Libro Centre

DWBIA executive director makes presentation to Amherstburg businesses

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Local business owners and operators got a chance to learn about what a BIA does during a meeting at the Libro Centre.

Debi Croucher, executive director of the Downtown Windsor BIA (DWBIA), spoke to a group of about 15 business operators and some incoming council members recently. Croucher said her role was to educate businesses on what a BIA is and illustrate examples of what they can do.

Croucher was invited to speak by the Town of Amherstburg.

“It’s nothing more than an information session at this time,” noted Anna Cabrera, a member of the tourism department staff.

DWBIA executive director Debi Croucher (left) chats with Councillor-elect Michael Prue and Karen Davidson at a recent meeting.

A BIA can help pool resources and market a certain district of a community, Croucher noted, and that it can help smaller businesses collaborate and promote themselves better. BIA’s can lobby council as well as championing beautification initiatives, she noted.

“They can have a greater voice speaking as one,” said Croucher.

A BIA has a different scope than that of a Chamber of Commerce, she added, as a Chamber promotes economic development while a BIA can help with promotion, beautification and infrastructure projects.

“They represent small businesses very well,” said Croucher, of BIA’s. However, she did note “there is some overlap with Chambers.”

Should businesses in Amherstburg decide they want a BIA, Croucher said she would be willing to help launch one locally. She added a BIA would have to have its own constitution and that most of them have at least one elected official on their board of directors.

A BIA is usually funded by a special levy, she added, though noted that DWBIA members have a levy that amounts to .002 per cent of their overall tax bills.

Will ATV’s be allowed along area roadways?

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Town of Amherstburg took the first step in gathering feedback over the issue of allowing ATV’s along area roadways.

A public meeting was held last Tuesday night at the Libro Centre where operators of all-terrain vehicles (ATV’s) got a chance to give feedback towards the formation of regulations locally to allow ATV’s along rural roadways within Amherstburg. The meeting stemmed from council direction from the Sept. 24 regular meeting where the Essex County ATV Club asked to be able to use their vehicles on designated roads within the town.

Farmers, trappers and public works department officials are exempt from current restrictions, noted manager of licensing and enforcement Nicole Rubli.

Comments from the ATV users included a willingness to only use roadways to get from trail to trail, as paved roads damage their tires. There were some in attendance from Essex and Chatham-Kent to press the town to allow ATV’s to use local roadways, believing it would boost tourism as riders would now have access to Amherstburg roads. Others believed it would cut down on trespassing as ATV riders could use roads to get from point A to point B without tracking across fields.

Eric Chamberlain, the town’s manager of roads and fleet, noted the town has 186 kilometres of road, both urban and rural, and noted there are some roads with narrow shoulders and grassy areas.

The Town of Amherstburg held a public meeting regarding possible usage of ATV’s along area roadways. The meeting was held Oct. 30 at the Libro Centre.

“If the municipality passes a bylaw, it is only for our roads,” said Chamberlain. “You’d have to go to county (council) to get permission to use their right-of-ways.”

Acting Staff Sgt. Matt Capel-Cure said the Off-road Vehicle Act has nothing to do with operating on highways unless the highways are crossed. While there is nothing specific about riding single file, ATV riders are advised to stay as close to the right as possible.

Rubli said there is a survey posted on the town’s “Talk the Burg” website, found at www.talktheburg.ca, and the town is inviting the public to comment through there. There may be another public meeting if there is a draft bylaw created.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo noted that he and the deputy mayor have the authority to bring the issue to county council, should the public want the town to go that route. DiCarlo was at the meeting with Councillor/Deputy Mayor-elect Leo Meloche and Councillor-elect Donald McArthur.

Rubli said she aims to have a report before town council on the matter in the first quarter of 2019 with public feedback factored into that report.

Town’s consultants reveal preferred option for Duffy’s lands

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The preferred option has been identified for the former Duffy’s lands.

Landmark Engineering Inc., the town’s consultants on the project, put forth their preferred option at sparsely attended open houses last Thursday afternoon and evening. Dan Krutsch, president of Landmark Engineers Inc., said the concept they brought forward includes a smaller amphitheatre, festival plaza and redesigned marina with 24-25 boat slips. It still includes a wharf that people could fish from.

Not included is a boat ramp, and while Krutsch acknowledged it is in a great geographical location, it is “problematic” as that location is in the downtown core. He said while there were those advocating for a boat ramp, they also heard complaints and concerns by business owners and others in the downtown area over the possibility of boat trailers being parked for several hours in front of stores and buildings.

Landmark Engineering Inc. presented its preferred option for the Duffy’s property at public open houses Oct. 18 at the Libro Centre.

