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  #821  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2008, 4:39 PM
arnold arnold is offline
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^was that bmo building on the NW corner? i can't remember the building but i remember that it looked like it had suffered several painful additions and/or conversions over the years. was it just the facade at the corner that was historic?
what is slated to go in its place?

and i remember seeing the keg on the corner of the candrell lot the last time i was in town, which is cool, but that's still a lot of river front retail space that's sitting empty.
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  #822  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2008, 6:33 PM
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Yes, that's the one and the whole building was historic but not heritage listed. It'll remain a parking lot for now but the owner had someone interested in signing a 10-year lease on the property with the condition that the building was demolished.
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  #823  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2008, 7:10 AM
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Yeah it was quite a demolition derby at the BMO Bank site too. Owner wants people to see his plaza from Walker, at the expense of this building.




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  #824  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2008, 6:16 PM
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Wasn't like the building was run down or an eyesore. IMO it was renovated nicely and if i remember right it was brick and concrete work, not ugly stucco. That intersection doesn't look right anymore. The plaza behind looks horrible, so outdated. You can catch a view of the roof on the photo above ^ left behind the demo.
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  #825  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2008, 6:33 PM
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Run down, not at all. BMO moved up to Tecumseh and Walker about a year ago. The Bank was still in great shape outside plus fantastic inside, limestone floors, a facade with highly detailed moulding and crown pillars. It would've made a great conversion to a restaurant like what they did with the Gourmet Emporium on Wyandotte and Chilver.

And yeah, that plaza is fugly! Used to have a Shoppers in there, which was the main attraction, but it moved to the Market. Sometimes I don't know what's gotten into these developers minds lol
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  #826  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2008, 7:29 AM
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Windsor Chinatown reinvented
$10 million plan proposed for city's west side
The Windsor Star, Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Nine years ago, Peter Lui's extraordinary vision came crashing down.

Now, his original plans, lovingly kept, are dusted off as he strives once again to spur development of a Windsor Chinatown, a commercial and hotel development conceived for railway land on Windsor's west side.

And here's where Lui's vision takes a new turn: He and local realtor Al Teshuba have spent the last 18 months approaching local business groups, including the Detroit River Tunnel Partnership and the Ambassador Bridge, with the idea of not only reinventing Chinatown, but of using the existing rail tunnel to ferry passengers between Windsor and Detroit, once it is replaced with a new tunnel that can carry double-stack rail cars.

He estimates the development, not including the cost of purchasing and operating GO-style passenger train cars, would cost $10 million.

As trains rumble through the 100-year-old Windsor-Detroit rail tunnel underneath several acres of land on the south and north sides of Wyandotte Street West, grassy, overgrown property remains vacant. But few people know how close the dream came to reality, the 65-year-old Lui recalls.

"I had investors coming in, I had tenants set up," he said Wednesday. There were plans for a five-storey, three-to-four-star hotel, commercial-retail and banquet facilities, four-storey office building and a fast food district, among other ideas. Oriental gateways would span Wyandotte on both sides of the new Chinatown.

Hotel chain investors in Florida, Toronto and Hong Kong were interested. And most crucially, Lui had secured an agreement to buy several acres of then CN-owned land over top the tunnel, which was still heavily in use then and operated by CN and CP rail.

City officials were on board, zoning was in place, and the Hong Kong-born architect-turned-contractor had the expertise to construct buildings which would withstand ground vibrations from freight trains underneath.

He put down a $15,000 deposit on the property, and was getting ready to go. The plan then was to lure Chinese gamblers from Toronto to stay in Windsor and visit the original casino. Everything seemed positive.

Then, in November of 1999 CN sent him a letter saying they were withdrawing from the proposed sale "due to outstanding internal issues." His deposit was returned, and the project was dead.

To this day, Lui says he doesn't know why they changed their mind. "It (was) a broken dream," he said. "I don't want to mislead anybody."

The tunnel was eventually turned over to CP as CN's new rail tunnel in Sarnia-Port Huron was completed. Now the facility is owned by CP and the OMERS pension fund, with the Detroit River Tunnel Partnership fronting them.

With the DRTP's original plan to turn the rail tunnel into a truck highway all but abandoned, the owners are planning -- no one knows when -- to build a new rail tunnel high enough to accommodate double-stack rail cars. The new tunnel plan has widespread support from groups on both sides of the border, including county council and the Michigan House of Representatives. So far, Windsor council has not endorsed it, but Coun. Bill Marra said it is an idea whose time has come.

