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Mayor shows MTO minister “rough welcome to County”

Prince Edward County Mayor Robert Quaiff is pleased with a meeting today with Ministry of Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca about reduced Glenora ferry service in prime tourist season.

The meeting was fit between meetings of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference in Niagara Falls.

“It was a good meeting and the minister will look at a contingency ferry as back up for maintenance purposes and they also agreed to better communicate with us.”

The mayor learned in July there would be no 15-minute ferry service this summer at all, due to maintenance to neighbouring ferries. Service was originally promised to return in July. It may return after Labour Day.

Quaiff visited the Glenora crews earlier this month and thanked them for making the best of a poor situation.

Ferry service for the County-Adolphustown link usually handles an average of 40,000 vehicles in July and August.

hwy-49Quaiff also took the opportunity to show a County video demonstrating the current condition of Highway 49 to show County roads are overused, and underfunded, as a result of seasonal traffic increases.

Quaiff stressed the pressures on Highway 49 have increased due to the reduction in service by the Ministry of Transportation’s Glenora Ferry Service during the peak tourist season.

“Potholes and cracks greet those who travel Highway 49 – the main entry point to the County for those who are visiting Sandbanks Provincial Park.”

There are 3,100 to 4,200 vehicles travelling Highway 49 every day (2012 figures). More than 600,000 visitors make their way to the park each summer.

The video, by Michael J Brethour Studios, introduces Highway 49 as “a rough welcome to the County – a growing national tourist destination.”

Hwy 49 alternate version from Michael J Brethour Studios on Vimeo.

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  1. judy kennedy says:

    Pay for use is a great idea. What are we waiting for?

  2. ADJ says:

    Nope,,,don’t like that idea either.But what your preachin is simply a fee that the honest working business owner is responsible to collect and hand over to a Corporation (County)that “supposedly” will go into upgrades to our infrastructure here. Simply put it’s another “Tax” but only on the business owner. Does that promote growth or expansion in a business sense? I don’t think so. Oh, your saying “it’s only nickels and dimes” but your not looking at the real picture…your thinking we’ll just get the business operator to charge and collect a bit more from the tourist or County visitor,,,make him alone resposible for paving or grading/plowing our roads. Dream on! Your not going to collect enough income from this boondoggle to surface even a 1/2 mile of County road. I’d like to see more discussion from others here on your idea.Maybe I’m the only one that feels this way.

  3. Paul Cole says:

    I suppose The County could just raise taxes for County residents to cover road maintenance costs and local business taxes as well…How does that sound to ya ADJ ??

  4. ADJ says:

    Well Paul I read your postings as you demanded…and all I can say is it amounts to a BIG headache. First, the whole directive was very vague and I believe somewhat directed to large population cities.In this small populated County how do you expect it to work? We do not have the number of attractions and or tourism operations to warrant an effort for collection unless you raise the Destination fee percentage to a level that would sour all of the operators or business owners to even consider it. Reminded it is voluntary so if the customer refuses to pay,,is the owner operator responsible to forward payment out of his own pocket to a organization that we are trusting to be fair and honest? The smaller operator ie: roadside veg. stand is not contributing as much as say the gas station or food place…Is this fair? I just don’t see this as an answer to infrastructure concerns. I don’t think that roads for example that were always maintained by a Prov. govt.should have been downloaded to our County. The County Council at the time had a road department with engineers etc. that should have assessed the conditions and simply said NO we are Not taking resposibility for a broken promise. Let the Province do what they want but we cannot afford it. We still have 3 other entry points. When the TO and PQ drivers complain long and loud enough then perhaps the Prov. will get off their duff. We need to draw a line and tell govt. enough is enough.
    I fully expect to see the Prov. govt. place a vehicle fee on the Glenora Ferry crossing. This hassle over the repairs and broken promises of return dates for all three crossings is going to result in another consumer gouge.

  5. Marnie says:

    Nothing negative about blondes Susan. After all, they’re in the sports cars. That’s to dye for.

  6. Susan says:

    Is that a scientific fact or an assumption. You are not suggesting anything negative about blondes are you?

  7. Marnie says:

    Not sure, Susan, but brunettes are more often seen in SUVs and sedans. Of course an evening with Miss Clairol could put them in sports cars.

  8. Susan says:

    Why are there more blondes in the sports cars? Do they know how to have more fun?

  9. ADJ says:

    HA Ha good one Marnie! Gotta keep a sense of humour on this one.
    Truthfully tho this idea is so top heavy with if, and’s or but’s (Butts??)that it would be a nightmare and I’m not saying that to discourage Paul. eg: On a return trip from Algonquin Park for a wkend…crossing 49 bridge how do I prove I’ve lived here in PEC? Oh, and BTW I exited by Wooler road so how is that registered? Another scenario…I traded my motorhome in on a newer model in Montreal two weeks ago…do I have to wait in a lineup to get my new MH re-registered with the Tax police?
    Not happy camper so far. Give me some answers. Are the Tax police screening every vehicle as they pass the checkpoints?

