Morrisburg DBIA is back

·2 min read

MORRISBURG – With a new board and renewed purpose, the Morrisburg Downtown Business Improvement Area organization is back.

The group, comprised of businesses from the Morrisburg Village Plaza, and affiliate members, held their annual general meeting April 28, choosing to move forward.

For the past two years with the COVID-19 pandemic, the DBIA has been stagnant. In late 2021, the group looked at the future to see if the organization should continue.

A BIA is a legal entity under the Ontario Municipal Act. It operates with a set geographic boundary, and uses a special commercial property tax levy collected by the municipal government for targeted improvements for that area. That can include marketing, events, beautification, and physical improvements.

About 20 people attended the DBIA AGM, and three out of the four board of management positions were filled. Kathy Moger from Cook’s Corner was acclaimed as the group’s president. Helen Derix, owner of Juli Fashion continues as vice-president. Marguerite Baker, owner of Barnfull O’Goodies is secretary. The treasurer position remains vacant.

The consensus among the business representatives at the meeting is the DBIA needs to hire a coordinator to handle the day-to-day work of the organization.

South Dundas CAO Shannon Geraghty said the municipality will assist with that, and help support the organization with what it needs.

The DBIA currently has about $53,500 in the bank, which was based primarily off the tax levy in 2020. The levy was suspended for the 2021 and 2022 tax years.

Councillor Donald Lewis, who serves as the council representative for the DBIA said he is happy to see the group continue.

“The plaza needs to have this group continue its work like it did before the pandemic,” he said.

South Dundas Economic Development Officer Rob Hunter outlined to the DBIA some of the things going on this summer. This included changes to the Farmer’s Market where the pop-up shops that were located on the waterfront last summer will move to the plaza this year. The fee for popup shops has dropped to $15 per day, and the extra insurance requirement dropped as it is already covered by the insurance for the market. Hours and days of operation for the market have also changed with the hopes of drawing more vendors and more traffic to the plaza and market area.

Looking ahead, concerns were raised about the physical state of the clock tower in the centre promenade of the plaza. Parking safety concerns were also raised. Geraghty said the group should discuss this with council.

Moger said she was looking forward to the DBIA getting back to its work and supporting the businesses in its area.

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Morrisburg Leader

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