"This is a very significant part of our well-being," Marra said of a new rail tunnel.

DRTP spokesman Matt Marchand would not comment on Lui and Teshuba's idea, but he confirmed plans for a new rail tunnel. "We're strictly talking about rail," he said when asked whether the truck traffic idea was still in place.

He said a new tunnel would take four years to build and cost between $350 and $400 million.

Lui, stressing that he is looking for interested people to lead development of a Chinatown development that could utilize the old double tunnel, said at his age he needs the help. But he said all it would take is for DRTP to either sell the three acres of land, or permit its use, to kick-start things.

He and Teshuba said with Windsor's economy changing, tourism will become more important. If U.S. visitors could park their cars in Detroit, take the train to Windsor and then take shuttle buses to the casino and downtown, as well as stay in Chinatown, the boost to the economy could be tremendous.

"I don't want to jump the gun and say we've got a project on the table," Lui added. "I have to get investors. First of all I have to get CP to agree.

"I'd still like to see this project go."
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  #827  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2008, 12:31 PM
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Here's a few links to photos of the Bank of Montreal for those that can't remeber what it looked like...

http://www.internationalmetropolis.com/?p=693

http://www.internationalmetropolis.com/?p=706

http://www.internationalmetropolis.com/?p=709
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  #828  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2008, 5:09 AM
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Great pics. I decided to host some.







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  #829  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2008, 9:51 PM
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Amica on the Drive just east of Pillette Rd is above ground.

"7 Supervisor of Development Application Teams Application of Amica Mature Lifestyles Inc. for site plan approval to permit a Lodging House – Adult Retirement and Accessory Facility (12 story building with accessory facilities within the building; 82 underground parking spaces and 11 visitor spaces, 5 staff parking spaces as surface parking area) located at 4881 and 4909 Riverside Drive East File ZS/9844"





East Windsor Cogeneration Centre (84 MW) - Windsor
http://www.powerauthority.on.ca/Page...ContentID=5116

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  #830  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2008, 4:31 AM
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^ Sounds better then sunrise two doors down. I'm sure when it is done it will be taking over some of sunrise' existing and potential clientele.
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  #831  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2008, 5:52 AM
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Canal plan floated for downtown
'This provides a sense of community, identity and mixed use we have desired for the Western Super Anchor'

The Windsor Star - Monday, July 28, 2008

Mayor Eddie Francis will today unveil an ambitious water and boardwalk concept for the Western Super Anchor properties he believes can finally help transform the downtown dead zone.

A large cut into the shoreline that would bring the Detroit River inland near Caron Avenue and create a waterway to house a new marina is a major component of the proposal developed by Toronto urban designer Calvin Brook. The 40-foot-deep basin would be shadowed by a combined condo and retail development.

Also included in Brook's concept is conversion of a three-block stretch of either Pitt Street or Chatham Street into a new east-west 20-foot-deep canal filled with municipal -- not Detroit River -- water that eventually travels north back toward the riverfront on property just west of the art gallery.

"Now that the casino (expansion) is open people have been saying 'What can we do to spur people and attract them to the city?'" Francis said.

"This provides a sense of community, identity and mixed use we have desired for the Western Super Anchor. It all translates into economic benefits. The time for this is right.

"This project is not going to be up and running tomorrow, but it's a plan for the future. We get asked to make a decision and that's what we are doing."

While the idea of cutting the river inland in the area near Caron has been a concept thrown around since the mid-1980s, the idea of adding a downtown canal is new, driven by what's been done in cities such as San Antonio and Oklahoma City.

The mayor credits city solicitor George Wilkki for suggesting it might work for Windsor, during a recent city strategic planning session. Brook has turned the idea into a reality in his renderings.

After today's unveiling, the next step calls for a three-month feasibility study to determine what's technically doable and what it would cost.

The mayor then hopes to stage several community open houses to gather feedback and gauge support for the plan.

There are no firm construction cost estimates for the plan, only early projections which suggest $60 million will be needed for the new waterway infrastructure -- roughly $30 million for the marina basin, $18 million for the canal and $12 million for site servicing.

But the mayor warned nothing is truly known financially until the feasibility study is completed.

