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Coke to co-ordinate Downtown Revitalization Project

Council on Tuesday is expected to sign an agreement for the $102,500 grant in funding for the County’s Downtown Revitalization Project announced in December.

Tom Coke

Tom Coke

Tom Coke, the County’s new Downtown Revitalization Coordinator, prepared the report for council. The grant provides half of the total project expenses and helps pays his wages.

Coke will lead the project, which  is expected to identify opportunities for business and residential growth throughout the County’s downtown centres. With five key ratepayer and business associations issues of “wayfinding”, signage, facade improvement, beautification, streetscaping, business retention and expansion, marketing and promotion will be on the table. It began in late 2014 and is to continue to Dec. 2016.

“I am very pleased to be joining the Community Development team at The County and am looking forward to collaborating with all groups involved in this project,” said Coke. “Each downtown is unique and the epicentre of the surrounding community. I am eager to work with all stakeholders to ensure this is reflected in their revitalization plans.”

Coke will act as liaison between community groups, committees, and associations from the five key commercial areas – Picton, Bloomfield, Wellington, Consecon and Rossmore. Together with these groups, Coke will support the creation of a revitalization plan for each of the downtown centres, plus a Downtown Revitalization Strategy for the County.

Coke was office manager of the Napanee Business Improvement Area (BIA), and helped lead Downtown Napanee’s transformation.

“We are very fortunate to have Tom join our team, bringing his experience working with local business organizations and ratepayers associations” said Neil Carbone, Director of Community Development. “His passion for the revitalization of rural commercial areas is evident, and will prove to be an asset to this project.”

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  1. Susan says:

    Bravo council!!

  2. Smitty says:

    Well spoken Emily!!!!

  3. Emily says:

    That’s good, as we do not need your Wind Factory propaganda in an attempt to make the naive believe it is safe, clean and necessary!

  4. R.Richman says:

    LOL sums you up,end of discusssion have a nice day

  5. Paul says:

    Mark I can guarantee it won’t happen between June and September that would disrupt the tourists

  6. Emily says:

    A lot of young men have succumbed to cancer at that plant.

    And you believe the Wind Factories have a small carbon footprint! LOl

  7. R.Richman says:

    People talk about the high number of cancer cases from working at a cement plant. With the thousand or so that have worked there and been been treated for cancer it is a very small percentage. How many were under 65, how many were in their 80’s when they first contacted cancer. How many had smoked. How many drank heavly, how many farmed while working there etc. These are all factors. It is too easy to blame a company for ones woes. In PEC you see teachers die of cancer, you see store clerks die of cancer, you see young people die of cancer. These same type of people also die in every community in Canada of cancer. Until someone shows that the per capita case to population of cancer is higher in PEC that other areas I may be able to swallow this claim.Cancer is a growing problem in the world because we continue to want a throw away world where all our food is over processed enhanced with chemial flavour etc. We want to bulid citys on prime farm land we want to produce power using nuclear, natual gas etc but heaven forbid making any green power with a small carbon foot print.these are some of the mny reasons cancer is with us along with 100 other reasons

  8. Mark says:

    Re the subject, when does construction of Main St from Chapel to Bridge including water & sewer begin?

  9. Susan says:

    Perhaps more of that radiation just coincidentally fell more heavily over the plant! Lol. You just can’t dismiss the very high cancer death rate at the plant.

  10. R.Richman says:

    Smitty, how many well paying full time jobs did the caning industry create? Not many if any. Cancer and Prince Edward County industries is there a link. Not likely. If any one can remember years back Three Mile Island Nuclear Power station had a melt down.At that time in newpapers, on TV and other media materials it was reported that during this this melt down radiation was release. The prevailing winds at the time were north west.All articles showed maps with high lighed areas where radiation fell.The maps highed the worst to the moderate effected areas. The highest levels of radiation was an area from The nuclear plant to the Arctic circle. This band of heavy radiation covered all of Prince Edward County up to the Arctic. It was stated in these articles that the areas in the heaviest effected areas will see greater cases of cancers for the next 75 to 100 years because of the fall out. Smitty if you think cement manufacture is causing cancer I think you may be off base.

  11. Gary says:

    Smitty is correct about the cancer deaths related to that plant. The number of cancer deaths is extreme and far too many to be a coincidence. Why there has not been a call for claims and an investigation is surprising. Human health seems to be at the bottom of the totem pole and continues to be with the industrial wind turbine factories. It’s all about the mighty $$$$!

  12. Smitty says:

    So Ken, Maybe you would feel different if you had a family member that worked there and I blame that place for causing the cancer with a lot of other friends of mine that worked there that got cancer. You sound like the type that wouldn’t give a crap what health issues evolved as long as it was high paying and the people spending the money here. Everybody doesn’t shop in Picton. For some Industry moving, some went South and elsewhere where labor was cheaper Just like they are doing today. So any American Company here that is going to be profitable in the States they are going to move back their, we are already seeing this. G.M. isn’t going to be making the Camaro in Oshawa and rumors are they are closing.That is going to be a big blow for Oshawa workers. For the Canning factories we could be producing our own but out stupid Goverment would rather have us get them elsewhere instead of creating jobs. Then we all wouldn’t want to hurt the tourist industry!!!!!!!

