With the completion of construction in Picton’s downtown core came a sense of relief and excitement within the business community Sunday.
Prince Edward County mayor Robert Quaiff cut the ribbon at a special ceremony marking the official reopening of Main Street and just in time for Santa Claus to make his much anticipated visit for large festive crowds. (The core opened to traffic Friday afternoon).
Originally tagged around $6 million, the Main Street project began in April and saw upgrades to the roadway, sidewalks, lighting and mainline sanitary and watermains.
Picton Business Improvement Association Manager Lyndsay Richmond said while it was challenging for businesses, she had to praise the outstanding work by Taggart construction and the efforts of council to pause the project keeping Main Street fully open during the peak tourist season.
Mayor Robert Quaiff acknowledged the frustration experienced by businesses and he thanked them for their patience. He also beamed about the work by Taggart and lead engineer Joe Angelo. Moving forward Mayor Quaiff said he is optimistic many people will venture out to see the core and support local businesses. He also pointed to upcoming incentives that will help encourage shopping downtown such as $10 gift certificates supplied by the County and Taggart that were handed out during the parade.
There is still some work to be done to sidewalks and crosswalks in the spring.
Mayor Quaiff explained parking will remain free until staff works out next steps that could include parking machines where paid tickets would be displayed in vehicle windshields.
A final price tag on the project is expected at a later date.