Helping students start a summer business
Quinte area students who might want to start up a business as a summer job this year could get some extra help with that.
The Small Business Centre, located in Belleville has a program that will award up to $3,000 to start and launch a summer business.
The program known as Summer Company, will include business coaching and mentoring, along with training and skills development.
Anyone between the ages of 15 and 29 years old, and returning to school in September of this year, is eligible to apply.
For more information you can go to ontario.ca/summercompany, complete the online registration and select SBC Belleville under the East tab.
Loyalist college planning future growth
The president of Loyalist College has outlined its future growth plans for engaging in applied technology to members of the Quinte Economic Development Commission.
President Ann Marie Vaughan is calling on the Quinte Economic Development Commission to help build on the college’s research and development.
In her presentation to the Commission on Tuesday, Vaughan asked how the QEDC would suggest that the college’s training can be expanded.
Executive director of QEDC Chris King says the Commission has a strong relationship with Loyalist in creating a skilled trained workforce.
Belleville Mayor Taso Christopher pointed to the need for engineering student enrolment and said there were “thousands of work opportunities across the region.”
Mayor Christopher suggested a caucus meeting of the municipal members to develop support for the college’s upcoming annual funding application to the provincial government.
Another cheque for Belleville & more
Belleville’s Downtown Business Improvement Area has made good on its pledge to help light up the downtown.
On Monday night, Chair Dwane Barratt and executive Director Marilyn Lawrie were at city council to present a $200,000 cheque to the city for street lighting, in the downtown.
In 2011, the DBIA had committed to contribute $250,000 toward the street light portion of the city centre revitalization project.
All street lighting installed has LED illumination brackets for banners, electricity outlets and opportunity for installation of plaques on the base of the standards.
The $50,000 balance will be paid at the completion of Phase 3.
Casting ballots in 2018
Belleville voters will be able to cast their ballots from home, if they wish, in the upcoming 2018 election.
Last November, city council took a look at election options and supported a staff recommendation to not go to ranked ballots, but maintain the existing First Past the Post voting system.
Monday night, City Clerk Matt MacDonald reminded council that any changes to be made must occur before May first.
In his report, MacDonald pointed out that in 2010 and 2014 the city used a combination of traditional paper ballots as well as internet voting for the advance poll and vote counting equipment or tabulators.
He says the objective is to make voting convenient while ensuring security and reliability.
Electors can vote anytime from anywhere 24-7 during the open period and it is expected to attract a broader age group of voters.
Council already has $280,000 availalble in an election reserve.
The last election cost $245,000.
Council approved the use of an alternative voting method (internet voting) for the advance poll period and a bylaw approving the use of vote counting equipment (tabulators).
Community Resource Centre Quinte applying for funding
Belleville city council has heard that up to 300 people daily are served by The Community Resource Centre Quinte, on Octavia Street.
Monday night, Sandi Sidworth of the Sexual Assault Centre said the Resource Centre’s six agencies support “people with the least resources, and who are the most vulnerable.”
Sidworth says fundraising plans are underway to put a “lift” in the building so the old boiler room area can be used for office space, and she said new windows are needed.
Mayor Taso Christopher told Quinte News that the city will assist the agency in applying for funding.
Questioning subdivision plans
Councillor Jack Miller has questioned the many delays in connection with a proposed subdivision in Belleville’s east end.
Miller pointed out to council Monday night the Hanley Park development in the city’s east end has been on the books since 2008, and now is being delayed another year to June of 2018.
He said residents in the Janlyn Crescent area are interested in knowing what is happening.
Director of engineering Rod Bovay says the land was sold and now he anticipates the 70 homes in the first step will move ahead.
Belleville’s winning hand
Belleville’s first payment from the casino revenue tops the half million dollar mark .
Vice-President and COO of Ontario Lottery and Gaming Greg McKenzie presented the cheque for $575,749 to Mayor Christopher and council at Monday’s city council meeting.
