Council considering greenway donation, want to hear from ERCF first

 

By Ron Giofu

The town of Amherstburg considered donating $100,000 to the Essex Region Conservation Foundation (ERCF) for the Cypher Systems Greenway but will wait for a report instead.

Town council opted to wait for more information, also wanting to hear from foundation representatives, before formally committing any dollars to the greenway, the trail linking Amherstburg and Essex. Essex has already donated to the project and Councillor Rick Fryer suggested Amherstburg also contribute.

Fryer originally made a motion, which he later withdrew in order for the town to get further information, for Amherstburg to donate $100,000 to the greenway project. He said the project is worth $1.1 million with $700,000 of the work taking place within Amherstburg.

Despite the Cypher Systems Greenway not being officially open, Fryer said it is already being used. It will be a great addition to the town and its families, he believed.

Cypher Systems GreenwayWEB

Amherstburg council debated whether or not to give $100,000 to the Cypher Systems Greenway. The sign that is pictured is near an entrance in Essex.

“It’s just fantastic,” he said.

Fryer, represents the town on the ERCA board of directors along with former deputy mayor Ron Sutherland, suggested the money come from the 2016 operating surplus, but director of finance/treasurer Justin Rousseau cautioned that the year-end financial work has not been completed as of yet. The town could have a $300,000 operating surplus, Rousseau noted, and while it is trending in that direction, that is not a final number.

Councillor Jason Lavigne said he would want to see complete numbers from the foundation, which is the fundraising arm of the Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) before he supports a $100,000 funding request, though Lavigne noted he is in favour of the greenway itself.

Both Lavigne and Mayor Aldo DiCarlo noted the funding put in by the Cypher Systems Group, believing that was to cover the costs of the greenway construction. Fryer said there were “cost overruns” and that the money would offset deficits in the project. Lavigne said he would like to see what the shortfall is and know that the money would be going towards that.

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