The city is only to fund and help develop the water and walkway infrastructure under the plan. If the city builds the infrastructure, Francis hopes the private sector will come -- transforming a downtown western core into a destination of shops, residences, museums and restaurants.

"Our focus is on the infrastructure which will be a catalyst for the development," he said.

Windsor Family Credit Union, through president Marty Komsa, has offered to help pay some of the anticipated $65,000 cost to do the feasibility study and the mayor is seeking other private support. He hopes to get the study underway by late August.

Brook was instrumental in developing the central riverfront implementation plan for Windsor in the mid-1990s and was part of the former Killer Bs' downtown arena proposal. He received $10,000 for his latest rendering for the city.

He has developed a waterfront plan for Toronto and recently co-authored a study proposing the transformation of that city's elevated Gardiner Expressway with a network of public spaces, buildings and landscapes as an alternative to demolition.

He was in Scotland on Monday and could not be reached for comment.

Former MPP and NDP cabinet minister Dave Cooke, who returned from Toronto in April to again reside in Windsor, has been recruited by the mayor to help push the concept toward reality.

Cooke became intrigued because he believes the proposal offers more bang for the Western Super Anchor site originally than previous plans. The land, behind the art gallery, was originally consolidated by the city for an arena that's now being built in the east end and most recently was touted for a University of Windsor engineering campus, which the university decided to instead locate on campus.

"I just think this is so different than building an arena or engineering building that attempted to be the 'one thing,'" said Cooke, chairman of the University of Windsor's board of governors. "This is a concept that attracts not only people visiting the city, but for people living here to come back downtown.

"This is how we can integrate the waterfront into downtown. Today you get one block way and you don't know the water is there. This has amazing potential. This will get people going back and forth. This will bring the waterfront into the city."

He believes the concept offers Windsor a chance to change its reputation.

"You want people living, working and playing in a downtown mixed-use area," Cooke said. "There are challenges. This will not happen overnight. But this is a link on what we can do to attract investment. This will create jobs."

City planner Thom Hunt described the proposal as an exciting project that offers an opportunity to connect people with the waterfront in the downtown core.

"The central riverfront plan called for a linkage from downtown to the waterfront and this plan puts into images how to accomplish that," Hunt said. "The opportunities are dynamic.

"People are attracted to water. They want to sit near it, look at it. This actually brings those elements downtown. It's exciting and you want to get to a point where we can start to build it. The location, proximity to downtown and proximity to water features will be a good market."

There are also early ongoing port authority talks about launching a new Windsor-Detroit ferry taxi service which also could be tied to the proposal, the mayor said.

"The city is not getting involved with any of the developments," he said. "The city will be doing what we should be -- investing in infrastructure. By doing this, we give the city a chance to do bigger and better things.

"It's not pie-in-the-sky because people understand the significance of the riverfront. We will put it out there and see what the community reaction will be."


Artist drawing of the Western Super Anchor site. The new plan features a canal and urban village between Caron Avenue and Church Street bound by the Detroit River and University Avenue.
Photograph by : Handout photo
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  #832  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2008, 9:17 PM
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This is the response from the mayors waterfront proposal:

Cash raining down on mayor

Businesses line up to fund the waterfront feasibility study, London developer backs Mayor Francis
The Windsor Star - Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A feasibility study on the latest western super anchor proposal for the most ailing part of Windsor's downtown is being launched immediately after cheques rained down on Mayor Eddie Francis Tuesday.

Just minutes before the formal unveiling of an ambitious multi-million-dollar inland marina and canal development plan for the area west of The Art Gallery of Windsor and bus depot, London developer Shmuel Farhi pledged $25,000 towards the study looking into its viability and cost.

Farhi, whose company owns the vacant Riverside Drive property to the immediate west of the art gallery, joked that he decided on that amount after hearing similar pledges were coming from Windsor Family Credit Union and the Windsor Port Authority. CAW Local 444 president Ken Lewenza also threw his union's support behind the project with a $5,000 contribution.

"When you ask, 'Is this really going to happen?' Just watch us," said Francis, who, like Lewenza and other speakers at Tuesday's announcement in the foyer of the art gallery, denounced the "naysayers" already lining up to predict this latest in a string of grand plans for the downtown west side will similarly lead to nothing.

"This is exciting ... this is the type of vision we need in this city," said former MPP and cabinet minister Dave Cooke, who will lead a broad-based community study team overseeing the ambitious project.

