Town to offer civil marriage ceremonies starting in 2018



By Ron Giofu


The town of Amherstburg will be offering couples the chance to tie the knot in civil marriages starting next year.

Town council officially approved a report recommending that the town be allowed to perform civil ceremonies. That means that, starting Jan. 1, people can get married by clerk Paula Parker, deputy clerk Tammy Fowkes or manager of licensing and enforcement Nicole Rubli.

The services would take place either in the council chambers or in Navy Yard Park, with the latter being contingent on availability and the couple securing it in a rental agreement.

The town has been issuing marriage licenses since 2011.

“Since that time, the Town of Amherstburg has issued approximately 110 marriage licenses per year based on a six year average from 2011-2016,” Rubli said in her report to town council. “Administration in the licensing and enforcement division has received numerous requests asking to have marriages solemnized by the municipality.”

Amherstburg will be the sixth municipality in the region to offer marriage services, joining Lakeshore, LaSalle, Leamington, Windsor and Kingsville.

“This is an opportunity for the Town to provide this additional service for residents and visitors where there is a known demand,” Rubli stated in her report.

The marriage services will be offered during regular office hours at town hall, with those being 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Rubli noted that Saturday services would be offered upon the availability of staff with a premium rate charged for a service outside of regular office hours.

The cost that was recommended for marriage services is $250 plus HST, which Rubli said “is consistent with what other municipalities charge.” An additional $100 would be charged for having the ceremony outside of regular office hours. An additional $117 would also have to be paid by the couple for the marriage license.

Should the parties involved wish to have an off-site ceremony, they would be responsible to pay for mileage at the Consumer Price Index rate, Rubli noted.

“A cost benefit analysis has been undertaken to examine the impact of such services and administration has concluded that such an endeavour will provide a positive return for the municipality,” Rubli stated in her report. “In addition, only non-union/management staff will conduct these ceremonies to reduce payroll cost.”

Rubli added that “based on data collected from the surrounding municipalities that currently offer civil marriage services, the Town anticipates that there will be approximately 25 marriage services per year requested.”

Based on the town’s estimates, an additional $6,250 in revenue could be collected for ceremonies conducted during regular business hours.

Two staff members will be trained at a cost of $1,110 with two others expected to receive training in 2018.

“Administration will work within its budget to prioritize training dollars in 2018 to ensure these cost are within the current budget envelope,” Rubli stated.

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