Amherstburg Municipal Building seen on June 13, 2016. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

Residents Demand Amherstburg Include Boat Ramp In Plans

Hundreds of Amherstburg residents have signed a petition demanding a public marina, boat launch, fishing dock, and adequate parking be included in plans for the old Duffy’s property.

The town bought the old hotel and tavern on the Detroit River back in September 2016. It has since been torn down and is now an integral part of the town’s plans to revitalize its riverfront.

The concept for the Duffy’s property outlined in the Parks Master Plan includes a marina, but does not include a boat ramp.

Resident Kevin Sprague says the town did not talk to enough people, so he took the matter to his neighbours.

“Over 90% of the people want marina amenities rather than an amphitheatre and other things at that location,” says Sprague who circulated a petition that got over 550 signatures over two weeks. He presented town council with the petition Monday night.

Amherstburg Mayor Aldo DiCarlo says the plans do include a marina, and a wharf for fishing, along with an amphitheatre.  He says the only facility in dispute is the boat ramp.

Sprague admits the change could drive more traffic to the riverfront.

“If this means the Duffy’s property requires a large parking lot constructed to accommodate residents and tourists, then build it,” he told councillors.

The Parks Master Plan may not be finalized until the end of the month, and DiCarlo says the Duffy’s project will be finalized separately.  He says that will be up to a future council.