Aldo DiCarlo

Amherstburg receives “Five Blooms” from Communities in Bloom judges

 

The Town of Amherstburg received a 5 Blooms – Bronze rating and a special mention for Educational Value of Plantings during the 2017 National/International Symposium and Awards Ceremonies in Ottawa-Gatineau, National Capital Region.

The community also received an Outstanding Achievement Award for the Communities in Bloom Canada 150 Award (large community).

The Town of Amherstburg participated in the 15,001 – 50,000 population category along with Ontario municipalities such as Cobourg, Leamington and Orangeville as well as Mission, British Columbia and Dorval, Quebec.

Over the summer, trained volunteer judges travelled to participating communities to evaluate the overall contributions of municipal council and departments; industry; businesses and the private sector – including volunteer efforts – in regards to the following criteria: Tidiness, Environmental Action, Heritage Conservation, Urban Forestry, Landscape and Floral Displays.

Following their evaluation, volunteer judges Lorna McIlroy and Normand Fleury wrote: “As one of the oldest and prettiest communities in south-west Ontario, Amherstburg is home to 3 National Historic Sites, unique Boblo Island, impressive architecture and spectacular floral displays and plantings.  Visitors to the information centre at the town’s north entrance are greeted with names on all the plantings and this practice of horticultural labelling continues throughout the town.  Herbs are named and more than 225 varieties of hostas are clearly labelled.   The rhododendron garden has an additional educational component as it is a partnership between the Amherstburg Rhododendron Committee and St. Clair College.  In addition, six free guided garden tours are scheduled by the Parks Manager each year in the Kings Navy Yard Park to share information and tips with attendees.”

Within the actual context of climate changes and environmental concerns, communities involved in the program can be proud of their efforts, which provide real and meaningful environmental solutions and benefit all of society.

“It is an honor for Amherstburg to be recognized on a National level for the efforts of our residents and staff to be good stewards in our communities. We need to continue to work towards keeping our spaces healthy and viable for future generations. Especially rewarding was the Canada 150 Award. It was an exceptional year for programming in celebrating this very special anniversary,” commented Mayor Aldo DiCarlo.

For a complete list of the results and the electronic copy of the Communities in Bloom magazine, please visit www.communitiesinbloom.ca

Town seeking solutions to McGregor flooding, municipal subsidy program to come soon

 

 

By RTT Staff

 

A McGregor resident appeared before town council regarding the late August flood and the town is stating they are coming up with answers for him and every other resident.

Tom Welsh, who lives on Middle Side Road, said his home was damaged by flooding in the Aug. 28 storm as seven inches of rain hit that area, including five inches between the hours of 7-11 p.m. He told council it’s not the first time that it happened.

“Two times in two years we’ve flooded,” said Welsh. “It’s enough. There’s more people in town that just the core.”

Welsh said he had 18 inches of water in his basement, including human feces. He noted he has even spent $3,000 on a generator trying to fix the problem.

“I don’t know what else to do. It’s got to stop. Things have to be done,” said Welsh. “I put a whole lot into (my home). It’s a nice area. Our community is awesome.”

Welsh wanted to see more investment in that area.

“Everything you see in town is for the core,” he said. “We should get something.”

The town said there is, in fact, investment happening there and work is being done to address the issues in McGregor. An $80,000 investigation was conducted and “no smoking gun” was found in the public system. Director of public works and engineering Antonietta Giofu stating “our focus shifts to the private side.” She added a report regarding a subsidy program is currently scheduled to come before council Sept. 25.

“It will definitely include McGregor and be a town-wide program as well,” she said.

Councillor Diane Pouget told Welsh “we have spent quite a bit of money” in trying to solve the problem, with Mayor Aldo DiCarlo agreeing.

“We are spending money and we will continue to spend money until we find a solution,” said DiCarlo. “This council is very committed to it. We’re going to keep working in this area to alleviate the problem.”

DiCarlo said this council is sympathetic to residents who continuously flood but said $400,000 has been budgeted this year to try and fix the problem as quickly as possible. He noted the forthcoming report will address issues as downspout disconnections and backflow valves, among other things, and that they will work with private homeowners to address issues.

The Ontario government has released this map detailing where in Amherstburg disaster relief is available stemming from the Aug. 28 rain event.

“We have not forgotten about anybody,” he said. “I think council has shown we know where the town’s boundaries are.”

One in 100 year storms are not one in 100 year storms anymore and DiCarlo added large rain events can be expected so action is needed.

“Every time it rains, if there is a mayor that doesn’t sweat, I don’t know who they are,” he said. “The hardest part is to tell people we’re working on it as I can only imagine how that has been received.”

