By Cecilia Nasmith
Northumberland-Peterborough South MPP David Piccini spoke at Trade Tech Industries in the Port Hope Municipal Business Park Friday afternoon to announce a successful conclusion to months of working with the municipality and Business Park firms – a $400,000 grant toward the completion of the Pemberton Drive access to the business park.
As this is a $1.568-million project, Piccini added, the Eastern Ontario Development Fund grant covers 26.5% of its cost.
The MPP is proud of the province having created more than 272,000 jobs since taking office in June 2018. Friday's announcement stands to expand that number through critical infrastructure support that, as Piccini put it, unlocks the potential for new development.
Traffic exiting Highway 401 at Welcome and approaching the business park – from passenger cars to semis – must travel almost a kilometre past a busy plaza that includes a Tim Hortons as well as a large hardware and grocery store – to turn left at Jocelyn Street. Then another left turn at Henderson Street is necessary.
Once Pemberton Drive is completed, it will be a direct route to the business park much closer to the 401 (that does not go past the busy plaza at all).
It makes for more efficient vehicular service to the business park, both to and from Highway 401, Piccini pointed out,
Port Hope Mayor and acting county warden Bob Sanderson pointed out another consideration – increased safety on a busy street corner with that much of the traffic diverted.
Port Hope communications and community-engagement co-ordinator Kate Ingram distributed an overview of the business park.
At present Trade Tech, a heavy-machines industry, occupies two of three lots that have been developed, the other being Port Hope Health Centre . Five are under development and three remain available.
Under development are two more Port Hope Health Centres, Sigus Heavy Machinery and a Hampton Inn.
As of this fall, the business park has produced $800,000 in development charges, $140,000 in permit fees and $300,000 in annual municipal taxes, as well as retaining 88 existing jobs and providing 60 to 80 health-care jobs and 42 to 60 industrial and accommodation-related jobs by 2020.
“The Pemberton Road extension and storm-water management will support future employment, commercial and industrial growth,” the press release said.
Port Hope and District Chamber of Commerce chief administrative officer Brenda Whitehead said that, while the Pemberton extension will strengthen the manufacturing sector and increase the vibrancy of the business community, the hotel is especially good news. This kind of facility offers the potential for more business travel and conferences.
“It really is very exciting for the business community and for us as a chamber, as well as a municipality,” Whitehead said.
While Sanderon said the municipality would have come up with the $1.5-million for the Pemberton extension because it is a necessary project, Friday's announcement was welcome news.
“Nobody knows how much work David is doing to get things done, and we are seeing the fruition of that,” Sanderson said.
“It's such a pleasure to be in my home town to make this announcement,” Piccini said.
“This is what we are about – to create jobs in this community and create wealth to reinvest in vital social services we need to keep our community vibrant.”