Libro Centre

Town to consider its own surcharge recommendation for Libro Centre

 

By Ron Giofu

Town council has opted to consider its own recommendation for a new surcharge to be assessed to Libro Centre users.

In the process, they spurned a different proposal submitted by the building’s three main user groups – the Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association (AMHA), Skate Amherstburg and the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals.

According to a report from manager of recreation services Rick Daly, “administration proposed a capital surcharge outlined in the user fee bylaw” and “this capital surcharge is set at $6 per rental unit of time for sport facilities and park bookings and $3 per rental unit of time for room rentals.”

That option would see an estimated $25,350 collected in a year, as opposed to the other option, presented Monday night by AMHA president Marc Renaud. That option is estimated at collecting $26,648.

“We believe non-residents should pay more and adult users should pay more,” Renaud told town council. “Kids in sport stay out of court.”

Renaud said the option created by the three major users would require all three principal users to contract ice hours at a minimum100 hours per year. The principal rate user surcharge would have been $4 per hour to all hours rented on all ice surfaces from Sept. 1-April 30 annually and $10 per hour for all pads from May 1-Aug. 31.

For Amherstburg resident users that book ice rentals for a minimum of 12 hours per month would be set at $6 per hour for all pads. Casual non-resident users would pay a surcharge of $13 per hour of ice rentals.

Under the town’s proposal, Renaud said it would translate into a $21.82 cost per AMHA player and $13.50 for every Skate Amherstburg participant. Under the proposal he presented, Renaud said the numbers drop to $14.54 per player in AMHA and $9 per Skate Amherstburg participant.

According to the administrative report: “Administration recommends that Option #1 (the town’s recommendation) be approved as it is the most equitable and easiest to implement. The users would pay into the reserve equally based on rental levels.” The report added that “the fundamental difference in the structure of the reserve in Option 2 (presented by the primary users) is problematic, in that it doesn’t allow the town to deal with global building issues and only ice specific issues. Secondly, it creates inequality, as it doesn’t allow the users who are paying a disproportionate share much representation at the time the replacement is needed. In this case, you would have non-primary users subsidizing the future replacement of infrastructure to the benefit of the primary users.”

Councillor Rick Fryer said he supported the town’s recommendation, believing the $6 surcharge across the board is “fair” and that the people who use the Libro Centre most would pay a greater share of the surcharge.

“I don’t see this being a big issue with the user groups,” said Fryer.

Renaud reiterated his position that adult users should be paying more in order to keep youth in sports.

Councillor Jason Lavigne said he has three children who have played travel hockey and regardless of whether it is children or adults playing, the adults still pay the costs.

“You are kind of wishy-washy here,” Lavigne told Renaud.

Lavigne said the Libro Centre is the envy of the area but there are costs to keep it that way.

“We have to realize it costs money and we’re having issues here,” said Lavigne.

Councillor Leo Meloche believed the user groups’ options were “a burden to the non-primary users” and that the general taxpayers were paying “a pretty good share already” to maintain the Libro Centre. He said he didn’t find the user groups’ option to be unreasonable. Councillor Diane Pouget said “we try to be fair to everybody” and noted Daly’s report where it said the primary users had 54 per cent of the ice time in 2016 but would only pay 38 per cent of the total surcharge under their proposal.

Councillor Joan Courtney noted she has children and grandchildren who play hockey and believed that if a person can play hockey, they can afford to pay a little more. She noted there is money for hats and jackets and that “somehow they find the money” and didn’t believe the surcharge was unreasonable.

“To keep the Libro Centre a great facility, I don’t think it’s too much,” said Courtney.

Lady Gens win one and tie one in WECSSAA action

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The rebuilding General Amherst girls hockey team has had positive results so far.

The Lady Gens first game of the week was a 2-2 tie with the visiting Essex Red Raiders.

Cate Hubbell gave the Lady Gens a first period lead before Essex tied it and the pattern repeated itself in the second period as Carly Renaud scored for General Amherst followed by a tying goal from the Red Raiders.

