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Picton Main Street officially open

Mayor Robert Quaiff, councillors, staff, BIA members and

Mayor Robert Quaiff, councillors, staff, BIA members and construction project representatives were among those gathered at the official ribbon cutting of Picton’s Main Street – just in time for the Santa Claus parade. – Bill Samuel photo

Following eight months of construction, the official opening of Picton’s Main Street was followed by a parade – the Santa Claus parade.

Mayor Robert Quaiff, members of council, staff, the Picton Business Improvement Association and representatives from Greer Galloway and Taggart Construction gathered on Picton’s Main Street Sunday for a ribbon cutting ceremony symbolically re-opening the street.

Some construction on the street and sidewalks is yet to be completed, but the full length of the road is to remain open to vehicle traffic going forward.

Construction began in April of this year, and progressed in sections as crews excavated and replaced outdated underground infrastructure. The watermain had been installed more than 60 years prior. The project also included the installation of revitalized sidewalks and roadways, auxiliary services such as fibre network cables, new street lights, and landscaping.

The project, awarded to Taggart Construction Limited in November 2015 at $4,406,968, was funded with $2 million from the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF). The remainder of the costs were funded by the municipality.

“This rehabilitation project was one of the largest and, really, one of the most inescapably disruptive that we have undertaken here in the County for quite some time,” said Mayor Robert Quaiff. “I want to thank you all – all of our business owners and residents – for your patience. We now have a beautiful commercial centre that is prepared to meet the needs of our community for decades to come.”

Throughout the project, municipal staff, Greer Galloway and Taggart Construction worked closely with the Picton BIA to keep local businesses and the public informed and provided opportunity for feedback as work proceeded. At the request of the BIA, the street was re-opened throughout July and August help facilitate peak season commercial activity.

“Without these months the impact could have been much greater on the small business community here in downtown Picton,” said Robyn Lewis, BIA Chair.

In celebration of the completion of the construction project, the BIA, County and Taggart Construction teamed up throughout the Santa Claus parade to distributed 400 $10 gift certificates to parade watchers. The funding was provided by the municipality and Taggart Construction.

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  1. Paul Adamthwaite says:

    I would, respectfully, suggest that Mayor Quaiff’s opening of Main Street is premature, and that final budgetary numbers should be reviewed *after* the invoices and provincial reimbursements are accounted for.
    This all started with a genuine requirement to replace sewer and water mains — about $1.8 million, 50% provincial reimbursement, so less than a million to local taxpayers.
    Then Council “discovered” that the Province would re-imburse up to two million, so they upped the ante. What was a simple “dig up black-top, replace pipes, redo blacktop” became “let’s rip up side-walks and trees, redesign pedestrian crossings with speed-bumps and disrupt snow clearing, assist Cogeco with fibre optics, replace steel/iron lampposts with plaster replicas” … the list goes on.
    The mandatory Major Heritage Permit was issued in travesty of Council’s own bylaw; in fact at least one councilor and one municipal “director” had no idea that a heritage permit was required.
    Estimates are now that the project will not be completed on time (probably “next Spring” at best); business interruptions were forecast at “two months” for specific sections of the road works, but some businesses have suffered six months of limited access. Some eleven trees are “missing.” Most of the lampposts on the North side don’t light up. Incompetence is the order of the day. And finally, “best info” indicates that the project price of $4.4 million might be closer to $6m when all the dust settles.
    Main Street has lost its character, mature trees could have been saved, but a municipally employed expert said “no.” Replace them with four inch trees? Baloney, take a measuring tape, there’s nothing “four inch” to be found. Cyclists will have to swerve into traffic to avoid the “curb extensions.” And businesses will have to live with a decrease in parking spaces.
    So what we, the taxpayers needed and could have had for about $0.9 million is likely to cost us $4 million … without accounting for the loss of revenue to all of the businesses. Let’s wait and see how Council’s squandermania hurts “us — the taxpayers.”

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