  13. Ken Globe says:

    So Smitty, tell us why the canning factories are gone, why Mid-town meats didn’t rebuild, why Bata went away. Odds are, they weren’t profitable enough anymore. And you would want to shut down a place that employs many locals and supports many local businesses because it’s “dirty”?

  14. Wolf Braun says:

    How do people here feel about a legalized marijuana grow op establishing here in the County? The old White Rose nursery location comes to mind. Could be others. Just askin’ 🙂


  15. Susan says:

    You cannot build an additional residence on prime agricultural land. Oh, unless you are the OPP, then it is ok! That’s right farmers can’t sever a lot for retirement or sale on prime ag. But you can build a police palace on prime ag!

  16. Smitty says:

    Ken I would rather have clean Industry in the County instead of one that creates health issues. We already lost our Canning Factories, Bata Shoe, Mid Town Meats not to mention more and the County still survived. Look at all the good farmland we lost to building whatever on them. Years ago when I was younger a farmer couldn’t sell a piece of land to put a house on or whatever cause it was classified as agricultural land. Imagine if our Canning Factories made a comeback, what jobs it would create but you will never see that happen in the County. They would rather listen to outsiders than listen to local people that have lived here for years.

  17. Marie says:

    one week later & Christmas decor still outside the Library…not to mention the fence behind still in need of repair from getting destroyed last winter…snow not cleaned up… new garbage pail already broken etc…

    I don’t mean to pick on the Library, but to the best of my knowledge it is run by the county… Where is a councilor or a mayor who sees this as the low hanging fruit that we can take care of easily without getting into big studies etc…

    The fact that John A. is coming to town in less than 100 days… We’re not ready!

  18. Ken Globe says:

    So if you shut down the cement plant you will lose 160 jobs on the hourly end, and 40 more on the administration end of the place. And it will have a ripple effect on the local economy, there are lots of places in the immediate area that do a lot of business with Essroc. Everything from couriers, to propane and fuel companies, local machine and part companies, trucking companies, fabrication companies, the list goes on and on.

  19. Smitty says:

    Why doesn’t Council quit wasting money and worry about bringing some clean industry into the County for our young people that gives them unemployment year round and with a proper wage. Have affordable housing for the existing people that have low income, ones that live here instead of catering to outsiders and what profit you can make. Come on Mayor you can do a lot more for the existing people that have lived here got years. It is almost like they are being driven out by high taxes etc. For the Cement Plant I would like to see it shut Down.We all know it causes Cancer. You just have to see the number of guys that haven’t even enjoyed then retirement that have died of Cancer working there. Quit wasting money on Tourism I have seen enough in the County, it can only hold so many!!!

  20. Hildagard says:

    What is really wrong with the downtown that we need to revitalize it?? What a waste of money!!!

  21. Wolf Braun says:

    I don’t believe, nor do I suggest, that the cement plant is an existing example that represents opportunities for additional industrial businesses to locate to the County. The probability of large scale industry locating here is about the same as me winning Lotto Max. Ain’t gonna happen.

    I have no more insight into the purpose of this revitalization project than others. From where I sit it looks like some “found” money is there to make work for someone who can then make some recommendations to the Director of Community Development. What happens after that is like looking into a crystal ball.

    I say ‘crystal ball gazing’ only because I’ve never been able to find a clear, concise and easily understood purpose for any of our 3 levels of government. Nor have I seen any principles by which our elected officials make tough decisions on our behalf.

  22. Gary says:

    We know how it works. Thus the call to action for reasonable correction. We are informed and quite aware of the inequity.

  23. Snowman says:

    Sorry Gary but that broken record you are playing about services etc.only applies to water and sewer.When a street in Picton needs repaired or plowed or resurfaced it comes from the COUNTY roads and transportation budget, not Picton ratepayers alone. People posting on here really need to read up on how stuff works first.

  24. lou says:

    I read recently , that the new Mayor has approached/spoken to the Minister of Natural Resources…….RE:Sandbanks. and is asking for money from them to help with Roads.
    he says, tourists going into Sandbanks are using(and therefore need fixing) so therefore they should help pay.

    he is asking for 2.00 per car

    haven’t heard anything again about this. but he is trying
    good idea to try and get the money from them

  25. Paul says:

    I remember a few years ago so much concern about No Frills and Home Hardware locating along highway 33 and drawing tourists from the downtown core. I agree Gary if services and businesses were spread out throughout The County it would relieve congestion and stress on infrastructure in Picton’s core

  26. Gary says:

    If you want a County hub called Picton that provides services to the broader rural tax base and tourists you need to be prepared to pay for those services. Picton alone cannot carry the load for shoppers, tourists, commercial base etc. This is a County not little townships anymore! Picton will not continue to pay an unfair cost to support outsiders be they rural or visitors.

