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Petition cites poor use of Town of LaSalle funds

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Groundbreaking for the skate and multi-use trail in LaSalle is a couple of weeks away, but there is an online petition asking people to sign if they are opposed to the project.

The anonymous author says the money for the $8.8-million project could be better used on improving infrastructure or funding essential services.

“A lot of the expense is the cooling of the ice. The concept is creative. It just comes down to 250 metres at 8.8 million,” said LaSalle resident Maurizio Tiberia. “8.8 (million) approved but there’s other expenses that are estimated on top of that. What’s the actual cost?”

The 60-acres is part of a long-term plan for the development of the waterfront.

“People from Windsor they're looking for a day out of the city so they're driving through the county and they're driving right past us and they're heading to Amherstburg which has a beautiful waterfront,” said LaSalle resident Cindy Diubaldo. “We definitely need something on the waterfront. We need to develop it. We need to bring people here but I don’t know if this is the right fit. I need to know more about it.”

Tiberia feels communication could have been better throughout the process.

“Everyone looks at their tax bill so if you really wanted to make sure people see it you could do that.” Tiberia suggested.

Meloche says everything pertaining to the project is on the town’s website and messages are sent on their social media pages.

Despite that, CTV spoke with a resident who didn’t know about the project.

“It's a multi-season, multi-use facility,” Meloche said. “It's going to have a water feature in the summer months. It's gonna have a memorial garden. a butterfly garden area. It is a whole lot of things going into one space.”

One resident feels the project should be spread along the Front Road waterfront while another likes the idea but worry about how much his taxes will go up as a result.

“We're hopefully going to see other people invest in our community and bring their businesses and commercial plazas which is going to offset our tax base and help those residential home owners who are really the majority of our tax base right now,” Meloche said.

Town councillor Anita Riccio-Spagnuolo is sensitive to the overall cost but has also heard the call from residents to develop the waterfront.

“I think once they see the amenity and I think once they see what it's going to do to our town and bring families together I think it's going to be well enjoyed just like the Vollmer has been over the many years,” she said.

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