Town council waives fees for Rotary Club’s Ribfest


By Ron Giofu


The Rotary Club’s eighth annual Ribfest is this weekend and organizers received some financial relief thanks to town council.

The town has waived $2,035 in fees for the Ribfest, with $1,352 being parks fees and the rest for equipment rentals. The Ribfest committee was represented by chair Carl Gibb and Rotary Club past president Lena Lazanja.

“We are a charitable organization and all the funds we receive continue to be funneled back into town,” Lazanja told town council.

Councillor Leo Meloche stated he supported the Ribfest and didn’t have any problem with waiving the parks fees but was concerned about waiving the equipment fees. He said equipment suffers wear and tear and wanted to ensure the town has the resources to replace equipment when need be and believed “at some point we have to draw the line.”

Members of the Rotary Ribfest Committee, an event that operates under the umbrella of the Amherstburg Rotary Club, are disappointed with the guidelines they have to operate under to comply with the sign bylaw. Town council upheld the current sign bylaw at the March 20 meeting.

The Amherstburg Rotary Club’s 2017 Ribfest is July 7-9.

“Unfortunately, the equipment – we use it and we have to replace it.”

Waiving the fees was an easy decision for Councillor Rick Fryer, pointing out that the Rotary Club has undertaken many projects that have benefitted the residents of Amherstburg. Fryer thanked the Rotary Club for its efforts over the years.

“If it was up to me, we can approve the waiving of the fees every single time,” said Fryer.

The Ribfest runs 12 p.m.-11 p.m. July 7 and 8 and 12 p.m.-7 p.m. July 9 at Centennial Park.

Council agrees to waive Amherstburg Farmers Market fees, but for only one year



By Ron Giofu


Fees have been waived for the Amherstburg Farmers Market, but for only one year.

The market opens this Saturday at the Malden Community & Cultural Centre with Steeve Bouchard representing the market at the most recent meeting of town council. Bouchard outlined the many markets in the area and said those markets pay nothing in fees.

“I’m wondering if we could avoid me having to come back every year and waive the fees for the life of the market?” asked Bouchard.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale wondered how much the fees amounted to with manager of licensing Nicole Rubli stating that waiving the fees could amount to the town not receiving as much as $3,000 in revenue.

Amherstburg Farmers Market

Councillor Rick Fryer was in favour of waiving the fees for as long as the market was there.

“If we are going to do it one, two or three years, let’s do it as long as the market exists,” said Fryer.

Councillor Diane Pouget disagreed with waiving the fees in perpetuity, believing council doesn’t have the right to do that. She said the financial situation can change every year.

“A new council might feel different about this,” said Pouget.

Councillor Leo Meloche agreed with Pouget, also noting financial conditions can change.

“If the situation changes and we desperately need $3,000, I’m sure the council of the day will find a way to charge residents $3,000,” said Fryer.

CAO John Miceli noted there are many fees that the town charges and that can add up to “significant revenue.” He said every time fees are waived, the town needs to be on top of the situation.

“In my opinion, we need to keep track of this,” said Miceli.

Miceli added that “in perpetuity is a very long time” but added that it is “just a word” that could be changed if the council of the day saw fit.

Councillor Jason Lavigne questioned whether the town should just scrap fees for the farmers’ market if Amherstburg is the only municipality charging them. His motion to waive the fees for one year and get a report back from administration on the subject.

The Amherstburg Farmers Market runs 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. every Saturday from May to September.

Fees waived for Amherstburg Farmers Market



By Ron Giofu


Town council has waived all fees for the Amherstburg Farmers Market after one of the vendors voiced concerns with the proposal at the most recent town council meeting.

Steeve Bouchard of Bouchard Farms wanted the $3,625 fee proposed for the farmers market waived and council granted his request.

“I think in the seven years we’ve had the market at the ‘Little White Church,’ we’ve not paid any fees,” said Bouchard.

Bouchard told town council vendors do not pay fees in many other local municipalities and the majority of markets don’t have them.

Manager of tourism and culture Anne Rota said the fees were arrived at as a result of council’s user fee bylaw that was adopted earlier this year. Rota said vendors rarely move inside the building and use very little hydro.

CAO John Miceli pointed out that administration’s recommendation was to reduce the fees from $3,625 to $625.

Councillor Rick Fryer said the traffic at the corner of County Road 20 and Howard Ave. during the market season “is fantastic” and said he didn’t see a benefit in charging a fee for the market. Councillor Joan Courtney added her belief that “this group deserves to have the fees waived.”

The 2016 Amherstburg Farmers Market is scheduled to open for the season May 21 and will run every Saturday at the “Little White Church” into the fall.

For more information or to become a vendor, call 519-736-7514 or e-mail www.amherstburgfarmersmarket.com.

Town waives fees for Amherstburg Santa Claus Parade



By Ron Giofu


The introduction of fees for the Amherstburg Santa Claus Parade caught the Windsor Parade Corporation by surprise but their fees are now a thing of the past.

Dave Grimaldi of the Windsor Parade Corporation appeared before council at the March 21 meeting concerned about an e-mail the corporation received regarding fees.

“In the past ten years, we have never been responsible for any of the fees this e-mail is referring to,” said Grimaldi.

Grimaldi requested that town council waive the fees, adding the Windsor Parade Corporation does not pay fees anywhere else they present parades including Windsor, Kingsville and Essex.

Manager of licensing and enforcement Nicole Rubli said there is now a refundable $250 deposit for an event application, a $224 non-refundable fee for road closures and a cost for any equipment rentals that may be needed for the event. CAO John Miceli added that town council previously adopted a schedule of fees and that the town wants to be consistent with that schedule.

Chief Tim Berthiaume was asked about policing costs for such events as the Santa Claus Parade, but told town council the police service doesn’t bill back costs but rather mitigates costs through scheduling.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale praised the work of the parade corporation and believed the town should look at waiving the fees, something council would eventually do. Councillor Leo Meloche was initially apprehensive about a “forever clause,” but agreed the parade was good for the town.

“It’s something good for the community,” said Meloche.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo said council couldn’t make a “forever clause” because the next council could simply change that so town council agreed to waive the fees for the remainder of the term.

Councillor Diane Pouget disagreed with waiving the fees for that long, believing the matter should be dealt with on a year-to-year basis. Pouget and Councillor Joan Courtney were opposed to waiving the fees for the remainder of the term with DiCarlo, DiPasquale, Meloche and councillors Rick Fryer and Jason Lavigne in favour. Pouget and Councillor Joan Courtney were opposed.

The 2016 Amherstburg Santa Claus Parade is scheduled for Nov. 26. Grimaldi told council they are “extremely pleased” to present the parade and added they are happy to receive the “people’s choice” award from Tourism Windsor-Essex County-Pelee Island (TWEPI).