- QNetNews.ca - http://www.qnetnews.ca -

Belleville Mayor discusses Bulls, future of city with businesses

By Joseph Quigley [1]

BELLEVILLE – Mayor Taso Christopher revealed his vision for the future of the city’s arena to the Belleville business community at a chamber of commerce [2] meeting Wednesday.

One of the main focuses of the mayor’s address was the departure of the Belleville Bulls [3], which he spoke about at length.

“It was disappointing news for the municipality. It was disappointing news for myself, the staff, the fans and everyone involved. Unfortunately, what’s happened has happened and I’m not one to cry over spilled milk. We’re going to keep our head down and we’re going to keep our feet moving. And we’re going to be resilient,” he said.

Christopher added the Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre [4], which was the home of the Bulls, may have new uses as an entertainment venue on the horizon.

“On the good side,  we are getting phenomenal interest for our municipality and for our facility in hockey dynamics and in different event dynamics. We have a lot of agencies from minor sports that are looking for bookings. Ultimately, we’d like to have some sort of entertainment in that facility come September,” he said.

Christopher said he could not reveal any details as to what agencies have expressed interest in the facility as discussions are preliminary.

When asked about the possibility of Belleville getting another OHL [5] expansion franchise, Christopher said based on his discussions with the league, it’s not likely.

“Expansion is not in the (foreseeable) future for the OHL,” he said.

The mayor also spoke about Build Belleville [6], a major infrastructure program. It has begun construction on several multimillion-dollar building projects across the city, such as the northeast water feedermain [7], with more projects to begin in the near future.

Christopher said that many projects are progressing well and that the city would learn from mistakes along the way.

“They’re monumental bumps that we have to go over, but collectively with the support of the chamber and the municipality we’ll get there. We’re going make mistakes, but we’re not going make the same mistake twice. But inevitably, slowly, we’ll take our baby steps  and we’ll get there.”

One of larger projects Christopher discussed was the downtown revitalization project [8]. With the bidding for the project closing Tuesday, he said the “big dig” for stage one of the project would hopefully begin on May 1st.

The Build Belleville map of the different stages of the downtown revitalization along Front Street and Station Street. Each stage of the project will cover a different portion of the downtown along Front Street. Construction on the first stage is scheduled to begin in May. [9]

The Build Belleville map of the different stages of the downtown revitalization along Front Street and Station Street. Each stage of the project will cover a different portion of the downtown along Front Street. Construction will include fixing roads, sidewalks and he sewer system below the surface. The first stage of the project is scheduled to begin in May.

Belleville Chamber of Commerce President Richard Davis Counreyea said the business community needs the city to succeed.

“How many people need their investment in Belleville to prosper so you can grow your business with similar momentum? We need Belleville to win. Win with growth, win with innovation. I believe that Belleville is on the cusp of reaching it’s largest potential,” he said.

Comments