Belleville Police Service budget to jump 4.2%

The Belleville Police Board discusses the proposed 2017 police budget, during a meeting at Belleville City Hall, on March 28, 2017. (Photo: David Foot / Quinte News)

Belleville’s police board has set its 2017 budget, with an increase of 4.2%, compared to 2016.

The budget will total just over $17.2 million, with about 90% of the spending accounting for salaries and around $576,000 in capital expenditures.

Chief Ron Gignac tells Quinte News, of the many factors leading to the increase, the American dollar has a big impact, even though they make purchases through Canadian suppliers.

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Other factors include rising fees for training at the Ontario Police College, along with increasing fuel and hydro costs.

Among the major capital purchases this year is a new forensics van, to replace the current one, which is in its 14th year of service and four years past its recommended service life.

Chief Gignac says the old van is practically in a state of disrepair and isn’t able to keep up with the changes in today’s forensic technology.

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Other big expenses for the coming year include three new squad cars, to replace aging ones, a new emergency response vehicle and equipment for the Emergency Response Team, as well as some new training and IT equipment.

You can see the full proposed capital spending breakdown below.

At least one Belleville┬ácouncillor who questioned the increase in the city’s police budget is satisfied with the numbers now.

Councillor Jack Miller wanted Chief Ron Gignac to be more clear about where $576,000 in capital spending would be going exactly and was given that information at a police budget meeting on Tuesday night.

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And despite just getting through the presentation of the 2017 police budget, Chief Gignac is already looking ahead to spending needs in 2018, listing out some future spending plans.

He tells Quinte News, it’s important to have foresight when looking ahead.

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Other plans for spending in 2018, the possibility of adding red light cameras at some city intersections, equipping more cruisers with radars and license plate readers and new gear to re-outfit the police force’s K-9 Unit, which is currently out of service.

Here’s a list of the proposed capital projects for 2017, not covered by the new build reserve fund:

  • 3 new police vehicles (2 x Chevy Tahoes and 1 x Dodge Charger) – $145,578
  • Traffic Unit Equipment (Automated license plate readers, speed radars, etc.) – $125,000
  • Replacement forensics van – $113,000
  • Replacement emergency response vehicle and equipment – $63,000
  • Various training equipment (Including tasers and holsters, gun replacements and upgrades, etc.) – $25,000
  • IT hardware – $93,500
  • Street crime equipment (cameras, vehicle trackers, etc.) – $11,200

UPDATE: Missing woman’s car found in Brighton, but search continues

70 year-old Marjorie Lucas of Quinte West has been missing since March 25, 2017. (Photo: Submitted / Quinte West OPP)

OPP say they’ve found the vehicle of a missing 70 year-old Quinte West woman, but the search for her is still continuing.

Marjorie Lucas was last seen on March 25th, driving her brown Chevy Malibu, which was found this morning in the parking lot of a business on Harbour Street in Brighton.

Investigators say the car was found unoccupied and Lucas and her dog, a two year-old springer spaniel are still missing and family members are concerned for her well-being.

The Northumberland OPP Crime Unit is now involved in the search, along with the Emergency Response Team, K-9 Unit and an OPP Helicopter, searching near Brighton Bay.

A photo and description can be found by clicking this link to see our original story and anyone who has information on where Marjorie Lucas might be, can call the nearest OPP detachment.

Veridian and its CEO honoured at annual awards gala

The company that provides hydro to the City of Belleville and its CEO, have been recognized by the Electricity Distributors Association and Ontario Power Generation.

At the EDA awards Gala in Toronto last night, the utility received the Performance Excellence Award, while CEO Michael Angemeer was honoured with the Chair’s Citation.

The excellence award recognizes Veridian’s performance in a number of categories, including occupational health and safety, operational excellence and financial operations, as well as the company’s contribution to the community.

The Chair’s Citation honours Angemeer’s outstanding service to the EDA and the hydro industry in general.

In a release Angemeer says both awards “are a testament to the hard work of employees and their strong commitment to Veridian’s business operations”.

FedDev gives trail cash to Tweed

The Tweed section of the Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance will benefit from a Canada 150 grant through the Fed Dev Ontario program. (Photo: Submitted / MP Mike Bossio)

The Federal Government is continuing to roll out funding through the FedDev Ontario program and Tweed is getting a good chunk of cash.

MP Mike Bossio announced $119,347 in funding for improvements to recreation trails, as part of of the Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance.

Bossio commented that the grant shows a commitment to Canada’s Parks and environmental areas, which is especially important as we celebrate the country’s 150th birthday this year.

Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance Chair Dave Gerow also noted the money will not only help with improvements to sections of the trail, but spur economic tourism benefits and job creation as well.

Our TMH to hold update meeting tomorrow

Sharon Urquhart and Mike Cowan of OurTMH announce a street dance to celebrate its 9,000 members while opening the door for more. (Photo: Nicole Kleinsteuber / Quinte News)

The fast growing residents’ advocacy group OurTMH wants to bring members up to date with its efforts and future plans.

The OurTMH executive is holding an open house tomorrow.

After highlighting recent accomplishments, the group will outline progress made on bringing a dialysis unit to Trenton Memorial Hospital.

The open house starts at 6:30 tomorrow at Quinte West City Hall.