Krutsch said the option was putting in a parking lot for boat trailers or “do something for the greater population of the town.”

The amphitheatre is recommended to be scaled back and be smaller than originally proposed, as well as being pointed out towards the Detroit River. The ground would be slightly sloped for people viewing entertainment. The site would also still have festival space that could be used separately or in conjunction with the amphitheatre. The wharf could also be used for such things as tall ship festivals or similar events.

There could also be a building with showers, washrooms and other amenities for boaters.

Landmark Engineering Inc. held an open house in August and solicited feedback from that as well.

“We had a pretty mixed response from a lot of different people,” said Krutsch.

The entire project is estimated to cost between $7-$7.5 million, and possibly up to $8 million if construction costs trend upward. Plaza site works are pegged between $2.5-$3 million, shoreline improvements would be $400,000-$500,000, the marina could cost $2.5-$3 million with costs for structures estimated to be between $1.5-$2.5 million.

Town honours volunteers with special luncheon

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Town of Amherstburg and its tourism department took time out to pay tribute to community members that give back.

A special volunteer luncheon was held at the Libro Centre last Thursday where approximately 70 volunteers were recognized. Tourism co-ordinator Sarah Van Grinsven said it was a town event but the tourism department has the data on the volunteers that help at town events.

Van Grinsven added that community groups were also consulted in order to get their volunteers as well. Sports teams and groups were also part of the event with volunteers receiving recognition.

“We really wanted to recognize volunteers that make a difference in our community,” she said.

Van Grinsven said the hope is to make it an annual event. They know there are a lot more volunteers out there but there is only so much room to hold them at any one time.

Roughly 70
volunteers from around the Amherstburg community were honoured last Thursday
afternoon at the Libro Centre.
A special volunteer luncheon was presented by the Town of Amherstburg and the town’s tourism
department.

“Hopefully we can recognize more next year,” said Van Grinsven. “There are thousands of people who volunteer  in the community and help out. Our goal is to recognize volunteers every single year and let them know they are appreciated.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, who presented certificates from the town. “It came from the tourism department. They are the department that is the most affected by the number of volunteers in town.”

DiCarlo said special events and groups couldn’t be presented or do what they do without the assistance of volunteers.

“I think it’s a great initiative on their part to finally recognize the volunteers in a formal way,” DiCarlo added. “We could not do what we do without the number of volunteers that we have.”

Van Grinsven added that that” we are always encouraging people to get involved and volunteer.” If they would like to fill out an application to volunteer they can go to https://amherstburg.formbuilder.ca/2018-Volunteer-Form.

Nantais Athletic shop now open at the Libro Centre

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Nantais Athletic Inc. newest location in the Libro Centre is now open.

The new sports shop replaces the former Canadian Tire location that had been there and is the second Nantais Sports location in the area, the other being in Windsor. The business is owned by Mike Morencie with partners Joe Cleroux and Mike Urban.

Cleroux will also help manage the new Libro Centre location and the Amherstburg resident said Nantais Sports saw a business opportunity when Canadian Tire closed its pro shop.

“We saw a very, very good business opportunity to bring a multi-season sports shop into a sports complex,” said Cleroux.

Cleroux said the Libro Centre location has “a lot to offer” and that “we like the fact they have a Miracle League diamond.” Nantais Athletic has offered baseball supplies since opening in Windsor in 1946 but is also a carrying hockey, football and other sports supplies.

“Retaining Marc LeBlanc is a major asset,” said Cleroux. “His community involvement and recognition is second to none.”

Joe Cleroux and Marc LeBlanc will be running the Nantais Athletic sports shop, now open in the Libro Centre.

LeBlanc will handle day-to-day operations in Amherstburg while Cleroux will go back and forth between the two stores.

“I can’t believe the amount of people that come in and ask for Marc,” said Cleroux.

The pro shop will be themed based on season and what sports are happening. The skate sharpening machine is back and Cleroux also noted they have a full line of football gear from Riddell available.

“We want to be involved to the extent of hosting camps and clinics for baseball, football and hockey,” he said.

Nantais Athletic also offers Under Armor apparel and Nike apparel. They will also offer supplies for such sports as broomball and pickleball.

“We are going to try and be the sports shop Amherstburg has been needing,” said Cleroux.

Cleroux added they also hope to work alongside General Amherst High School.

“We do all of their spirit wear,” he said. “Hopefully next year we’ll be selling them football and gym equipment.”

The soft opening was on Tuesday with no grand opening plans just yet. Hours had yet to be finalized as of press time, but for more information, visit www.nantaisathletic.com.