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Tweaks to County’s tourism management plan for summer 2022

– John Ferguson file photo, Wellington Beach

The County has made few adjustments to its tourism management plan introduced last year including a higher capacity limit at Wellington Beach and more contracted staff for bylaw and boat launch enforcement.

With the easing of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, tourism this summer is not expected to be as turbulent as the summer of 2020 when the County was over-run to the point where it created the management plan for last summer to stem the tide of excessive traffic, illegal parking, camping and excessive garbage.

This summer, expect more contracted staff to bolster bylaw and boat launch parking enforcement, more signs pointing to washrooms and more frequent cleaning, picnic areas and boat launches.

Access to Wellington Rotary Beach is to increase to 425 people from 350 (overflow parking to Wellington arena). Last year’s pass waiving the $10 entry fee for County residents will be offered again. The fee will be charged weekends and holidays in May, June and September and increase to seven days a week in July and August.

Boat launches:
– Municipal staff are working with the owner of the former Ceramet operation at 16056 Loyalist Parkway to secure use of the existing boat ramp (as the Belleville Street launch remains closed) and lease space for public parking.
– Fees at boat launches unchanged, with seasonal passes available to residents at $50 and non-residents at $100. Parking fees remain at $10 for vehicles and $20 for vehicles with trailers.
– In 2021, parking fees and passes generated approximately $65,000 – revenue to be be re-invested in delayed and deferred maintenance including railings, cleats, grip strips and signage. Paddle docks ordered and partially paid for in 2021 are to be installed this year at Weller’s Bay and Glendon Green boat launches. People without smart technology to pay per use are asked to book a day pass online using their home internet, as installations of pay machine costs $7,000 per unit.

Parks and Picnic areas:
– More washroom cleaning and garbage removal
– Paint or mark bricks and mortar public washrooms in Carrying Place, Bloomfield and Picton to better identify their purpose
– Pending approval of grant funds from the federal Tourism Relief Fund, are plans to improve signage at local parks with internationally-recognized pictograms.

Sidewalks and patios:
– As restaurants and local businesses continue to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, staff recommend fees continue to be waived and council renew its temporary bylaw aligning with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario that allows licensees to temporarily extend their physical premises until January 2023.

Millennium Trail:
– Improvements to signage and a fourth ‘rest station’ in addition to shelters, toilets and bike repair kits already installed in Wellington and at Salem and Station roads – only if funding from the federal Tourism Relief Fund is received.

Visitor services:
Municipal staff will continue digital and social media communications, and an online version of County Ambassador training until the new Destination Marketing Organization has secured staff to take over.

Emerging issues:
– A transit report coming to council in April will explore the addition of a shuttle running from Picton to Bloomfield to Wellington, and connecting with VIA rail in Belleville on weekend evenings.
– The future of food trucks, proposed changes to the taxi bylaw and and updated sidewalk patio bylaw are also to come to council in phase three of the comprehensive bylaw review process.

 

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