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Friday, December 9, 2022
Town waives fees for restaurants with special patios

The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake has waived all fees for business owners with special patio permits.

The decision was made shortly after the town created space in front of some ice cream shops on Queen Street to promote physical distancing.

Lord Mayor Betty Disero said she didn’t think it was fair to charge the restaurants for the spots if the ice cream shops weren’t paying.

“We weren’t charging them for the spots, so I didn’t think it was fair to charge the restaurants.”

Disero and Interim CAO Sheldon Randall used their emergency delegated authority to make it official. 

However, Disero said she was in touch with all members of council before doing so and that all were supportive of waiving the fees.

“Sheldon and I called all the councillors and made the decision,” Disero said. “There was no opposition.”

Maria Mavridis, a Queen Street business owner who recently opened a patio, said she received an email from the town Friday letting her know the fees had been waived.

She said everything helps right now during the pandemic, adding her business is operating at 30 per cent of its normal revenues, and was at just 15 per cent before the addition of the patio.

She added she thinks the town was charging the fees “on principle.”

“It wasn't because they knew they were going to get rich off of it or anything, but just to be fair.”