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Planning for a brighter future: PEC Mayor

Taso A. Christopher, Mayor Belleville with Tim Simpson, of Williamstown and PEC Mayor Robert Quiaff. Bill Samuel photo

Taso A. Christopher, Mayor  of Belleville, with Tim Simpson, of Williamstown, and PEC Mayor Robert Quaiff at PEC’s New Year’s Levee on Sunday. -Bill Samuel photo

By Bill Samuel
Prince Edward County Mayor Robert Quaiff called 2016 a year of fun, productivity and a year of planning for a brighter future in 2017.

The mayor and council welcomed the new year and greeted the community at the annual New Year’s Day Levee, held this year at the Macaulay Church in Picton on Sunday, Jan. 8.

Traditionally levees are held on the first day of the year, but in consideration of nearby municipalities’ levee dates, the county’s event was changed to allow more people an opportunity to attend.

Tim Simpson, Chief Administrative Officer for the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, had the honour of piping in the new year. As well as PEC council, dignitaries in attendance included Neil Ellis, MP for the Bay of Quinte, Taso Christopher, Mayor of Belleville, Jim Harrison, Mayor Quinte West, Colonel Colin Keiver, Base Commander, 8 Wing/CFB Trenton and Loyalist College’s new president, Ann Marie Vaughan.


PEC Mayor Robert Quaiff

Tradition dictates the mayor addresses those in attendance about the state of affairs in the County. He spoke about both past accomplishments, and what the future will (hopefully) bring.

“2016 was an incredibly busy and exciting year for the municipality,” he said. “It has been a year of fun and a year of productivity and a year of planning for a brighter future in 2017.”

Infrastructure revitalization was high on his list of accomplishments. Picton’s Main Street’s was completely redone including sewage and water as well as the addition of fibre optics to enhance internet service to existing businesses and future developments. He noted the progress of the Downtown Revitalization Strategic Plan for each of the five communities – Picton, Bloomfield, Wellington, Consecon and Rossmore. Staff will be finalizing and implementing plans in 2017.

In addition to reconstruction efforts on County Road 3, an additional 52 kilometres of roadways were resurfaced in 2016. Plans for 2017 include the rehabilitation of Wilson Road between County Road 2 and Hwy 62; the replacement of a bridge on County Road 28; reconstruction of Danforth Road around Hillier; restoration of the Millennium Trail and redevelopment of Benson Park in Picton.

Noting tourism continues to fuel much of the County’s economy, Quaiff noted a record number of almost a million visitors this year. The private sector, he said, was also busy in the past year with 125 more building permits issued and an increase of $6.3 million to $83 million in total construction value.

Other highlights included the opening of the new joint fire and paramedic service facility in Picton and the acquisition of the new 107-foot aerial truck, replacing the aging 50-foot truck that had become too costly to repair.

Council will see recommendations in April 2017 for water and wastewater management and discussions on prioritized affordable housing, community health-care, and financial sustainability.

Council, he said, will continue to maintain a strong voice with upper levels of government to push forward the redevelopment of the County’s new hospital. The County also recently approved funding for part of the 2017 budget for physician attraction and retention.

Projects with a predominant role include preparing a long-term financial plan, developing multi-year operating and capital budgets, creating a sustainable water and wastewater plan and developing a funding strategy for asset management that focuses on maintaining core existing infrastructure and services.

Photos by Bill Samuel

Robert-Quaiff,-Mayor-PEC;-Bill-Roberts,-Counciillor-Ward-10-PEC;-Neil-Ellis,-MP-Bay-of-QuintePEC Mayor Robert Quaiff with councillor Bill Roberts, and Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis. Bill Samuel photo

Tim-Simpson,-Williamstown-OntTim Simpson, Chief Administrative Officer for the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, piped in the new year.

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