Bart DiPasquale

Essex Powerlines plants 250 trees in Amherstburg

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

As a part of the “Go Green Plant a Tree Campaign” that ran from Jan. 22-March 31, Essex Powerlines (EPL) will be planting 1,000 trees in its shareholder municipalities with about 250 planted in Amherstburg.

The campaign encouraged EPL customers to make the switch to paperless billing and as added green initiative to the community, a tree would be planted in their municipality.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale (far right) joined Essex Powerlines staff recently in planting trees in Golfview Park.

“We are truly committed to making our communities greener together,” stated Joe Barile, Essex Powerlines’ general manager. “We have to thank our customers who made this such a success.”

The Essex Power team were out in Golfview Park near the retention ponds planting cedars, maples and oaks. Teams of tree planters have been or will be going out to other member municipalities such as LaSalle, Tecumseh and Leamington.

In addition to these events, EPL have donated a portion of the trees to elementary schools within each municipality. About 150 trees go to schools with the other 100 planted in events like the one recently in the Golfview subdivision.

“It was very important for us to find a way to engage our youth in this initiative. We have seen a great uptake from the elementary schools to take part,” added Barile.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale plants one of the trees that were put in Golfview Park.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale was one of the people volunteering to help plant trees last week. He said environmental-type work is always welcome in the town and agreed that getting children involved was important.

“Planting trees like this is an important step in the right direction,” stated DiPasquale.

DiPasquale announces he will not seek re-election

 

By Ron Giofu

The town will be electing a new deputy mayor Oct. 22, as the current deputy mayor has decided to step out of the political arena.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale made it official Monday night that he will not seek re-election. His political career lasted eight years, as he was elected as a councillor in 2010 and won the deputy mayor’s job in the 2014 municipal election.

In a statement read during the “new business” portion of Monday’s town council meeting, DiPasquale said that “after careful consideration and discussion with my loving wife and family, I would like to announce that I will not be seeking re-election this fall and (will) be spending more time with my friends and grandchildren. I will also be looking forward to casting my ballot in this year’s election.”

DiPasquale said he enjoyed serving the town as deputy mayor and as a member of Essex County council.

“I have also been truly blessed in serving this community as a municipal employee and also a police officer,” he said.

DiPasquale had a 35-year career with the Amherstburg Police Service, retiring as deputy chief in 2009. His community involvement has also seen him serve with local service clubs and non-profit organizations and has resulted in numerous awards and honours over the years. He recalled starting to work for the town at age 16, grooming baseball diamonds under the direction of former administrator Tom Kilgallin.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale announced May 14 that he will not seek re-election.

“During my years of employment with the Town of Amherstburg and as an elected official, I have learned that this community is truly special and resilient. We have persevered through much of our debt load adversity and began updating our aging infrastructure,” he said. “We also began rebuilding our management structure and I am grateful for being part of this and serving together with all the other council members.”

DiPasquale also thanked CAO John Miceli, the management team and employees “that kept this great municipality solvent, the neighbourhoods and roads safe, the water flowing and clean and our parks active. It has been a truly superb performance and thank you.”

Wishing the next deputy mayor and council members well, DiPasquale said he wishes they will have “the same wonderful experiences and lifetime of memories I have acquired” by serving the community.

Following his statement, DiPasquale was met with a standing ovation from all in attendance at Monday night’s meeting, including his fellow council members. Several members of DiPasquale’s family, including his wife Carmen, daughters Luisa and Sandra, their grandchildren as well as other loved ones were in attendance.

Boblo dock still a cause for concern for town council

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The condition of the former Boblo Island dock on Front Road South continues to be a cause for concern from the town.

Councillor Diane Pouget addressed the matter at the April 9 town council meeting, adding that she has received reports from nearby residents about its deteriorating condition. The dock became further damaged due to recent wind storms, she said, as residents were reporting debris coming from the dock.

“They said sheets of metal were actually blowing off the roof,” said Pouget.

Pouget said the dock is “getting dangerous” and that “those sheets of metal are wreaking havoc.” With boating and Sea-Doo season approaching, Pouget voiced concern that there could be hazards in the water if material keeps blowing off the dock.

Material is also washing up on people’s property as well, she added.

“It’s in deplorable condition,” Pouget said, of the dock.

The current state of the former Boblo ferry dock is of concern to town council.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale agreed, saying winds have continued to damage the dock and caused debris to blow around the surrounding area. He added that he “hopes no one gets hurt” due to material continuing to be blown free from the dock.

CAO John Miceli said he will continue to follow up with the federal government, and see what their latest plans are.

The condition of the former Boblo dock has been a concern of the town for the last number of years, with an asset condition report planned as of two years ago. In 2016, Rosaleen O’Mahony, communications advisor with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, said that “should any safety concerns be identified, Fisheries and Oceans Canada will take the appropriate mitigation steps and notify the community.”

The River Town Times contacted Fisheries and Oceans Canada and relayed the town’s most recent concerns. In an e-mail response sent Monday afternoon, the federal department says they are looking into it.

