Vice Chair of DWBIA Caught Off-Guard by Mayor's Warning

If the city of Windsor has its way business improvement associations won't be able to pledge funding to the Citizens for an Accountable Megahospital Planning Project.

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens announced the city's intentions to block BIAs from funding an appeal of the new Regional Acute Care Centre's location Friday. 

Dilkens says, “using taxpayer levied dollars from their members to fund a third-party appeal of a city decision is a violation of the Municipal Act.”

Vice Chair of the Downtown Windsor BIA Pat Papadeas was caught off-guard by the declaration. She says the DWBIA met with the mayor recently and there was no mention of any issue.

Papadeas can't speak for every BIA, but tells AM800 News the DWBIA will do what's right if they are in fact in violation of the act.

"What I understand right now is that administration is recommending approval of our budget, subject to that $5,000, which represents less than 1% of our budget," she says. "We'll follow the process, we want to be compliant and we'll take a look and see what our options are."

She says the DWBIA membership made it clear they will stand behind CAMMP whether they can help fund an appeal or not.

"Regardless of what happens with this line item in the budget, it's very clear to us where our members stand,” says Papadeas. "They support insuring those vital services remain in the downtown district if possible because a benefit to the property owners and to the service industry."

Dilkens says funding cuts or the complete dissolution of BIA boards in violation of the act is possible — but he was clear that's something administration wants to avoid.

He was joined by Essex County Warden Gary McNamara at an event to announce support for the location, saying the silent majority will no longer be silenced by the "loud majority" in opposition of the new location.

The issue will be brought to the next regular city council meeting.