Duffy’s Tavern & Motor Inn

Duffy’s demolition to start shortly

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Demolition of the former Duffy’s Tavern & Motor Inn should start within the next week or two.

Town council approved the tender during its meeting Monday night with the winning bid going to the Jones Group Ltd. The total amount quoted by the Jones Group was just over $280,000 to complete the work, with that dollar figure being over $172,000 less than the next lowest bidder.

Demolition of Duffy’s Tavern & Motor Inn is scheduled to begin either next week or the week after, based on information learned during Monday night’s council meeting.

Demolition of Duffy’s Tavern & Motor Inn is scheduled to begin either next week or the week after, based on information learned during Monday night’s council meeting.

In his report to town council, CAO John Miceli stated that the firm that performed the environmental assessment on the Dalhousie St. property provided a designated substance survey (DSS) of the property.

“The DSS confirmed asbestos, lead, mercury and silica present in different areas of the former tavern building. The abatement requirements were included in the tender specifications for all proponents,” said Miceli in his report.

The town used the firm Golder Associates for the assessment, Miceli stated, adding the town was able to renegotiate the purchase price down to $1.115 million.

If all goes smoothly and according to plan, Miceli said the demolition could start either next week or the week after.

Councillor Jason Lavigne wondered if the Amherstburg Fire Department was finished with the building, as it was being used for training purposes.

“We have pretty much used it for as much as we could,” replied deputy fire chief Lee Tome.

Councillor Diane Pouget said she appreciated the thoroughness of Miceli’s report, noting she was a critic when the report came several months ago regarding the demolition of the former AMA Arena.

Pouget noted the price difference between Jones Group Ltd. and the rest of the bidders.

“It’s such a big, big difference,” she said. “With all of the savings, we’ll be able to fix up the property much quicker than we originally anticipated.”

Demolition of Duffy’s Tavern & Motor Inn is scheduled to begin either next week or the week after, based on information learned during Monday night’s council meeting.

Demolition of Duffy’s Tavern & Motor Inn is scheduled to begin either next week or the week after, based on information learned during Monday night’s council meeting.

Councillor Joan Courtney asked if the town had applied for any grant money for the project, including the redevelopment of the lands. Miceli said there has been one application submitted thus far, and that pertained to the removal of gas tanks from the property.

Courtney also questioned whether there had been any meetings with stakeholders. The CAO said the next steps are to meet with the community and stakeholder groups to discuss the proposals for the property. The town has floated such ideas as an amphitheatre, marina, and food truck parking among other amenities.

Demolition of Duffy’s Tavern & Motor Inn is scheduled to begin either next week or the week after, based on information learned during Monday night’s council meeting.

Demolition of Duffy’s Tavern & Motor Inn is scheduled to begin either next week or the week after, based on information learned during Monday night’s council meeting.

Miceli added he knows of one party that is interested in sponsoring riverfront development in that area.

Council had been made aware of Miceli’s concerns that the site could further decay and become a target for vandalism. He also stated in his report that demolition could have become more complex if delayed due to the ongoing construction of the neighbouring Queen Charlotte Residences.

Amherstburg firefighters sharpen skills at Duffy’s property

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Just because Duffy’s Tavern & Motor Inn is closed, it doesn’t mean it hasn’t been busy.

For the last number of weeks, the Amherstburg Fire Department spent three nights per week at Duffy’s working on various exercises and techniques. The training, which wrapped up last Wednesday night, was largely due to the amount of new firefighters that have been brought into the fold.

Amherstburg firefighters used the former Duffy's Tavern & Motor Inn during recent weeks.

Amherstburg firefighters used the former Duffy’s Tavern & Motor Inn during recent weeks.

“All three stations did (the training),” said deputy chief Lee Tome. “In the last four months, we’ve hired roughly 20 new firefighters.”

The Amherstburg Fire Department is trying to get everyone up to speed on the standardized training and ensure all three stations have every firefighters fully trained on what is needed and what is mandated by the Ontario Fire College and National Fire Protection Association.

“When the town purchased the Duffy’s property, we asked to use it for practical firefighter training,” said Tome. “The Duffy’s property has been a great training tool for a number of our new firefighters.”

Amherstburg firefighters used the former Duffy's Tavern & Motor Inn during recent weeks.

Amherstburg firefighters used the former Duffy’s Tavern & Motor Inn during recent weeks.

Tome said they have been able to use Duffy’s to practice such training as forcible entry through walls and doors, ventilation, how to work off a ladder, search and rescue and many other training techniques.

The entire department has been involved, Tome added, noting senior officers and veteran firefighters helped organize and carry out the training. That training would have been more difficult to do if the fire department didn’t have access to the property.

The new firefighters, hired due to the number of retirements in recent years, represent a turnover of about one-third of the Amherstburg Fire Department, Tome said. The training at Duffy’s allowed them to train together with the deputy chief pointing out they would all have to work together in the event of a large fire.

Amherstburg firefighters used the former Duffy's Tavern & Motor Inn during recent weeks.

Amherstburg firefighters used the former Duffy’s Tavern & Motor Inn during recent weeks.

“Our firefighters are dedicated and committed to the town they live in,” said Tome. “The commitment of the senior officers to train the new recruits has been outstanding. We’re well on our way to get everybody trained.”

Tome added that the town can be assured that their firefighters are working hard, are well trained and are dedicated to the community.