  27. Chuck says:

    Purpose & Principals also has no long standing family roots to this community. When you are sitting in a good place arrogance is priceless!

  28. Susan says:

    Don’t expect an answer Paul. You will get a what is your evidence, purpose, principal! He tried to make us out like an industrial region because we have one small cement plant.

  29. Paul says:

    Spending money on revitalization seems ridiculous when infrastructure is failing and needs repair. Wolf since you always question everyone’s opinions or points here one for you. What would be the purpose of this revitalization project ? surely its not for residents whom I’m sure would rather see their roads or street repaired or is it to attract more tourist which creates a catch 22 more stress on already failing infrastructure.

  30. Paul says:

    Do you have evidence to disprove it Wolf ?

  31. Marnie says:

    Susan, efforts have been made to entice industry on many occasions. The county has had several industrial commissioners and two industrial parks. It didn’t happen but it was not for lack of trying. The industries we do or did have mostly were brought here through H.J. McFarland.

  32. Susan says:

    One cement plant hardly defines us as an industrial region! Lol

  33. Tom says:

    We need someone who is going to stand up and say enough is enough against the ones who refuse to support the county contractors/businesses/men/women/students that are trying to stay in business or even get an equal opportunity for a job interview. The system is flawed and has been. We need to see who is orchestrating these procedures and (we know who it is) then demand change. That’s why everyone has been rattling Mayor Quaiff’s chain. He promised change and yet he doesn’t seem to be doing much thus far? We have a county Mayor in place now so lets hope he will get it together to promote fairness to everyone and to support the ones living here.

  34. Wolf Braun says:

    “Industry has not been encouraged or supported for fear of ruining The County”

    Given that the majority of tourists coming from the east pass right by the cement plant do you have evidence to support your statement above. Even those coming across by Glenora get to see the plant.

  35. Times change says:

    Sounds like some sour grapes out of the southern end of the county…same old! The ole boys don’t roll the same anymore! Didn’t hear of a quote from that neck of the woods!

  36. Susan says:

    The second Susan has arrived with hope and glee! She doesn’t get it! One could wonder why. Hard for some to smile 2nd Susan.

  37. Tom says:

    Yes we did put in tenders and were told that we did not have a right to see what some jobs were quoted at. Even though we KNEW our prices were lower. Yes its the same old same old and at the end of the day Mayor Quaiff needs to step up to the bat and demand answers that’s all were asking is for fairness. But does he have what it takes to make things right by just checking into it?????

  38. Susan says:

    In all fairness do any of you who did put in tenders?? Have a look and then gripe about it! ! Same old stuff here just on a good’s spring! Smile please!

  39. Marnie says:

    You’re right Tom and it probably harkens back to those old sayings – a poet is without honour in his own country and an expert is a man 20 miles from home. We have lots of skilled people in the county who are passed over for jobs that they could do as well or better than outsiders. Not much left in the county for the locals these days.

  40. Jack Dall says:

    @ Happy to be here

    Well said!
    While we are a it, how about a Wal Mart.

  41. Tom says:

    If council ever says people need to support locally they are the ones who need to support P.E.C. businesses.
    We have fantastic companies in this county but not one is being utilized for example have a look around people at the trucks that have been in town working. NOT LOCAL Its a damn shame that even with the new MAYOR he is now turning a blind eye to his own people. DISGUSTING!!! If we don’t support our own then what is going to be left? Come on Council get it together and support US. All were asking for is the same opportunity to get some of these jobs. We live here, spend our money here, raise our families here but yet you are putting us out of business. If we are able to do the job and do it at the same price then why aren’t we getting the opportunity?

  42. Paul says:

    That’s just it Happy to be here with rising taxes and the cost of living in The County few will consider retiring here or moving here to work and raise a family. The decision to focus on tourism years ago was a bad idea the tourist based businesses are seasonal and pay employee’s minimum wage. It is unsustainable without taxes going through the roof to pay for infrastructure. I love this County have lived here my whole life as my Dad did and his Dad and so on. Industry has not been encouraged or supported for fear of ruining The County for the tourist and that will be its downfall…

  43. Emily says:

    With Picton water rates equalling property taxes do we need any non residents in Town further stressing our services?

  44. Mark says:

    Can you imagine Main St this summer at the craziest 5 way set of street lights on planet Earth! I still can’t believe an independent franchise (Tim’s) has taxpayer traffic lights for their establishment.

  45. Marnie says:

    And they wonder why people don’t shop locally.

  46. Susan says:

    You are right Marnie and so is Gary on the unsustainable water debacle. The County is a playground for the well to do. Sad situation resulting in a majority of young having to leave and their parents suffering to survive to remain where born!

    And if the LCBO is going into the former Mac’s Milk at Main & Bowery beside the ridiculous log jam at Tim’s somebody needs to get a brain scan! Where would they park as that location has about 4-5 spots. And when does the construction from Chapel to Bridge on Main St start?It just get’s crazier. The lovely beautified Main St. Lol

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