Councillor Bernie Corbett
Bernie Corbett is one of six elected councillors for Haldimand, specifically for Ward 6, better known as Dunnville and Canborough. As such, he is the go-to guy to get the skinny on what is going on around town. The Free Press was wondering how Dunnville is doing economically. With all these store closures, are we turning into a ghost town? To our surprise, when we met him in the Minga Restaurant, Mr. Corbett was optimistic about Dunnville's prospects.
"Oh, no. Those are just little "cavities." If you want to see problems, go to Welland or Barton Street in Hamilton. We are doing very well. The future is very bright for our town. The real estate market is one indicator that people from outside are crowding to come here. Many houses are sold within two or three days of going on the market. Plus, there is growth in the commercial sector. Jalmar Management will be opening up two new stores, one a drug store and the other a discount store, near Broad Street and Ramsey Road; construction for that just began. The Grand Country Garden Centre will be moving to that area soon, too."
Corbett mentioned that our hospital is a great attraction for potential residents. It will get even better after the planned construction of a new emergency facility on the hospital property -- where the old ambulance facility used to be -- is completed. The hospital is a major employer and provides the town with stability.
What is more, a new pathway or River Walk is about to be laid down to connect Wingfield Park with the bridge across the Grand. The Dunnville Horticultural Society has been very active in beautification projects that you can see as you walk through downtown -- with the help of a few grants and many wonderful volunteers. Similarly, local government grants are enabling the construction of two new apartments on Queen Street in the downtown area. Similarly, some of the success of the Mudcat Festival and the Dunnville Agricultural Fair is due to, again, grants and volunteers, many of whom come from the Chamber of Commerce.
Corbett went on to say that Counsel is presently considering how to coordinate the construction of the new farmer's market and the park to be built right beside it. We are determining whether to have a single contractor to handle both projects, or if it would be better to hire two more specialised concerns. Another growth area is the library, which sometime in the fall will begin construction of its new addition. This has been planned for almost a decade, but the federal grant was recently approved and as soon as that happened, we started moving forward on it. Even as we spoke, demolition of the neighbouring government building was going on.