example.com; in person at the Dundalk Credit Union to the Team Town Hall account #174556; or mail a cheque to the Township of Southgate with a memo for the Olde Town Hall project.
Efforts to get the community excited about reviving the building have been underway since 2014. Momentum for the project has been slow to achieve but recent news is promising. A website is also in the works with online promotional material to follow. There's a good chance we'll see and hear more about this local effort in 2020.
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