Some 200 people enjoyed good food and good news as Mayor and Council for the City of Belleville welcomed in 2017 at the annual Mayor’s levee at the Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre Sunday, New Year’s Day.
In his Levee address, Mayor Taso Christopher said 2016 had been a big year for the City of Belleville, calling it a year of “implementation, accomplishments, effective planning, strategizing and change”.
The mayor went straight to the two show stoppers that occurred in ’16, the impending arrival of the Ottawa Senators American Hockey League farm team, to be known as the Belleville Senators and the soon to be open Shorelines Casino Belleville.
“The combination of the Belleville Senators and the Shorelines Casino is a huge game changer for the City of Belleville. We will be a premier tourism destination providing entertainment that will attract people from all over the province,” he said.
Mayor Christopher also stressed that both the team and the casino will mean more jobs locally and a stronger regional economy.
The Mayor also listed several Build Belleville projects that were completed in the past year, the largest of which was Phase 2 of the downtown revitalization.
This year(2017), several Build Belleville infrastructure projects will be done or at least started, including Phase 3 downtown, a new police station and the completion of the Dundas West/Bay Bridge Road work.
Mayor Christopher also listed “economic successes” that occurred in 2016.
They included an addition to Triangle Fluid Controls, the sale of 42 acres of industrial land to Vision Transportation for an expansion, and an addition to Procter and Gamble.
The Mayor went on to thank the countless agencies, organizations, service clubs and volunteers who help make the city such a welcoming place 365 days a year.
Mayor Christopher ended his address by turning his attention to 2017 being Canada’s 150th birthday and the City of Belleville’s 200th birthday.
The city has put together a campaign called “My Belleville 200” which will run throughout the year.
With that, the Mayor cut into the city’s 200th birthday cake.