CAO John Miceli said administration is doing its part to try and find a resolution to the problem, believing the subsidy program is a step in the right direction.

“We understand your concerns,” said Miceli. “We’re providing a program that I think will go over and above what other municipalities are offering.”

Miceli also said until a solution is found to the flooding issues, “we’re going to keep trying.”

Welsh also expressed concern with the number of power outages the area experiences, with DiCarlo stating that Essex Power has tried to work with Ontario Hydro to take over all of Amherstburg but “they have flat out denied us over and over.”

The town would be happy to facilitate a meeting between Welsh and Ontario Hydro, said DiCarlo, as he believed that would do more than the municipality trying to get involved. He added that Ontario Hydro “is all but ignoring infrastructure in rural areas.

“We’re fighting the province on this,” said DiCarlo. “If they are going to provide hydro, they have to do so reliably.”

In all, roughly 34 homes in the McGregor area have reported flooding to the town of Amherstburg.

The Ontario government notified the City of Windsor and the Towns of Amherstburg, Essex, Lakeshore, LaSalle and Tecumseh last Thursday that it has activated the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians program in flood-affected areas.

The province advised that affected individuals, small businesses and not-for-profit organizations that have experienced property damage or loss as a result of this disaster may be eligible to receive help with emergency and recovery expenses.

The program applies to a primary residence and its basic contents, or to a main small business, farm or not-for-profit organization. Damage from sewer backup is not eligible under the program except under special provisions for low-income households.

The government states it “is closely monitoring other areas experiencing flooding across the province. It may activate the program in these areas as flood impacts continue to be assessed in the coming days and weeks.”

More information and detailed program guidelines are available at http://ontario.ca/DisasterAssistance or call toll-free 1-844-780-8925.

 

MD Connected now operating out of Amherstburg Home Health

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A unique type of medical clinic now operating out of Amherstburg Home Health held its ribbon cutting recently and is welcoming new patients.

MD Connected is now the service that operates the clinic, with two full-time nurses joining the roughly 12 doctors that can be accesses through video streaming. MD Connected had a “soft launch” at Amherstburg Home Health in July, said managing director Venky Weylagro, with full operational hours having started Aug. 1.

The official ribbon cutting was held recently at MD Connected, located inside of Amherstburg Home Health. From left: MD Connected managing director Venky Weylagro, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo and Luigi DiPierdomenico from Amherstburg Home Health. (Submitted photo)

“From our perspective, we are excited about being there,” said Weylagro.

MD Connected is open from 9 a.m.– 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturdays.

“We also have the infrastructure in place today to open until 8 p.m. on weekdays and 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays,” said Weylagro.

Weylagro added that patients no longer need to travel for hours and wait for even more hours to see a physician.

“Our wait times are industry leading due to the amount of physicians we have on our team. Over a dozen today and rapidly growing,” he said. “Our satisfaction statistics are incredible due to the caring and friendly nature of our nurses and physicians. They are all carefully screened with a zero tolerance policy when it comes to the patient experience. We fully understand that our success depends on whether the patient enjoys it and of course receives a great level of care.”

While describing themselves as “still very much in our infancy,” Weylagro said they are already seeing approximately 15 patients per day with very minimal advertising. “Most of this are return visits and word of mouth. Considering we have only been open for 1.5 months it is pretty impressive,” he said. “It tells us that the community is embracing us and we truly want to be engrained in the culture of this town.”

The equipment MD Connected uses “goes beyond just the nurse,” he continued.

“Our equipment allows the physicians to see and hear exactly what the nurses are seeing and hearing. This adds another level to the quality of care we provide,” said Weylagro. “Our nurses are experienced and fully trained in telemedicine assessments, and we have the utmost trust in them, but as added reassurance our equipment makes the encounter far more interactive for the patient, nurse and physician.”

Nurses Jennifer Hall and Maeghan Lugosi work out of the Amherstburg clinic with access to others if needed, he added.

The ribbon cutting at MD Connected included managing director Venky Weylagro, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, nurses Jennifer Hall and Maeghan Lugosi and Luigi DiPierdomenico of Amherstburg Home Health. (Submitted photo)

“ It’s a rewarding feeling to be able to provide not just access to health care but access to great health care for underserviced communities. Being from Toronto, these are some of the simple things that you take for granted but our belief is that every Canadian should have the same access to health care irrespective of your postal code or city. We just want to help bridge that gap,” Weylagro added.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo expressed enthusiasm about the clinic being in town.

“As a municipality, I think it’s a great opportunity for us,” he said. “Most municipalities are struggling trying to offer enough health care. This is a nice added opportunity for the residents of Amherstburg.”

DiCarlo said the clinic has a personal connection for him.