  10. Marnie says:

    Easy peasy, ADJ. We close the bridges and require the tourists to have passports. They pay before they leave or they don’t leave. Locals can cross freely. We can separate the two because the tourists’ vehicles have (a) either roof racks laden with camping equipment, bike racks on the backs of their vehicles and rug rats in the back seats or (b) are small sports cars usually with blondes in the passenger seats. Sometimes they are riding motorcycles or bicycles but the tip-off is all the gear they are packing. And you thought it would be hard.

  11. ADJ says:

    Paul,,you keep flogging your “Destination Tax”…please inform us all how it would be implemented, collected,enforced. You realize your calling up more Prov. govt. intervention! Please detail how the tax is collected at our entry points and who is responsible to pay and who is exempt.

  12. Paul Cole says:

    Sorry that should have said *Destination Tax*

  13. Paul Cole says:

    49 isn’t the only road, highway or street in Prince Edward County that’s in terrible shape, however anything that is associated with tourism seems to take priority and automatically gets moved to the top of the list. Again a Destination would help offset road maintenance costs and lessen the tax burden on permanent residents of Prince Edward County…

  14. Chuck says:

    Why Snowman, do you think the County had a choice anymore than they did with the Tories amalgamation of hospitals and municipal government?

  15. Snowman says:

    @ sAM take a drive on 49 and look at the rectangular patches of newer concrete. that’s where the Provinces$ millions went.
    I believe it was in the vicinity of 2-3 million. Each contract was around $500k-$1 million 6-10 years ago.
    the province new that off loading that road with $2-3 million thrown in, was a bargain for them. Too bad The County didn’t realize it.

  16. Marnie says:

    with all of today’s emphasis on equality and equal opportunity why are the natives regarded as being any different from the rest of us? I don’t think anyone resents them having things. Perhaps we just assume that they should acquire it in the same way that the rest of us do.

  17. judy kennedy says:

    my understanding is that the Mohawks were granted land in Eastern Ontario after the Seven Years War, and resettled here from the Six Nations area near Brantford. (named after Chief Joseph Brant)
    anyway, I can’t help but wonder why some people seem to resent native people having anything? Didn’t we take enough?

  18. sAM says:

    As I know it years ago when this road was off loaded to the county, they were also given millions to maintain it back then. Nothing was done so where did these millions go? Now there is this outrage over the road. My question is where is the accountability for the millions that were moved somewhere else to some other project and not put towards this road where it should have been put.

  19. baysider says:

    All provincial byways are paved on the taxpayers dime.As I said before 49 is not a highway any more thanks to the conservative government and Mike Harris

  20. Susan says:

    Mohawks came from New York State in 1784 the same time as the Loyalists. Their road is paved on the taxpayers dime!

  21. Paul Cole says:

    Highway 49 that runs through the Tyendinaga Territory is in fact owned by the Federal Government as is all land on any Reserve in Canada..The Wendat and Mohawk nations were trading with one another as early as 1600 they were at war with each other in the mid 1600’s in an area known as The Bay of Quinte. UEL’s came in 1784.

  22. Susan says:

    I would suggest educating ones self on the arrival of the Mohawks and UEL’s in this area. There were no native holdings in this region at the time. But back to the point, the reserve has a Hwy 49 and the County has a County Road. Tax dollars recently paved the “Highway”.

  23. Paul Cole says:

    My point is all Reserve lands like National and Provincial Park lands are Crown land owned and maintained by their respective Governments…

  24. baysider says:

    The government bought that land backin the 60’s to put highway 49 in.

  25. Paul Cole says:

    I would suggest Susan you watch the series The Land Between and educate yourself on the Mohawk and Wendat Nations.

  26. Susan says:

    The Tyendinaga natives are not native to this area anymore than the rest of us. They moved here from the States as did the United Empire Loyalists who were also given land for their loyalty to the British. But their road is paved!

  27. Paul Cole says:

    Dave every inch of land on a Reserve is in fact owned by the Federal Government, Aboriginals can t hold title to land…

  28. baysider says:

    49 is highway 49 north of the bridge but south of the bridge it is now County Road 49 thanks to the Mike Harris Conservatives down loading it to the county so don’t hold your breath waiting for it to be resurfaced

  29. Dave says:

    Why is it that #49 was repaved north of the bridge where the local residents pay no federal or provincial taxes but south of the bridge where we pay taxes we are ignored?

  30. Tabitha says:

    HAHA! Amanda, I see amateur film makers taking advantage of this 🙂

  31. judy kennedy says:

    Still looking for improved streets in Picton. Driven down Barker or Ontario lately?

  32. Chuck says:

    Steve; I also like the Mayor going at them. But kickin butt is usually reserved for when you see results! The hat in hand reference was to the fact he is asking for Provincial $$ to pay for a County Road right after very strongly taking them harshly to task on another matter.It may work but experience would tell you it is an odd approach to strongly criticize and then ask for money.

