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Policing stats come to council, speeding charges noted

Town of Amherstburg Crest

Policing statistics have come before town council with the Windsor Police Service – Amherstburg Detachment reporting for the first quarter of 2024.


There were 3,120 calls for service from January-March with 3,103 being dispatch generated incidents while there were 17 walk-in incidents.


There were 2,165 traffic offenses in the first three months of this year. There were 34 Part III summons, four liquor offenses and 296 reports of “other provincial offenses.”


Deputy Mayor Chris Gibb took particular note of the traffic offenses.


“I know I’m a broken record on this but I think it needs to be said,” said Gibb. “The first three months of this year and if you extrapolate these numbers out, we’re going to have another record-setting year for the number of tickets the Windsor police – Amherstburg detachment is writing in this community. I don’t know what it’s going to take for the people of Amherstburg to learn to drive properly. I just don’t understand how we can be that bad every year where we’re writing more and more tickets.”


Gibb praised the work of Staff Sgt. Brian Caffarena and the team at the Amherstburg detachment but “people just need to start following the rules.”


Police report 12 break-and-enters, ten charges of theft over $5,000, 18 charges of theft under $5,000, three cases of possession of stolen goods, 26 fraud complaints, 12 mischief complaints, 26 assault complaints, two arson/fire call matters, three impaired driving charges and 19 classified as “other criminal code” offenses.


Councillor Don McArthur offered kudos to Const. Nick Dupuis for the community outreach efforts. 


McArthur cited the work of Dupuis, the Windsor Police Service - Amherstburg Detachment community services officer, and other police officers for their work on the April 21 “Cram A Cruiser” event at Sobeys that benefitted the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission.


“Amherstburg residents filled up trucks and it was just nice to see,” said McArthur.


County Road 20 concerns

Councillor Diane Pouget requested that Mayor Michael Prue and Deputy Mayor Chris Gibb go to county council to involve the Town of Amherstburg in a LaSalle-initiated traffic study for County Road 20. The section of roadway in Pouget’s motion was County Road 10 to the River Canard Yacht Club.


“The reasons are excessive speed in this area appears to create unsafe conditions for motorists and residents exiting 90 homes, the Edgewater Variety and gas station, customers trailering their boats to Coopers’ Marina and residents trying to retrieve their mail from four mailbox postal stations in that two-kilometre stretch of road,” she said.


Pouget added other factors are that the sidewalk is close to the highway and that a section of County Road 20 in LaSalle has been reduced to 50 km/hr in a dense section of housing.


Prue said LaSalle Mayor Crystal Meloche brought the issue of a traffic study up at county council and a possible solution being a light at Front Road and Martin Lane and/or Victory St.


“One of the reasons she cited for LaSalle needing a traffic study and a slowdown on highway 20 in LaSalle was all the extra traffic being generated out of Amherstburg going through LaSalle,” said Prue. “Obviously, she thinks it’s coming from us so we won’t get any blowback if we say it is.”


Prue said either he or Gibb will bring the matter up at Essex County council.


Declarations

Amherstburg town council has declared Falun Dafa Day in Amherstburg.

Administration has been directed to light up town hall blue May 13 in recognition of Falun Dafa Day with a flag raising planned for this Friday at 10 a.m. at town hall.


“I hope to see everyone out May 3 to raise the flag,” said Mayor Michael Prue.


Town council has also agreed to participate in the 2024 Daffodil Month Campaign as requested by the Canadian Cancer Society. 


“Cancer effects everyone,” said Councillor Molly Allaire. “We have free health care in Canada. Get your PAP tests, your mammograms, colonoscopies, get it done. They can’t find it if you don’t participate. Call your doctor.”


Allaire added: “I think this is great to create awareness but we have to actually take care of ourselves. Step up and do it.”  


May 12 has been declared as Fibromyalgia Awareness Day in Amherstburg. Administration has been directed to light town hall purple on that day.


LED signs

Councillor Peter Courtney questioned the electronic signs that are at each entrance to the town’s urban core and noted that an advertisement for a business appears on it and was asked by another business owner about it.

Courtney wanted to know more about how businesses can get on the sign.


“I think it would be a good venture and a good way to raise money. I heard the money is going to replace the LED sign when it comes to the end of its useful life,” said Courtney.


Deputy CAO/director of development services Melissa Osborne said administration is looking at way to create revenue for the sign and will bring further information to council.


Libro Centre expenses

Councillor Diane Pouget made a motion to have administration to prepare a report to decrease operational expenses at the Libro Centre and to have that report reviewed by the audit and finance committee and parks and recreation committee.


Mayor Michael Prue asked if Pouget had a dollar amount in mind with Pouget saying the Libro Centre has a $2 million operational deficit.


“As a councillor, I cannot know how much to reduce it,” said Pouget. “I’m asking for recommendations on how to review this significant deficit.”


Councillor Peter Courtney believed there were ways to create efficiencies at the Libro Centre but was unable to support the motion as it stood. Councillor Molly Allaire agreed as she believed there were always efficiencies they could find, and wanted a report looking at operations as a whole.


“Maybe they’ll come up with some great ideas, who knows?” she said.

Deputy Mayor Chris Gibb said the time to debate the matter was at budget, not now, so he didn’t support the motion. Councillor Don McArthur called the request “nebulous” and didn’t support it.


McArthur said council has to guide staff on what programming and service needs to be offered. That has to align with the Strategic Plan and be discussed at budget. He said there is a spirit to “build up the Libro Centre” and create more programs for families.


“We know that it loses money. If there is a specific area that loses money, we can target that at budget,” said McArthur.


CAO Valerie Critchley said administration is always looking for efficiencies and brings them forth at budget. She acknowledged a Libro Centre deficit and there is not full cost recovery. 


The Libro Centre is a public entity, and the town looks at that and all facilities and services on how to run them better, Critchley told town council.


Prue said he is not aware of any public recreational institution in Canada that makes money. He said “children need a place to play. Children need a place to unwind.” He added he wants to see a number requested and wanted staff instructed and given an amount if council wants a reduction. 


The motion failed with only Pouget and Allaire voting in favour.


Boblo dock

Councillor Molly Allaire asked if there was any update on the decaying former Boblo dock along Front Road South. CAO Valerie Critchley said she has reached out to her contact at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and didn’t hear back from her prior to the meeting. Critchley said she will follow up further. Policing stats come to council, speeding charges noted

By Ron Giofu

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