All County, All the Time Since 2010 MAKE THIS YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY HOME...PAGE!  Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

Sandbanks has reached capacity – visit late afternoon

UPDATE: Thursday, Aug. 1 – Sandbanks has reached capacity. Plan a visit after 3 p.m.

UPDATE: Wednesday, July 31: Sandbanks has reached capacity. Plan a visit after 3 p.m.

UPDATE Monday, July 29: Sandbanks has reached capacity. Plan a visit after 4 p.m.

UPDATE Saturday July 27: Sandbanks has reached capacity. Plan a visit after 4 p.m.

With perfect beach weather (despite chances of a thunderstorm Sunday) forecast for the weekend, find out about any closures due to parking capacity by visiting Sandbanks Provincial Park on Twitter https://twitter.com/SandbanksPP

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  1. Chris Keen says:

    Gary – Not to split hairs, but the County does not “generate” revenue from the sources you list. It is passed along by the province.

  2. Fred says:

    And that helps the minimum service worker how ? Can you buy a starter home in Picton under 300k? NO. Hard to pay the water biĺl prior to mortgage .

  3. Gary Mooney says:

    The County also generates revenues through:
    * Grants from the provincial government and others
    * A grant from Sandbanks P.P. in lieu of property taxes
    * Fines levied re provincial offences (e.g. speeding)
    * A share of the provincial government’s gas tax.

  4. Chris Keen says:

    kb-Council can only raise revenue through property taxes; it cannot impose tolls on roads without approval from the Ontario government – highly unlikely given the current tenant at Queen’s Park. By regulation, an accommodation tax can only be used to promote tourism.

  5. kb says:

    Gather as a group – strength in numbers.
    Offer alternatives – demonstrate we are solution based.

    Table the issues at the next counsel meeting.
    PEC is a corporation and so should be run as one. It’s a business. Implement an accommodation tax, investigate and identify specific roads to effect tolls, determine costs to build or identify alternate routes (if visitors don’t like alternate routes, they can pay the toll). The revenue generated goes back into the costs of infrastructure, policing, emergency services, fire and roads.
    I am not a expert in this field, but if we are going to run a business, why can’t we make these recommendations?
    We have “save the turtles”, “save the picton bay”, etc, why not save the County – use this as a launch.

  6. Janice says:

    How are we going to get this messaged through to this council that enough is enough—locals can not afford this 8.6 tax increase let alone the strong possibility of another tax increase next year! Fred has summed it up perfectly. It’s getting even dangerous for locals to get emergency service to the hospital with ambulances having to fight the traffic on Main St. to get through. I witnessed an ambulance recently having difficulty getting cars to pull over for them to get through the congestion. Our infrastructure cannot handle all this new development. Our water and sewage plants are not going to be able to handle all this influx. Where is the money to upgrade? Not coming from the tourist! I wish we knew how much tax dollars has been spent in the last 5 years on promoting tourism in the County! We are doing such a disservice to our local citizens who deserve better.

  7. Susan says:

    Dennis, all we are hearing from the Mayor is that McCleans magazine rated Prince Edward as the 70th best place to live in Canada. Works for the well to do!

  8. Angela says:

    Perhaps our local radio station should stop blasting its message that people should “come to our sandbox” meaning the Sandbanks. It seems we exist as a playground for visitors. Do they not know that many locals are counting the days until the invading hordes go home?

  9. Dennis Fox says:

    Right now, having to go to downtown Picton is a total pain – mainly because parking is so difficult. I truly dislike having to pay at the meter for every errand I have to run – banking, a hair cut, or a visit to the municipal office at the Edward BUilding – or whatever. If the BIA really wants to bring in more business, then get rid of the vehicle traffic and promote pedestrian traffic instead. Right now, shopping downtown is an unpleasant experience, so I try to wait for a week day – even then it is no treat to be there. Give full time residents a parking sticker for free parking and charge the tourists with a good high fee if they want to park on Main St.