Daniel Krutsch of Landmark Engineers Inc. said with Tuesday's go-ahead, the feasibility study, estimated to cost up to $75,000, will be launched by next week and could take 10 weeks. He pegged a "very preliminary" estimate on the project's infrastructure costs at about $60 million.

The plan includes a large cut into the Detroit River shoreline and creation of an inland marina parallel to Caron Avenue. Another centrepiece of an urban village of boardwalks and mixed residential and commercial development would be a new east-west canal conversion of either Pitt Street or Chatham Street.

"I'm convinced it's doable ... bravo to the people of Windsor," said developer Farhi, when asked why he made his $25,000 donation to the feasibility study.
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  #833  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2008, 9:21 PM
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From AM800 website

Mayor Eddie Francis has unveiled a new western super anchor proposal that includes a canal, a marina and a boardwalk. The canal would be dredged from the Detroit River parallel to Caron Avenue and south to University Avenue. The project also includes a combination condo and retail development. Early estimates put the projected cost at approximately $120 million. Francis says a 3-month feasibility study will help to determine a more accurate cost, benefit and timeline for construction.



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  #834  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2008, 12:10 AM
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this proposal looks pretty interesting. i like the fact that its way more interesting and 'downtown friendly' than just an arena or wayne gretzky's grill. lets hope they can make this work.

and actually... given the magnatude of the plans, i'm a little suprised that there hasn't been more conversation about this on these boards.
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  #835  
Old Posted Aug 16, 2008, 9:45 AM
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Hey,

My bf, a female friend and myself all decided we'd like to do a small trip tonight (Saturday). I haven't been to Windsor since 2004, and back then the city's party scene was absolutely wild, which is why I've suggested Windsor as our destination (Plus I'd like to check out the casino ). Is it still like that, or has the high dollar noticeably reduced the nightlife?

What are the best clubs to go to? Is everything good on Ouellette, or are there any hot places just off that main strip? We're in our mid-20's, so we'd prefer places where it's not dominated solely by 19-year olds. I seem to remember a club in an old factory on the NW side of the downtown - does that ring a bell for anyone, and is it an alright place?

Restaurant suggestions? $15-20 would be the preferred price range. Also, the place must have a good vegetarian meal for the bf.

Also, is anyone having a pre-club house party tonight where you'd welcome 3 more guests?



WI
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  #836  
Old Posted Aug 16, 2008, 1:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterlooInvestor View Post
Hey,


What are the best clubs to go to? Is everything good on Ouellette, or are there any hot places just off that main strip? We're in our mid-20's, so we'd prefer places where it's not dominated solely by 19-year olds. I seem to remember a club in an old factory on the NW side of the downtown - does that ring a bell for anyone, and is it an alright place?

Restaurant suggestions? $15-20 would be the preferred price range. Also, the place must have a good vegetarian meal for the bf.

Also, is anyone having a pre-club house party tonight where you'd welcome 3 more guests?



WI
The Loop is on the north end of downtown west of Ouellette, if that's the place you meant. It's the grungy second floor of an old furniture store and used to be a favorite of mine. Depends on the night.
http://www.canada.com/windsorstar/fe...a6ec48&k=64838

The Junction is at an old streetcar barn further west on University, don't know if they're still open. It sort of looks like a factory, but...

There are these for the nosh:
http://www.255downtown.com/chanosos/
http://www.plunkettsrestaurant.com/menu-dinner.html
http://www.bistroattheriver.com/001-Menu.htm

et al:
http://www.windsoreats.com/

The Caesar's gaming floor is approximately the same, surrounds have changed a lot. Of course they have food too.

Last edited by jodelli; Aug 16, 2008 at 2:20 PM.
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  #837  
Old Posted Aug 16, 2008, 2:02 PM
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Originally Posted by jodelli View Post
A development might be on the same scale as the newer Royal Bank building on the Kresge site, which is not a tower. The old Royal Bank property on the SE corner of Pitt and Ouellette includes a building from the 1800's that housed an ATM lobby and some other RBC services. I got a personal tour of that building from a Coco rep when inquiring about a commercial lease in 2003.

http://www.canada.com/windsorstar/ne...2-465594d4c2fd

TD bank's facade may rise again

Proposed for $10M bank project
Gary Rennie, Windsor Star
Published: Saturday, August 16, 2008

After almost a decade in storage, the marble facade of the historic Toronto Dominion Bank building could be used to showcase a proposed $10-million-plus development on Ouellette Avenue at Pitt Street.