“It was a much better game,” said Amherst head coach Dan Pettypiece, in comparing it to the team’s first game against Massey.

The improved effort against Essex including simple things like starting the game on time. Against Massey, there were players that were late to take the ice but that wasn’t the case against Essex.

“The effort was there. The battle was there,” said Pettypiece. “We had some chances to win it at the end.”

Pettypiece said the young Lady Gens team is showing improvement one step at a time.

Alex Laframboise takes a shot on goal during the third period of last Wednesday’s game against Essex.

“We can’t expect them to change overnight,” said Pettypiece. “It’s going to take time.”

Renaud said after the Essex game that “we struggled in the beginning” but also believed the Lady Gens are showing improvement.

The Lady Gens won 2-0 Monday at home versus Lajeunesse.

“The girls continue to make improvements as the season rolls along. Again patience will be the

key with this young group. We are starting to get some goal production from other players. Balanced scoring will be a great asset as the season continues,” said Pettypiece.

Scoring for Amherst against Lajeunesse were Breana Farias with her first assisted by Stanek and Renaud and Abbie Drouillard with her first high school goal unassisted.

Jaiden Stiles earned the shutout and continued to give the Lady Gens very steady goaltending.

“We were missing three regulars, including two on defence, for today’s game due to illness so we called on affiliated players Autumn Guthrie and Phoebe Trealout to play in this game,” Pettypiece said Monday afternoon. “Both played solid games and Autumn scored only to have it called back because the net had moved.”

Pettypiece said the team has continued to build on the game before “which is a very positive sign leading into next week where they will tested heavily with some tough competition in the Crusader’s Hockey tournament in London. The coaching staff are hoping this tournament will help the

team bond and come together as a team.”

The next WECSSAA game for the Lady Gens is not until Dec. 11 when they play Kingsville in a 3:15 p.m. game at the Libro Centre.

 

Midget Majors host Elite 8 Brandy Peddie Memorial Tournament

 

 

The Amherstburg Stars midget major team was busy on the weekend, as the hockey team hosted the annual Elite 8 Brandy Peddie Memorial Tournament.

In addition to the Amherstburg Stars, the tournament featured some stiff competition from around this area and from around the province. Other teams included the defending OHF champion Bradford Bulldogs, the Erie North Shore Storm, the Essex Ravens, the Grimsby Peach Kings, the Innisfil Winterhawks, the London Jr. Mustangs and the St. Thomas Stars.

All games were played at the Libro Centre.

Amherstburg’s Ayden Drago (left) gets a third period scoring chance last Saturday morning against the Innisfil Winterhawks.

Amherstburg got off to a fast start Friday afternoon as they hosted the Erie North Shore Storm. The Stars beat Erie North Shore 5-1.

The scoring continued Saturday morning for the local Stars, as they defeated the Innisfil Winterhawks 6-1. The Stars played well in this contest with Dean DeLuca picking up a hat trick in the game. Amherstburg led 2-0 after one period on goals by Colton Taylor and Max Clifford and built a 5-0 lead after two periods with DeLuca scoring all three second period goals. Isaac Hammond scored in the third with Innisfil breaking the shutout in the final seconds for its goal.

The Stars lost their final game of the round-robin 4-1 Saturday night to London but advanced to the tournament semi-finals Sunday morning against Bradford. Unfortunately for Amherstburg, it was Bradford who picked up the 3-1 win to advance to the finals.

London defeated Bradford 6-3 in the finals.

Amherstburg Police Service hosting open forum on opioids

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Police Service is hosting an open forum this Thursday to help spread awareness and advice regarding opioids.

The free community forum, entitled “Not My Kid”, runs Nov. 9 at the Libro Centre from 6-8 p.m. Const. Kim Rathbone said their vision is to have information available in the foyer of the Libro Centre featuring youth diversion, New Beginnings, the Teen Health Centre, the Canadian Mental Health Association among others.