  10. Rob #2 says:

    Despite all the anger and discontent at the actions of this and prior Councils, what is the reasonable answer to this problem? What can Council do aside from possibly apply tourist levies? Can they restrict guests to the County?

    Realize that many of the visitors will still come up with additional cash that may be required to visit here. We may have a way to “tourist tax” them but this won’t help with the disaster that Wellington, Bloomfield and Picton have become in the summer. Seems the horses have left the barn.

    The maddening part of it all is that people in this region got sucked in a decade ago by a certain entrepreneur huckster over in Belleville that began preaching tourism as the answer to all the economic woes, while benefiting from it much more than most of us ever will. His message was bleated repeatedly on the local talk show over there and in other media and political circles and has led to municipal spending on “branding” and advertising, to downtown revitalization, to a “trolley” bus running around empty in Belleville, to an AHL hockey team over there. In short, a person is not supposed to question tourism. Doing so equates to putting up bars and punishing your community.

    The benefits for the community are apparently there, in form of revenue, but it is spread so thin to be of no real help to many. In our County there are summer jobs for students and some extra hours and jobs for the adults for a couple of months. But as Dennis has repeatedly argued there are costs to this extra population also and costs that to my casual observation outweigh the benefits, especially when you bring non-financial concerns into the argument.

  11. Susan says:

    Interesting discussion. So if a huge RV from Quebec comes to the County fully stocked with cheap booze an food, how do locals benefit?

  12. Mark says:

    I understand that concern. However traffic has to be able to move. Virtually all parking is taken with the street lined from one end to other. Many big trailers and RVs are already stocked with their supplies and they just want to get to their campsite so using Main St is counter productive. If you are coming from Quebec I am sure you would bring your beer with you rather than pay our premium prices. Getting the drive thru traffic off Main St may actually enhance business for those wanting to shop.

  13. Dennis Fox says:

    I have never heard of a by-pass for only trucks – but I doubt that would work for Picton. How would the grocery stores get their supplies? How would Evans lumber get their supplies too? Have you seen the size of those trucks – huge? The BIA needs to get out in the world more – most of the buildings they occupy are owned by absentee landlords and how often have these businesses change over the years? Having or not having a by-pass has nothing to do with their success rate. If we are looking for long term solutions, then a real downtown master plan and a by-pass should be on the books for a community discussion asap.

  14. Gary Mooney says:

    Mark, be careful for what you wish. I’m told that Consecon was a thriving village prior to the Hwy 33 bypass around it. Almost all commercial activity faded away. Now CARA is working diligently to restore commercial activity in Consecon.

    As far as Picton Main Street is concerned, the BIA’s position of not wanting a bypass should be respected. These business owners are the ones who stand to gain or lose most.

    That said, we could do with a bypass for trucks that are passing through, and I doubt that the BIA would disagree.

  15. Jack Smith says:

    I just love what Angela wrote. So true in every word spoken. 🙂

  16. Paul Cole says:

    The County can’t maintain the roads it has now, there is no money to fix what they have let alone build a new one.. The County needs to generate new revenue instead of sticking their hands further into the local tax payers pockets…

  17. Chris Keen says:

    CR 32 is a bit of a trek, but it does bypass downtown Picton. Perhaps some strategically placed signage would encourage drivers who intend to go straight through town to CR49 to use it?

  18. ADJ says:

    Both Talbot and Johnson street can access the former rail bed that should have been converted to a bypass road for the downtown traffic. When the new hospital is opened there needs to be a road/street other than Main street for emerg. vehicles. The firehall and ambulance halls are now well located to avoid the downtown jam if there was a secondary road/street from the industrial park to the former rail bed. Another entrance could be added say off of 49 to completely circumvent the downtown. A road builders cost estimate would be a start.
    I predict this will never happen because of push back from the downtown merchants and the overall cost of road building. Too bad.