Believing a new bank could be locating there, the city's heritage advisory committee has asked local developer Dave Petretta to pitch the reuse of the facade to clients for his proposed commercial building.

The facade was part of the TD Bank branch that anchored the Riverside Drive and Ouellette corner of the Norwich Block until its demolition by the city to make way for the Candarel Stoneridge Equity Group development.

Petretta wants to demolish the former Manning Hotel at the southeast corner of Ouellette and Pitt, which has been mostly vacant since the Royal Bank moved to a new building.

In an interview Friday, Petretta said he's agreed to ask potential clients if the TD Bank facade can be incorporated into designs for the new building.

Petretta wouldn't confirm that one of those clients is a bank.

He said he's still looking for tenants and arranging financing and can't release names at this point.

Earlier this week, the heritage committee decided not to recommend historical designation for the former hotel.

The building is currently in the city's inventory of some 700 buildings of historic value.

Little remains of the original century-old hotel except for a small part of the façade facing Ouellette Avenue, said Greg Heil, chair of the heritage committee. The interior has also been extensively modified over the years to accommodate other uses, he added. At this point in time, it's really been divided into three buildings, he said.

Heil said the heritage committee saw Petretta's development as a rare opportunity to put the TD bank façade back on a downtown street not far from its original location.

"It's an elegant old facade," said Heil, an architect.

The TD's marble Beaux-Arts bank building was designed by New York architects Carrere and Hastings and considered one of the city's landmarks.

The city spent almost $500,000 to demolish the Norwich Block in 1999 and about half that cost was needed to remove the bank's marble exterior and properly store it.

At the time, the city called for bids to reuse the facade, but got only one proposal from a commercial development on Walker Road that was rejected. Cost of bringing the facade out of storage and erecting it was estimated then at $600,000.

A few other ideas for reuse of the facade have been pitched over the years -- including making it part of the new Windsor Art Gallery building or the proposed Joseph Chimczuk museum, if the latter ever gets built.

Because the Manning Hotel building is listed in its inventory, city council will still have to approve a demolition permit, Heil said.

Petretta said he hopes to start demolition Oct. 1. The demolition, if approved, wouldn't affect the Shanfields-Meyers Jewellery and China Shop and adjacent Canada Gift Shop, which share the Ouellette Avenue block.

© The Windsor Star 2008

Here's a photo of that corner I took earlier this summer. The site's to the right:
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  #838  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2008, 3:52 AM
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I would be very glad to see that building go and be replaced by a nice glass tower with the bottom incorporating the old Bank facade. Hopefully this project will get going soon.
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  #839  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2008, 7:18 AM
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Windsor Airport to get $1.2M upgrade
The Windsor Star - Monday, August 18, 2008


Council agreed Monday to begin $1.2-million in repair and replacement upgrades at the Windsor Airport terminals.

Much of the planned improvements is focused on the airport's west terminal, including the departure lounge, security system and washrooms.

Approval was given to a tender for $667,836 awarded to Piroli Construction to carry out the bulk of work. Other funds previously approved under the 2008 city budget will go toward security system improvements, architect fees and other construction-related costs.

The work has been accelerated somewhat under a request by airport administration so that it can be completed in November -- prior to the charter season getting underway at the airport.

It is the first time in nearly two years that charter flight business has taken place at the airport.

Executive named

In another move related to the airport, council approved naming its CAO John Skorobohacz as the accountable executive.

The move was required to satisfy requirements under the Canadian Aviation Regulations issued by Transport Canada.

Coun. Drew Dilkens had some concerns whether the appointment would detract from Skorobohacz's duties with the city.

"When I see this fall upon our chief administrative officer it brings some questions to mind," he said

But airport general manager Federica Nazzani said the title was more administrative in nature and was being duplicated in other major cities such as London where the CAO was also being appointed to the same role.

Mayor Eddie Francis added how he expects a report will come to city council in September detailing a recommendation for new community members to be appointed to the board of directors at the airport.

The mayor, Skorobohacz and treasurer Onoria Colucci have been acting as the board since the city took control of operation at the airport more than a year ago.
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  #840  
Old Posted Aug 22, 2008, 12:26 AM
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RIP Ford Foundry:
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