A busy and successful milestone year of 2017 was celebrated inside the gymnasium of the Quinte Sports & Wellness Centre on a cold New Year’s Monday at Belleville’s annual Mayor’s Levee.
Mayor Taso Christopher started his address to the public by thanking his team of councillors for all the work it’s done over the past year.
The mayor went on to describe 2017 as “a year of execution, infrastructure achievements, effective planning and strategizing for change and the future.”
The 200th anniversary of Belleville was marked by two much-anticipated arrivals to the city; the Belleville Senators American Hockey League team and the Shorelines Casino. Mayor Christopher said these two entities will bring outstanding economic development to the city, upwards of $20 million towards the food sector and the employment sector.
The mayor addressed some of the top infrastructure accomplishments that were achieved in “the busiest year of construction in the history of Belleville” – 2017.
These included; the completion of renovations to the Yardmen Arena for the arrival of the Senators, Phase 2 and 3A of the Downtown Belleville Revitalization Project, the addition of bike lanes and a multi-use path in the city, and the commencement of $10+ million upgrades to the Wet Weather and Wastewater Treatment Plant, among others.
The mayor also recognized other notable accomplishments in 2017.
Among them were the appointment of Ron Gignac to Chief of Police and Mike Callaghan as Deputy Police Chief, the opening of a new, state-of-the-art fire hall in the north end of Belleville, the opening of the Dr. Robert Vaughn Atrium at the Quinte Sports & Wellness Centre, the starting of a new Inclusivity Committee headed up by councillor Garnet Thompson and the commemoration of major events in the city’s history through plaques in partnership with the Hastings County Historical Society.
Mayor Christopher says all of these accomplishments will serve the city of Belleville and the entire Quinte community well as they enter into 2018 and beyond.
Moving forward into 2018, Christopher says the upcoming year will be largely focused on visionary and detailed work on waterfront development.
Finishing up the downtown project and road work is also high on the mayor’s priority list. The mayor added the 20th anniversary of the amalgamation of Thurlow Ward will be recognized as well.
Mayor Christopher concluded the proceedings with a promotional video and the ceremonial cake cutting.
Click below for Mayor Christopher’s full speech from the Belleville New Year’s Levee.