  19. Dennis Fox says:

    Mark – you are absolutely right about Picton needing a by-pass. This topic came up at an all candidates debate, hosted by the Picton BIA – about 5 years ago. The BIA spoke storngly against it then and during this past municipal election the topic was never even brought up! Tells you how the business community controls the agenda. Believe it or not, one of the reason given for not wanting it was that the BIA felt that downtown would lose business – like as if people are going to stop their cars on Main St and jump out and go shopping! Hardly. Anyone driving Main St. during tourist season knows that the traffic is crazy and hinters shopping. I think this topic needs politicians with the politcal will to move this community forward – but look how long it has taken for them to get it straight that tourists can be a source of money for us.

  20. Mark says:

    Picton needs a bypass road from Main Street. This would move travellers along that have no need to stop. Let’s get on it.

  21. Emily says:

    Have you ever seen the mayhem on Main St like today with the rain. We need some planning undertaken in order to cope and have a sense of small town community. Traffic cannot move so solutions need to be sought. Council needs to lead this.

  22. Angela says:

    It seems we have a changing tune. A couple of years ago tourists were sacred. They provided jobs and were a lifeline for our county. Now we have too much of a good thing, No fun for locals to live here any more. Tourism has ruined the once quaint villages of Bloomfield and Wellington and Picton fell victim to our visitors a year or more ago. Try to find a parking spot in Picton now. Forget going to the bank or the library for you will not find a space within gunshot of either one. Traffic is horrendous a parade of gi-normous travel trailers towing cars. Welcome to the new Prince Edward County – home to tourists. As for local taxpayers who keep the place open all winter they are taking a back seat. No room for them on our beaches, no place for them to park. But who cares? We have the tourists. Be careful of what you wish for seems to say it all.

  23. Chris Keen says:

    I’m afraid until Mr. Buck-a-Beer can be convinced to allow municipalities to raise funds other than through property taxes we’ll be forced to resort to donation boxes.

  24. sue says:

    We could do better by running the County like a business and by not putting all of our focus into one area such as tourism. Instead, we could benefit from any visitor with an accommodation tax; the surcharge goes back to the county to help pay for the roads, infrastructure, emergency services, garbage and policing which are currently all being paid for by residents who live here. I would also consider a transfer tax from the park, which could help pay for an alternate route for trucks, trailers, RVs – these large vehicles shouldn’t have to use Main St Picton to access their destinations.
    We hand over so much to developers, but we’re not thinking about out own needs, with a view of protecting our current taxpayors interests.
    Your thoughts?

  25. Dennis Fox says:

    Both of the previous comments touch upon the topic that I wrote letters to the newspapers about, over the last couple of years. I asked – How does this community, as a whole, benefit from tourism?

    It was my attempt at generating the conversation by mentioning such topics as a tourist tax and an accomodation tax – instead I was attacked by one editor and news writer for trying to destroy local business. I had a nunber of politicians make totally misleaidng comments because they thought this topic would lose them votes. Happily, things seem to be turning the corner where a lot more people are able to discuss this topic in a rationale manner.

    Since we don’t seem to be able to attract large businesses or industry, our community needs to find ways to bring more dollars into Shire Hall. The tourist trade is a natural source of income to look at – without asking us locals to dig deeper.

    I thank the previous two writers (Gary and Fred) for speaking their mind – we need more people talking about these things, because the current situation is contributing to The County’s declining population and ever increasing tax load.

  26. Mark says:

    Sell while the market is hot.

  27. Susan says:

    There are way too many people here. Just saying.

  28. Fred says:

    We pay more for waste disposal, County employees working weekends and holidays,increased stresses of water/wastewater infrastructure,policing, traffic chaos, grocery stores out of products, zero parking, etc. How does this work for County folk? Another tax increase. This is not at all good.

  29. Gary says:

    8% tax increases and the County is overwhelmed by visitors. This benefits who? Not the residents.

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