“These places are typically in Windsor but they are going to be at your fingertips,” said Rathbone.

Once the program starts, Rathbone said they will have a real life story from someone who battled addiction and received treatment. The Windsor police drugs and guns unit will also be on hand to make a presentation.

“They are going to talk to parents about typical signs to look for in your child and what to look for in your child’s room,” she said.

Rathbone added that local Shoppers Drug Mart owner Josie Piruzza is scheduled to speak on keeping prescription drugs safe and proper disposal of drugs. There will be school nurses from around Windsor-Essex County on hand, Rathbone continued, with Sharmaine Tanario-Battagello from Withdrawal Management also scheduled to speak.

Tanario-Battagello has 27 years of program development and clinical experience and holds a master’s degree in organizational psychology and clinical social work. She has worked in the fields of mental health and addictions throughout her career and has been part of the medical systems in both Canada and the United States.

Crime Stoppers Windsor-Essex County is also scheduled to attend with free naloxone training also being provided. Naloxone is used on someone who has overdosed and buys time for the person to be treated by medical professionals.

Rathbone pointed out that there have already been open forums on opioids in Kingsville and LaSalle and organizers have learned from those events on what information people are seeking. Amherstburg police hope to prevent opioid addiction and limit it from becoming a major issue locally.

“The whole point of this is to get ahead of it,” said Rathbone. “It’s not a giant issue in Amherstburg. There’s no epidemic here.”

Another open forum is scheduled to be in Windsor in early 2018, she added.

The “Not My Kid” community forum will run from 6-8 p.m. The Libro Centre is located at 3295 Meloche Road in Amherstburg.

For more information, contact Rathbone at 519-736-8559.

Community Improvement Plan, Urban Design Guidelines to be subject of open house

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Now that town council has authorized the development of a Community Improvement Plan (CIP) and urban design guidelines, administration is moving ahead with those efforts.

An open house is planned for Oct. 30 at the Libro Centre with sessions planned for 3-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. The town stated that the purpose of these two plans is to assist the municipality with enhancing Amherstburg’s downtown core and commercial area “through a variety of planning, incentive and design strategies.”

One of the main drivers of the Community Improvement Plan is to provide a program for attracting overnight accommodations in the commercial area of the town. Town council authorized administration to move forward in August.

A Community Improvement Plan is described as “a tool that will support and provide incentives for sustainable revitalization and heritage conservation within the downtown and commercial areas of town” while “Urban Design Guidelines with a heritage theme will work in conjunction with the Community Improvement Plan as it relates to incentives for commercial façade improvements. These documents will assist in guiding the evolution of the urban fabric of the town in terms of commercial developments and streetscapes.”

Manager of planning services Rebecca Belanger said town council approved the initiative and Monteith Brown Planning Consultants awarded the contracts for both projects.

“The purpose of the open house is for the public to meet the consultants, have them introduce the study and hear people’s ideas on the project,” said Belanger.

Belanger said “it’s very preliminary at this point” and that past documents on heritage districts and similar studies will be incorporated into this project.

“There’s a lot of background work that was done in the past,” she said.

Noting it is a “multi-phase program,” Belanger also noted the CIP is designed to attract overnight accommodations to Amherstburg while the Urban Design Guidelines are geared towards incentives for façade improvements and infilling opportunities downtown as well. She said the programs will help support the town’s business community and enhance built heritage.

Speaking specifically of the CIP, Belanger said possibilities include setting up grant or loan programs for interested developers and offering relief on fees.

“It may be multi-tiered depending on what is proposed,” said Belanger.

There will be a lot of consultation throughout the process, Belanger added, and it will also be placed on the recently-launched “Talk the Burg” website as well.

“The CIP will provide a business friendly program that the Town of Amherstburg will offer to businesses to support the competitive market for the attraction of overnight accommodations and business façade improvements” says Mayor Aldo DiCarlo.