Ranta Marina

Town council moving forward with LED lighting program



By Ron Giofu


The town’s street lights in the public right-of-ways are changing over to LED fixtures with the project to begin this year.

Town council awarded a tender valued at over $1.18 million to Anchor Hydro, an Amherstburg-based company with the amount to be budgeted over seven years. Administration hopes that the savings produced from the LED lights will also help pay for the project even quicker.

“Hallelujah. To get the LED program going for the town is fantastic,” said Councillor Rick Fryer, who had long championed the conversion of the street lights to LED fixtures.

“It’s gratifying to see the town is saving money, saving energy and looking for future generations,” he added after Monday night’s meeting.

Town council also will see what the cost will be to complete the lighting of Front Road North as an RFP will be put out to see what the cost will be to illuminate the stretch between Ranta Marina and Malden Road. Fryer called that unlighted stretch “dangerous” and that putting lights on that remaining stretch would mean the highway would have street lights from Amherstburg to Windsor.

LED lights will be installed this year all over Amherstburg, many similar to the LED lights currently on Meloche Road (pictured).

Councillor Leo Meloche didn’t oppose the LED lighting program, but had questions as it pertained to cost. He said $450,000 was earmarked in the 2018 budget for the project but said after the meeting he accepted administration’s explanation, though, added he wished the explanation would have come sooner.

Meloche stated during the meeting that he wondered how the Front Road North was “slid into” the proposal, believing it was a separate project.

“I think it should have been split up,” he said.

Meloche added after the meeting he was satistifed with the explanation there as well, as it could be discussed in future budget sessions.

CAO John Miceli said the motion was to issue an RFP and that would give council a better gauge on what the project would cost.

“What we are doing is fact-finding to see how much it would cost,” added Miceli.

Miceli stated the town projects that the savings from the LED program would help pay for the entire project.

“We confidently believe the operational savings we are going to have through the LED program will fund the LED program,” the chief administrative officer stated.

According to a report from manager of engineering Todd Hewitt, Amherstburg paid $228,573.69 in streetlight utility costs

“Converting the Town’s streetlights to LED will reduce this cost significantly,” Hewitt stated in his report.

Hewitt told town council he believes it is a “win-win” for the town to convert, noting they are saving energy and money in the long run by doing so.

“The new cobrahead lights will be manufactured by LED Roadway Lighting (LRL) and come with a 20 year limited replacement warranty. All components are covered for full replacement for the first 10 years with a pro-rated replacement on some components in years 11 to 20,” Hewitt added in his report. “The decorative fixtures will be manufactured by King Luminaire and come with a 10-year full replacement warranty. Anchor Hydro has included a five-year warranty to cover all labour involved with the replacement of faulty fixtures.”

Councillor Diane Pouget said the town will increase safety for the residents and achieve a cost savings with the LED program.

“As Todd said, it’s a win-win situation,” she stated.

As for the illumination of the stretch of Front Road North, she added “if the RFP comes back too high, we can reject it. It’s a request.”

Councillor Joan Courtney indicated she is hopeful that the Front Road North stretch will be lit up.

“I have travelled there at night when it is raining. You can’t see the lines,” she said. “It’s a liability. It’s a wonder there haven’t been more accidents.”

Ranta Marina leased out, to re-open later this year



By Ron Giofu


Ranta Marina will officially be back in operation for the 2017 boating season.

The marina, which had been for sale, will instead be leased with Mike Meloche being the person to reach an agreement with the investment group out of Toronto that owns the Front Road North facility.

“We finally reached a deal,” said Meloche. “I’ve been in talks with them for about four months. I’ve leased it for a five-year term. They are going to take it off the market for the five-year term.”

According to Meloche, the marina may go back on the market at that point but he would have first right of refusal. But for the next five years, it will be a lease arrangement.

“It’s a pretty long-term deal,” said Meloche. “It’s in my hands for five solid years.”

Meloche said they plan to open the first week in May. He admits they have gotten off to a late start this year but estimates approximately two-thirds of their target has been reached. The plan is to fill all 104 slips in 2018.

“We’re probably getting a couple of customers calling every day for wells,” said Meloche. “We’ve got quite a few returning customers.”

Meloche, who helped run Bru Mon marina for several years until it was sold, said the plans call for the dismantling of the restaurant structure that was there and offer either a food truck or small concession stand for boaters. He said there won’t be a restaurant there serving liquor.

“It’s going to open as a marina and renting wells,” he said, adding gasoline sales for boats will also occur.

The marina will be run by Meloche, his wife and their two daughters initially as he is not sure yet the plan for employees. He called 2017 a “break-even year” and said he is “very excited” to get it officially re-open. Meloche added he lives close to the marina and saw it fall to its lowest depths in recent years.

The marina was formerly owned by the town but was sold in 2009 for $584,000, a figure that outraged people at the time. The mortgage holders took possession of the property in 2015 with it being put up for sale in early 2016. Boaters could still be seen using the facility in the last couple of years, despite the fact it was not officially open.


Despite the uncertainty in recent years, Meloche said the 13-acre site has held up well.

“The overall facility is in fairly decent shape,” said Meloche. “The washrooms, showers and pool are in good shape. The docks are in very good shape. It will be up and running shortly.”

Ranta Marina has nice views for boaters, Meloche added, and he hopes to offer Wi-Fi Internet service to boaters as well. He also hopes to attract transient boaters to the marina.

Rental rates will be $45 per foot, he added, slightly less than what it was when it closed.

For more information or to obtain a well or ramp pass, Meloche can be reached by calling 519-566-4980.

One offer in on Ranta Marina, other offers still encouraged



By Ron Giofu


The realtor selling Ranta Marina says one offer has been made but noted other offers are still welcome.

John D’Alimonte of Re/Max Realty said the marina is listed for sale on MLS and is being listed under a power of sale. He said the mortgagees took possession of the property last year and D’Alimonte just listed it in mid-January. A Woodbridge-based lawyer is acting on behalf of the Toronto investors who currently have the mortgage on the property, located at 1500 Front Road North.

It is being listed at $1,899,000. The town sold the marina in 2009 for $584,000.

Ranta Marina, as seen Jan. 31, 2016

Ranta Marina, as seen Jan. 31, 2016

“We do have an offer going back-and-forth,” said D’Alimonte.

Noting he is “fairly optimistic,” D’Alimonte did note that offers on these types of transactions often come in conditional on a number of items and if one of the conditions isn’t met, it can scuttle the offer.

“We encourage other buyers to come in as back up offers,” said D’Alimonte.

D’Alimonte pointed out the marina was built by the federal government and believes there will be others who show interest in the 104-slip facility.

“It’s a beautiful marina,” said D’Alimonte. “I think there is going to be a lot of interest.”

Stating people from out-of-town see the value of investing in this area, D’Alimonte believes that is where some of the interest could come from. The entire site is 13 acres.

“My goal is to market the property outside the region,” he said. “This could be attractive to American boaters, possibly.”

A number of people from the Toronto area are also buying up local land due to the lower prices as compared to the GTA.

“They are buying our investment properties. They are getting returns on their money,” said D’Alimonte.

According to D’Alimonte, the parkland next door is not part of the deal. The town elected to keep that land in 2009.

“The Ranta Park is not included,” said D’Alimonte.

D’Alimonte emphasized his belief that it is a “jewel of a property” and estimated it could be three to five months before it is known whether the current offer will be fully accepted.