town of Amherstburg

Town of Amherstburg asks for review of Joint Powers Agreement



By Jolene Perron


A motion has been carried for the request from The Town of Amherstburg to review the 1994 Joint Powers Agreement, and administration will be contacting the county solicitor on how to proceed with the review.

In the 1990s, the approval of the creation and implementation of a centralized communication system, known as the 9-1-1 Emergency Telephone Reporting was created. The Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commissioner approved Bell Canada as the subscriber biller. Municipalities were responsible for providing the service, which would answer and transfer those 9-1-1 calls from the Bell lines through to the correct Remote Agency, which would then dispatch the emergency personnel.

“The Joint Powers Agreement gave the county the authority to enter into an agreement on behalf of all the joint parties for this central emergency reporting bureau,” explained Mary Birch, director of council services/clerk. “The county was billed, and then each municipality was billed based on their population. That agreement was most recently reviewed with the OPP December 13, 2015, which will last to December 12, 2020, at an annual cost, of $99,824.34 based on the residential population of 177,940.”

Birch explained, in June, a report went to Town of Amherstburg Police Chief Tim Berthiaume in regards to transferring the 9-1-1 call taking from the OPP to the Windsor Police Service. At that time, the resolutions included that transfer, and the Police Chief was directed to enter discussions with the county to terminate the agreement for the provision of 9-1-1 central emergency reporting bureau between the Ontario Provincial Police and the County of Essex.

Birch stated in her report “In July, 2017, a legal opinion was sought from County Solicitor Christine Riley, regarding implications on the Joint Powers Agreement and Agreement for CERB services with the OPP, if the Town of Amherstburg opted to terminate their participation. Ms. Riley indicated that: “Article 7 provides that no party can terminate or amend the Agreement except as provided in that section. Article 7(b)(i) states that ‘the parties may, by mutual agreement, amend or terminate this Agreement.’”

The county will be looking in to how to proceed.


Town welcomes new chief building official



By Ron Giofu


The town’s new chief building official is on the job and enjoying life in Amherstburg thus far.

Angelo Avolio was hired June 26 and officially took over from the retired Steve Brown last week after the latter retired June 30. Avolio, a 48-year-old married father of three, brings with him over 20 years of experience in the industry.

Avolio graduated from St. Clair College in the architectural technology and worked for engineering firms, homebuilders and was also self-employed before becoming a building inspector/plans examiner with the Town of LaSalle. He was employed by LaSalle for roughly 20 years and admitted it was tough to leave.

“After 20 years, I jumped ship and came to Amherstburg,” he said with a laugh.

Angelo Avolio is the town’s new chief building  official. He takes over for Steve Brown, who retired June 30.

Angelo Avolio is the town’s new chief building
official. He takes over for Steve Brown, who retired June 30.

Avolio said he saw a lot of changes in LaSalle over the last two decades and sees a chance for more changes in Amherstburg. The town’s heritage appeals to him and credited Brown for knowing a lot about that component.

“There’s going to be a lot of things happening here,” added Avolio. He cited the Belle Vue, the development proposed for the Duffy’s property and numerous new subdivisions that are planned as examples.

“It’s going to be a great opportunity to get in all of that,” he said. “It’s going to be exciting.”

Believing he has “huge shoes to fill” following Brown, he said his experience so far has been positive and notes he already knows a lot of people – including contractors – from his days in LaSalle. He said deputy chief building official Dave Atwood and building clerk Michelle Lavin-Chittle are a big asset as well.

“Without those people, we can’t function here,” said Avolio.

Avolio said the staff in Amherstburg is young and energetic and “excited for the opportunities that are coming.” His job consists of administrative duties but will still do inspections as well.

The opportunity to become Amherstburg’s new chief building official worked for him and his family, Avolio pointed out. He said he would like to be customer service-oriented and to be able to educate the public on building department issues and permits as much as possible.

“They do a lot of that here, I’ve noticed,” he said. “We want to try and educate the public.”

Avolio is based out of the Libro Centre along with the other building and planning staff members.

Recently retired Windsor chief to head Amherstburg Fire Department


The town of Amherstburg has reached back into Windsor for its next fire chief.

With Chief Al Reaume scheduled to resume his retirement in the coming weeks, the town announced via supplementary council agenda that Bruce Montone will be his replacement. The bylaw to appoint Montone as the town’s next fire chief is on the supplementary agenda for Monday night’s meeting.

Montone officially retired as the fire chief in the City of Windsor March 31. According to his biography on the city’s website, Montone “has been actively employed in the Fire Service for 38 years.”

The biography states that Montone has served as a volunteer firefighter, as a career firefighter and officer and later as Chief Fire Prevention Officer and as Fire Chief in Northern Ontario.

“Chief Montone served with the Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal from 1987 to 2002 serving in the field as a Fire Services Advisor and later, Manager of the Northern Fire Protection Program and also as Operations Manager for all of Southern Ontario,” the biography states.

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Montone was appointed deputy fire chief in Ottawa. He was responsible for the communications division, special operations division, comprised of Haz-Mat/CBRNE, all rescue activities including water and ice, auto-extrication, high angle, confined space, trench and USAR Operations. The Divisions of Fire Prevention, Training, Safety, and Maintenance completed his portfolio, the biography states. His portfolios included community standards, education, planning & innovation.

“Chief Montone is a Past Chairman of Government Relations for the Canadian Association of Fire Chief’s. He is also past Chairman of the Transportation Emergency Rescue Committee (TERC) of Canada. The Chief is a PESC certified Program Evaluator,” his biography reads. “He has a long active history with emergency services in a variety of areas including, Standards of Cover, Risk Assessment, Deployment, officer development, employee wellness, performance improvement, program evaluation and team building.”

Montone is expected to be introduced at next Monday’s council meeting. Reaume is also scheduled to receive recognition from the town.

Town considering Official Plan amendment to allow breweries in agricultural areas



By Ron Giofu


The town of Amherstburg is considering an Official Plan amendment to allow craft breweries and cideries in rural areas.

A public meeting was held last week with a low turnout. It was the second public meeting on the issue, said manager of planning services Rebecca Belanger, with it being held to ensure people are aware of the matter. She said no one attended the first public meeting.

“The intent is to add breweries and cideries to the wineries provision in the town’s Official Plan,” said Belanger.

If someone were to open a craft brewery or cidery within the town of Amherstburg, it would be under similar conditions that wineries have to face, said Belanger. That is assuming the Official Plan amendment and zoning bylaw amendment passes, with the latter being the next stage in the process.

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“It would be subject to the same conditions as wineries in terms of agricultural policies,” she said.

Belanger said wineries have to devote a large portion of their site to agricultural purposes with the actual winery operation being a secondary use. The same would have to hold true with craft breweries and wineries.

“A lot of the property has to be dedicated to growing crop,” said Belanger.

There is one applicant at the moment to operate a craft brewery in Amherstburg but with so much interest across the province for the industry, Belanger said, “it’s time to do this.

“It’s time to put these policies in place.”

Belanger said the town of Essex has similar provisions and “we’re following suit with the rest of the region as well.”

Should this amendment be approved, it could lead to more uses in agricultural areas.

“I think it’s an opportunity for agricultural diversification,” said Belanger.

There will be a report coming before town council at the April 10 meeting and, if approved, it will be sent to the County of Essex for its approval as well. Belanger said the zoning bylaw amendment process would start after that.