Improvements to Belleville City Hall unveiled Thursday

Belleville city hall new entrance, March, 2017 (Photo: Mary Thomas/Quinte News)

Cosmetic and accessibility upgrades to the foyer at Belleville City Hall are just about complete and will officially be unveiled in a special ceremony on Thursday morning.

The Mayor and councillors will be joined by local historian Gerry Boyce and architect William White, to show off the improvements, which incorporates the building’s historical significance with modern design and also gets City Hall up to provincial accessibility standards.

The elevator now goes right from the lobby, up to the fourth floor and height adjustable counter tops have been installed in the finance and corporate services areas on the first floor.

The ceremony takes place Thursday morning at 9:00 a.m.

Donation means upgrades for heating at Regent Theatre

(Photo: Tim Durkin)

The John M. and Bernice Parrott Foundation is stepping up to help another longtime local organization and fans of the performing arts should be pleased.

The foundation has announced a $20,000 donation to the Regent Theatre in Picton, to help with some upgrades to the heating system in the historic building, as it gets set to celebrate its 100th anniversary next year.

Theatre staff say the improvements will be made to the section of the building that fronts Main Street, which is an area that dates all the way back to the 1850s and will provide more energy efficient heating for the lobby and box office.

Regent Theatre Chair Marilyn Toombs says the new boiler should also lower hydro costs for the theatre, but also means the theatre won’t have to rely on a patch-work electrical system to heat those areas anymore.

G-Hawks and Cougars to start series Friday in Trenton

Brandon Marinelli #7 of the Trenton Golden Hawks (Photo by Tim Bates / OJHL Images)

The schedule is out for the OJHL’s North East Conference final between the Trenton Golden Hawks and Cobourg Cougars.

As expected, game one will go Friday night at the Dunc McDonald Community Gardens in Trenton, with a 7:30 puck drop.

Game two goes Monday in Cobourg, with game three back in Trenton on Tuesday April 4th and game four in Cobourg again on Thursday April 6th.

Tickets are available via the Trenton Golden Hawks website and the full schedule is below.

GM 1: @ Trenton Mar 31st – 7:30 PM
GM 2: @ Cobourg April 3rd – 7:00 PM
GM 3: @ Trenton April 4th – 7:30 PM
GM 4: @ Cobourg April 6th – 7:00 PM
GM 5: @ Trenton April 7th – 7:30PM
GM 6: @ Cobourg April 10th – 7:00PM
GM 7: @ Trenton April 11th – 7:30PM

Napanee OPP tow 15 cars over the weekend

It was a busy weekend for Napanee OPP, who towed at least 15 vehicles off of Highway 401 and other local roads, for various infractions.

Ten people were charged with stunt driving, including one driver who was caught going double the 80 km/h speed limit on Taylor Kidd Boulevard in Loyalist Township.

Four drivers were charged with driving while suspended, one driver was arrested for impaired driving at a RIDE stop and another issued a three day suspension for blowing a “warn” on the breathalyzer.

One more driver was arrested after being found in possession of 20 grams of cocaine at a RIDE check, with his passenger, a Belleville woman, also charged in connection.

All of the accused were either held for bail hearings, or released on promises to appear in court at a later date.

Quinte West OPP looking for missing 70 year-old woman

70 year-old Marjorie Lucas of Quinte West has been missing since March 25, 2017. (Photo: Submitted / Quinte West OPP)

Quinte West OPP are looking for a missing 70 year-old woman.

Marjorie Lucas, of Quinte West, has been missing for two days and was last seen driving a brown, 2010 Chevy Malibu, with personalized Ontario plates reading M-A-R-J-6-8.

She’s described as being 5’6” and 175 lbs, with grey hair and glasses.

Anyone who has seen Marjorie Lucas, or has an idea where she might be, is asked to call Quinte West OPP at 613-392-3561.

UPDATE: Victim in Sunday car/pedestrian crash transferred to Kingston

The scene of a vehicle collision with a pedestrian early Sunday morning on Dundas Street West. Photo: John Spitters/Quinte News

City Police say a 29 year-old Toronto man, who was hit by a car in Belleville early Sunday morning, has been transferred from Belleville General Hospital to Kingston General Hospital with serious injuries.

While the extent of those injuries hasn’t been released, investigators say they are bad enough, that they haven’t been able to interview the victim.

The crash happened around 1:00 a.m. on Dundas Street West, just west of Coleman Street and a 44 year-old man from Tyendinaga Township was arrested at the scene for drinking and driving.

No names are being released yet and police are asking anyone who may have seen the crash to contact Constable Travers at the BPS, or Crime Stoppers.

New deal for Quinte West inside/outside workers

The City of Quinte West and its unionized inside and outside workers, represented by CUPE Local 799, have renewed their collective bargaining agreement.

Both sides say they’re pleased to make the deal and were able to get it done before the current agreement expires on March 31, 2017.

The new contract will run from April 1, 2017, through to March 31, 2020 and includes annual wage increases of 1.5% this year, 1.75% next year and 2% in 2019.

The deal also mandates standard summer hours, with compensation for early morning call-outs, as well as increases in benefits for retirees, vision care and sick leave.

Seasonal staff who have completed three consecutive terms of employment will also now be entitled to three days of paid bereavement leave.