• Update for Welland brownfield programs

    by The Tribune

    Welland is on top of the heap when it comes to incentivizing its brownfield community improvement programs and has success stories it can share and build off of, a consultant told city council this week.

    Luciana Piccioni, president of RCI Consulting, was before council Tuesday night to talk about Welland’s draft brownfield community improvement program, an 11-year-old document in need of a review and update.

    Piccioni went through four programs the city currently has in place — an environmental site assessment grant program (ESA), brownfields tax assistance program (TAP), brownfields rehabilitation grant program (TIG), and brownfields planning and building permit fees refund program — and what needed to be updated and changed with each.

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  • Record year for development in Welland

    By Michelle Allenberg, Tribune Staff

    Development in Welland is thriving and city staff expect that growth to continue.

    In 2017 the city saw a record for building and residential growth. During the past 10 years the city has seen a steady increase in building permits and there is no end in sight.

    In 2016 the city issued 622 permits representing projects valued at $81.7 million. During 2017, 726 permits were issued, representing projects valued at more than $164.5 million. Mayor Frank Campion said he expects the city will issue about 700 permits this year, possibly more.

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  • GE already producing spinoff industry

    By Dave Johnson, Tribune Staff

    Welland’s keys to success are its aggressiveness, its willingness to keep potential investors engaged and not looking elsewhere, its incentive programs and having land serviced and ready to go, says Frank Campion.

    “We’re not shy,” says the mayor.

    He says the president of GE Canada remarked that’s one of the reasons the company decided to move to the Rose City in 2016.

    “We were in very stiff competition for GE … we were able to land them because of our incentive programs and having serviced land available. We weren’t being considered at all and then it was like, ‘What’s going on with Welland?’ We essentially stole GE from Quebec and some other Ontario municipalities.”

    Campion says that was really the catalyst for the city’s successes and growth last year.

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  • GE plant moving along well

    By Dave Johnson, Tribune Staff

    Construction of GE’s Welland Brilliant Factory is moving at a fast and furious pace, says Mayor Frank Campion.

    “I was there two weeks ago. It’s amazing how quickly it’s being put together,” Campion said of the 45,000-square-metre facility under construction in Harry Diffin Industrial Park on the west side of Highway 140 between Buchner Road and Silverthorn Street.

    The mayor said he’s been to the site a few times now, starting with when the concrete foundation was poured and when walls were being assembled.

    His latest visit saw him tour inside the facility, where at least 300 people were working.

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  • Mr. Mikes steakhouse ‘a home-run’

    by Michelle Allenberg, The Tribune

    Wellanders now have another choice when it comes to dining out.

    Mr. Mikes Steakhouse Casual has been serving up medium-rare orders on Niagara Street near Seaway Mall since opening Nov. 21. The Welland location is the chain’s first to open in Ontario.

    Mike Gowan and his two brothers, Paul Gowan and Don Gowan, partnered with their friend Greg Smith to open the restaurant. The four partners are longtime Welland residents and have a deep connection to the people and community.

    Rick Villalpando, vice-president of business development, said the Mr. Mikes team felt the four men were a perfect fit for the franchise. When looking to branch out, Villalpando said, the franchise looks for small towns with people who are deeply rooted in their community — Welland felt like the perfect place.

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