It is for the city’s non-tax gaming revenue from the January to March 2017 quarter. It’s what the city receives for hosting an OLG gaming facility.
McKenzie told Quinte News he’s pleased with how the Shorelines Casino Belleville. is operating.
McKenzie told council, “This commitment means hundreds of jobs to the area.”
He said this revenue will be important as the city continues to improve its infrastructure and services.
“We know this will happen because we have seen it happen in other communities. And we are thrilled to see in happening in Belleville.”
Mayor Taso Christopher says “it is an amazing funding resource for infrastructure, social services and other items within the city.”
Christopher said the additional revenue will allow council to continue to make even more progress moving forward.
In a media scrum he said, “Infrastructure is the direction this council has had for the last 27 plus months and I truthfully believe we have seen the return on that investment. There has been some short term pain but the long term gain is unbelievable.”
“The casino has definitely impacted Bell Boulevard. The new hotel is up and going, some land has been sold on Bell Boulevard. So there is a lot of good news going on.”
Council and the Belleville Chamber of Commerce made a presentation to Shorelines Casino of a hand carved wood bowl made by Belleville wood carver Pete Sporring, a member of Quinte Carvers. Sporring spent almost 40 hours creating the piece.
The major amount of the casino revenue, 65%, will go toward infrastructure maintenance, the next emphasis is on economic development with 10% going to that area.
The remainder of the money will be divided among land acquisition, vehicle and equipment replacement, development infrastructure, social infrastructure and disaster mitigation and contingency, each getting 5%.
Belleville’s share increases or decreases depending on how well the casino does.
Advice for travellers
The issue of immunization for students has been in the news recently, but now there’s a warning for travellers as well, from the health unit that serves Northumberland County.
The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is reminding local residents to make vaccination part of their travel plans.
There have been several recent cases of Canadians becoming sick with measles picked up in other countries, which has prompted Canada’s interim Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, to specifically advise travelers to get vaccinated for measles.
Spokesperson for the health unit Marianne Rock has this reminder.
Rock encourages people to plan ahead – especially to allow extra time if multiple doses of a vaccine are required.
Poverty Roundtable meets in Picton
The director of the Hastings Prince Edward Poverty Roundtable, Christine Durant, says the quorum has made some changes in connection with fighting poverty.
Durant made the comment to Quinte News during the Roundtable session in Picton on Wednesday.
She pointed to groups in Bancroft learning from groups in Quinte West, and those groups learning from others.
Durant says this has occurred because of the impact it has had in developing outreach in the communities but more has to be done since children are not finding full-time jobs after college and university graduation.
She says, “The cost of living, the cost of housing, unstable employment, the need for pharmacare, the scarcity of affordable accommodation and energy poverty, for instance, hydro rates, are pushing people over the edge.”
Following a number of presentations, the group of about 60 people broke up into discussion sessions, dealing with issues such as accessibility and what can be done in businesses and organizations to fight poverty.
Fighting poverty in the County
The Prince Edward County Community Foundation has been instrumental in processing $500,000 worth of grants money into the community over the past eight years.
This update was presented to the Poverty Roundtable session in Picton Wednesday.
The Community Foundation made its presentation, one of three made during the session, to nearly 60 people attending the Poverty Roundtable.
Treasurer Brian Beiles says the Foundation has a number of groups working to address poverty issues.
He says money has been directed to a number of initiatives.
#2 BRIAN POVERTY
Beiles says 15 community organizations are developing a project which focuses on career development and employment, especially for young people.
He said one of the organization’s new projects is collaboration with the County and United Way which resulted in a grant to fund the development of a business case for an integrated affordable transit system in Prince Edward County.
The County Community Foundation manages endowment and other funds to support charitable activities in the community.
Housing market in “a frenzy”
A Belleville real estate official says the housing market in Belleville and Trenton has “gone into a frenzy.”