“My family has used it a couple of times. They thought it was fantastic,” he said. “It’s fast and efficient. There are nurses available to help as well. I’m very happy to have it in the town of Amherstburg. I think it’s something that will become more popular in other municipalities as well.”

Amherstburg Home Health is located at 433 Sandwich St. S.

 

Flooding victims still being asked to report matter to public works

 

(NOTE: This story is an updated version to the one that was posted online last Thursday.)

By RTT Staff

 

Those in Amherstburg who sustained damage thanks to heavy rain Monday night are being encouraged to call the Amherstburg Public Works Department to report it.

Clerk Paula Parker noted as of Thursday afternoon that no insurance claims had been filed to that point with the municipality but people were being asked to report damage to public works. Director of engineering and public works Antonietta Giofu said her department has had 19 calls as of approximately 2 p.m. Thursday.

“We’ve had some flooding in the McGregor area,” she said.

The calls have been mainly due to basement flooding though some calls late Monday evening were due to roadways flooding in the Canard Valley Estates subdivision and Middle Side Road (County Road 10), she stated.

All systems and pumps were functioning properly, said Giofu, but “it was just a massive amount of rain.”

By calling it in to public works, it helps the department document the issue and track what exactly happened. She said representatives from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs will be in the region Tuesday and that reports of damage would be shared in case relief could be provided.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo posted on his Facebook page that residents are encouraged to call public works.

“If you experienced any flooding from the past heavy rainfall, please contact Public Works at 519-736-3664 to report your damage,” the mayor stated. “I have been notified by the Minister of Municipal Affairs that they should have representatives in the region next week to assess the situation and coordinate possible relief. The Town would like to submit all related information so please let us know. Thank you.”

Damaged goods sit in front of a McGregor home after the storm that hit the area Aug. 28.

DiCarlo told the RTT Tuesday morning that he was told the amount of flooding calls had grown to 33. He said the ministry was coming to the region to get an extent of damage and not to investigate individual homes, so people are still encouraged to call in flooding damage from the storm to the town even if Ministry officials are gone.

“It won’t hurt for us to know who is flooded,” he said. “The more information we have, the better it is for the town.”

The town is awaiting to see how the relief flows from the province, but DiCarlo said any compensation to residents will come from the province.

“Other than being the in-between, the town does not offer any relief as far as flooding goes in the way of compensation,” he said, saying Amherstburg will turn over all information it has to the province.

Amherstburg is looking at a cost sharing program with residents on such things as back water valves and other similar equipment and the mayor said that will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead.

 

(THURSDAY UPDATE: The Ontario government has notified the City of Windsor and the Towns of Amherstburg, Essex, Lakeshore, LaSalle and Tecumseh in Essex County that it has activated the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians program in flood-affected areas.

The province advised during the late afternoon Sept. 7 that affected individuals, small businesses and not-for-profit organizations that have experienced property damage or loss as a result of this disaster may be eligible to receive help with emergency and recovery expenses.

The program applies to a primary residence and its basic contents, or to a main small business, farm or not-for-profit organization. Damage from sewer backup is not eligible under the program except under special provisions for low-income households.

The government states it “is closely monitoring other areas experiencing flooding across the province. It may activate the program in these areas as flood impacts continue to be assessed in the coming days and weeks.”

More information and detailed program guidelines are available at http://ontario.ca/DisasterAssistance or call toll-free 1-844-780-8925.)

Flooding victims encouraged to report it to public works

 

 

By RTT Staff

 

Those in Amherstburg who sustained damage thanks to heavy rain Monday night are being encouraged to call the Amherstburg Public Works Department to report it.

Clerk Paula Parker noted as of Thursday afternoon that no insurance claims had been filed with the municipality to that point but people were being asked to report damage to public works. Director of engineering and public works Antonietta Giofu said her department has had 19 calls as of approximately 2 p.m. Thursday.

“We’ve had some flooding in the McGregor area,” she said.

Flooding

The calls have been mainly due to basement flooding though some calls late Monday evening were due to roadways flooding in the Canard Valley Estates subdivision and Middle Side Road (County Road 10), she stated.

All systems and pumps were functioning properly, said Giofu, but “it was just a massive amount of rain.”

By calling it in to public works, it helps the department document the issue and track what exactly happened. She said representatives from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing will be in the region Tuesday and that reports of damage would be shared in case relief could be provided.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo posted on his Facebook page that residents are encouraged to call public works.

“If you experienced any flooding from the past heavy rainfall, please contact Public Works at 519-736-3664 to report your damage,” the mayor stated. “I have been notified by the Minister of Municipal Affairs that they should have representatives in the region next week to assess the situation and coordinate possible relief. The Town would like to submit all related information so please let us know. Thank you.”