  33. County Steve says:

    Quaiff hardly has ‘hat in hand’. He’s kickin’ butt!
    Anger does not display itself well in some people, but it sure works for him … and us!
    I can’t remember the last time the province considered the County in any of their decisions. Seriously, can’t remember.
    I long for the day that someone, anyone, in Queen’s Park says the words: “Hmm, the County isn’t going to like this! Maybe we should talk to them.”

  34. Chuck says:

    Yes it was. But , does his recent maligning of the provincial government on the Turbine Factory issue come into play on this hat in hand matter?

  35. Gary Mooney says:

    The Mayor’s initiative was brilliant, and effective, for two reasons. First, he made his pitch directly to the Minister. Second, he presented evidence (the video) that created a personal experience for the Minister.

    An excellent example of thinking outside the box.

  36. Olmanonthemtn says:

    Wow its hard to believe how times go by I watched as a boy the building of the Skyway Bridge and departure of the old ferry . “The adjoining hiway 49 to Picton
    was first established in 1966, when a new highway link was established between Prince Edward County and the mainland. The discontinuous southern section of Highway 41 from Picton to Coles Wharf was renumbered as Highway 49. With the completion of the Quinte Skyway on September 6, 1967, a direct connection between Picton and Highway 401 was put into service. The route of Highway 49 did not change until 1998, when most sections of the highway were lost to downloading. The Ontario Government retained ownership of the Quinte Skyway and the section of Highway 49 lying within the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory near Deseronto. The rest of the highway was downloaded, and is now known as Prince Edward Road 49 and Hastings Road 15. Highway 49 is now only 6.1 km long, and no longer connects to any other provincial highways.” from a History of the King’s highways in Ontario. Interesting the County got stuck with the road just as its durability was on the wane but wait this also means that bridge is nearly 50 yrs old and it shows!

  37. Ken Globe says:

    There is a destination tax/tourist tax at most restaurants in the Clifton Hill area of Niagara Falls. But if you insist that you won’t pay it, it can be taken off your bill. I don’t know how they are going to implement it, or even collect it from local businesses.

  38. Marnie says:

    That makes too much sense for them to even consider it Paul. At one time they stopped offering a discount on dog licences for dogs that had been spayed or neutered. They said that people were lying to them to save money. Never occurred them that they could simply ask people to present the certificate of neutering provided by all vet clinics to get the discount.

  39. Susan says:

    I think when I worked on this road construction it was 1969/70. Small point as it is obviously old but also served well till recently.

  40. Paul Cole says:

    A Destination Tax would help offset road maintenance costs. Locals need only show ID showing their address to avoid paying the tax….

  41. Margaret says:

    Our roads are horrendous , I bought a new car last August and just recently had my tires checked because I thought one was getting bad. I was informed that I have 4 bent rims, I travel hwy 49 quite a bit so it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out- unreal !!

  42. Olmanonthemtn says:

    Interesting
    In the paper “Life Cycle Cost Analysis of Municipal Pavements in Southern and Eastern Ontario” prepared for the Annual Conference of the Transportation Association of Canada
    looked at the design life of a concrete pavement hiway as 25 years. “At the end of the initial service life, some form of rehabilitation, such as a mill and overlay for a flexible pavement, or slab repairs for a rigid pavement, is usually required. Our dear old hiway 49
    was built in 1966(49 yrs old)

  43. Susan says:

    Geoff; a good number of those vehicles are local. I don’t think locals would be receptive to paying a toll. The cement trucks take a heavy “toll” on the road as well.

  44. Sue says:

    Left the county this morning via ferry, (10:30) they had already shut the gates but reopened them for us. Thank you friendly staff. Felt sorry for the people on the other side their wait would have been at least 2 hours! Not good for the tourist industry. We came home via Napanee to avoid the long line ups. Terrible situation for tourist season.

  45. Dave says:

    HWY 49 is extremely dangerous for those of us that ride motorcycles. When I’m riding home I have to get off at Fish Lake Rd to bypass 49 because because the HWY would bounce me off into the ditch.

    Let that sink in… I take Fish Lake Rd because it’s a smoother ride than one of our main highways.

  46. Marie says:

    I heard on the weekend from a couple of tourists that they had to wait for four ferry trips to get across from Kingston… I also heard that the ferry crews were leaving when full as opposed to following the schedule… Kudos to them for all the extra hard work because management (probably in Toronto) couldn’t figure out that the tourist season is the worst time to service a ferry

  47. Geoff says:

    Time for a Toll – 600 k visitors in/out = 1.2 M per annum at only a buck eachway !

  48. Amanda says:

    Maybe they could rent out the worst parts of the highway for filming post-apocalyptic movies and tv shows and the upgrade can pay for itself. :p

    (Seriously, parts of that road look like a still from The Walking Dead.)

  49. Olmanonthemtn says:

    Good on you Mr. Mayor!

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