Pot, Tunes and Waves Dominate 2018 in Leamington

Some projects soared in Leamington, while others found themselves underwater.

Leamington Mayor Hilda MacDonald says 2018 was a great year in many aspects for the town which included a $7.4-million plan to reinvent in the town's uptown and a now completed $1.4-million event space book ended a year that also saw the town's shoreline swept out with the waves.

MacDonald tells AM800 News, Seacliff Park Amphitheatre along Lake Erie has been declared a success by the town and its residents.

"The music offerings every week, our Hogs for Hospice, our symphony on July 1, all of that was fantastic," she says.

MacDonald says the decision to opt-in on retail pot is a "gutsy move" that the town had to make to show support for one of its largest employers, Aphria.

Council voted 5-2 in favour of  welcoming retail sales despite not qualifying for a licence earlier this month — the current regulations won't licencing to municipalities with less than 50,000 people until at least December of 2019.

She says the town will hit the ground running in 2019.

"Trying to connect with people already in the industry with communities already in place to see what they've done," says MacDonald. "We've got the names and the emails already in our back pockets so to speak so we can start connecting to people, doing homework, and trying to pave the way."

Damage to municipal infrastructure and private property ran into the millions after several storms pummeled the town's west shore in 2018.

MacDonald says a long-term solution needs to be found.

"We're going to have to find a way to make this work into the future, not constantly putting band aids on it and then in five years or 10 years we're still back where we were in April with that storm event," she says.