“The structural deficiency of the Boblo Dock is a concern to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. We are looking at different options to remedy the detaching metal roof tiles as soon as possible,” stated Holly Foerter, regional director of communications with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. “We will notify town council once a plan is in place to address the immediate concern of the tiles.”

There still is the possibility the Coast Guard could have a use for the dock, she suggested.

“The Canadian Coast Guard still has an interest in the Boblo Wharf and is determining possible future uses of the site,” said Foerter. “The results of this study will decide if the dock will be repaired, removed, or divested.”

Essex Powerlines makes annual $10,000 donation under Youth in Community Fund

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Essex Powerlines has maintained a tradition it started several years ago to help youth in its shareholder municipalities.

Joe Barile, general manager with Essex Powerlines, attended the April 9 town council meeting and presented the town with its $10,000 share of a $40,000 donation the corporation makes through its Youth in Communities fund. This is the fifth consecutive year for the donation, with similar donations also made in LaSalle, Leamington and Tecumseh. The goal is to advance local, youth related investment. To date, Essex Power has funded a total of $200,000 youth driven initiatives in the communities it serves.

Barile pointed out the attendance of Essex Empowerment Girls Group members Natasha Kitka and Mackenzie Robson. They are organizers and facilitators of the group with that group able to utilize some of the funding.
Robson indicated they mentor girls from Grade 4-8 and the funding will be used for guest speakers and to help fund the operation of the group.

“It runs for ten weeks, once every season,” said Robson.

Essex Powerlines made its annual Youth in Community Fund donation. From left: Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale, Essex Powerlines GM Joe Barile, Mackenzie Robson from the Essex Empowerment Girls Group, manager of recreation services Rick Daly, Essex Empowerment Girls Group member Natasha Kitka and board member Bill Wark.

Kitka pointed out it is a free program, but girls do have to register for it at the Libro Centre.

“It’s beneficial for the girls,” said Kitka, with Robson adding she wishes the program was available when she was younger.

Manager of recreation services Rick Daly said the money will also be used for youth programming and day camps offered at the Libro Centre. He said there is a gymnastics program that is offered there that uses a portion of the proceeds as well.

“Along with providing reasonable rates, consistent power quality and reliability and local accountability, Essex Power is committed to being a good corporate citizen and being socially responsible. The events and programs receiving our Youth in Community funding have elements of education, fitness, art-cultural, or social responsibility.” said Ray Tracey, president and CEO of Essex Power. “At Essex Power, we truly believe that our youth are the key to our future and that investing in young people is an investment in our future.”

Town council’s remuneration report for 2017 released

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

How much money were your elected officials paid in 2017?

The answer was revealed as part of the agenda for the March 19 town council meeting. Treasurer Justin Rousseau stated in his report to town council that municipal treasurers are required under Section 284 of the Municipal Act to provide their councils “an itemized statement of remuneration and expense payments in the previous year.”

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo’s total remuneration was $45,071.97 for 2017. That includes his salary at $32,506.70 with the remainder including his $7,040 in remuneration (salary, meeting fees and travel/mileage) from being on the Essex Powerlines board as well as his communication allowance, per diem, public reception and travel and mileage from the town. He also earned $1,200 for being on the Amherstburg Police Service Board (APSB).

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale’s remuneration for 2017 was $22,430.90. The salary for being deputy mayor is $21,658.25 with the remainder being his legal fees, communication allowance, public receptions and travel and mileage.

All councillors earned a salary of $18,141.05.

The total remuneration for Councillor Rick Fryer was $22,303.87. That includes his salary, communication allowance and public receptions. Also included is Fryer’s remuneration for being on the ERCA board of directors, where he serves as the chair. His honorarium, per diem and mileage for being on the ERCA board totalled $2,767.

Councillor Joan Courtney’s total remuneration for 2017 was $22,071.56 That included her salary and the other associated expenses such as her communication allowance, training and conferences as well as her travel and mileage.

A total remuneration total of $21,533.09 was attributed to Councillor Leo Meloche for 2017. That included his salary plus his communication allowance, public receptions, training and conferences and travel and mileage.

Councillor Diane Pouget’s total 2017 remuneration was $19,869.39. That included her salary plus communication and legal fees.

Councillor Jason Lavigne had a total remuneration of $19,386.02. That includes his salary plus public receptions as well as his $1,200 honorarium for being on the APSB.

Also receiving $1,200 APSB honorariums were Bob Rozankovic and Patricia Simone. Ron Sutherland received $1,150.80 for his mileage and per diem being Amherstburg’s second appointee to the ERCA board of directors.

Appointees to the committee of adjustment who received $975 in 2017 included Sherry Ducedre, Duncan Smith and Donald Shaw while Michael Prue and David Cozens each earned $900. Simon Chamely and Shirley Curson-Prue from the heritage committee went to the Ontario Heritage Conference last year and their expenses were $1,511.94 and $1,668.14 respectively. William Whittal’s honorarium for being on the accessibility committee was $300 for the year while the honorariums, training and mileage expenses for the drainage board members – Robert Bezaire, Brad Laramie, Allan Major, Bob Pillon and Ron Sutherland – totalled $4,663.97 for 2016.