Manager of Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty, Jeff Nelles, was commenting on the latest housing sales statistics for the first quarter of 2017, released by Royal LePage.
Nelles says that despite starting the year off at a “typical, healthy pace, the market has quickly gone into a frenzy.”
Nelles refers to the high-priced sales in the Toronto area, and says that people are migrating down Highway 401.
He says inventory and new build construction cannot keep up with the demand from home buyers leaving Toronto.
Nelles says “it’s almost like buyers from the GTA are playing with monopoly money.”
The Royal Lepage House Price Survey indicates housing prices in the Belleville-Trenton area rose 2.8% over last year with the average price at $246,830.
Nationally, the average price of a home jumped 12.6% to $574,575 in the first three months of this year.
During the same period, the price of a two-storey home rose 13.9% year-over-year to $681,728, the price of a bungalow increased 10.9% to $490,018 and the price of a condominium increased 8.9% to $373,768.
Belleville searching for a sign
As Quinte News reported last week, Belleville will soon have its own tourist attraction BELLEVILLE sign, similar to the TORONTO sign in Nathan Phillips Square.
Shown above is a design example considered by city council’s Christmas Lighting committee.
Chair Councillor Garnet Thompson says the project will now go to council for consideration of a request-for-proposals procedure, which would ask for bids.
At its budget meeting earlier this month, council decided to spend $40,000 dollars on a plastic-metal clad five-foot sign.
Parks official Larry Glover said it will be mobile, and lit up.
Registration open for community gardens
It’s the time of year when Belleville and Hastings County residents can pull on their gardening shoes and start digging.
The Community Development Council of Quinte has seven community garden locations in Belleville and Frankford.
Program coordinator Jim Mallabar says it’s a great way to enjoy fresh vegetables and save money.
Mallabar says the gardens fed more than 200 people last year.
Registration is on a first-come first-serve basis.
The gardens are:
· 160 Roblin Road
· NEW: Salvation Army Belleville Community Church, 290 Bridge Street West
· Community Partners For Success-Frankford, 100 North Trent Street
· St. Columba Presbyterian Church, located at 520 Bridge Street East
· St. Thomas Anglican Church, located at 201 Church Street
· Quinte Alliance Church, 373 Bridge Street West
· Bayview Park, 75 Bay Drive
The Community Development Council has also joined a partnership with the Salvation Army to open up extra garden beds.
For more information contact Garden Coordinator Jim Mallabar at: 613-968-2466, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.cdcquinte.com
Belleville battling Canada Geese
It’s spring, Canada Geese are back, and Belleville officials say this is affecting the use of waterfront trails.
Officials say the birds exhibit territorial behavior, hissing at walkers, and refusing to move out of the way of cyclists.
There is also the issue of goose excrement along the trails.
Parks staff spokesman Larry Glover told city council’s budget meeting that this year’s program to combat the geese will include egg oiling, hazing by border collies, lasers which he says cause no harm, and relocation if the large numbers persist.
When Councillor Jackie Denyes questioned what she called “harsh measures,” Glover said they are similar to those taken by Oakville and Cobourg.
He also indicated new signage will warn people not to feed the geese.
Council approved $25,000 for the management program.
Belleville library will open Sundays
Belleville’s library is broadening its service to the public, opening its doors on Sunday afternoons.
City council approved the Belleville Public Library budget which includes four hours opening on Sunday.
Library Board Chair Councillor Garnet Thompson says there have been requests for such an opening from Loyalist College students, from Sunday shoppers, as well as the general public.
The library will be open on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., probably beginning in June.
Also, the John M. Parrott Art Gallery will open on Mondays as part of a pilot project, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., starting May 1.
The gallery will not be open on Sundays.
Library CEO Trevor Pross says “With the addition of Library open hours on Sundays, and Gallery open hours on Mondays, we are responding to customer demand and improving the services we offer to the public.”