General News

Mayor outlines King success stories at Chamber lunch

June 1, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Mark Pavilons

It’s a great time to live and work in King Township.
That was the message delivered by Mayor Steve Pellegrini at last week’s Mayor’s Lunch, sponsored by the King Chamber of Commerce. The Township’s steady progress and pep talk by the mayor put a little spring in the step of a packed house of Chamber members.
Chamber President Angelo Santorelli stressed this organization is the most interactive and talkative group going, a reflection of the group’s renewed focus and energy. The mayor, he said, never disappoints and his presentation echoes the vibrant community.
The mayor pointed out that King Township Council and staff have been busier than ever.
The largest health-care crisis in a century impacted everything, from the way we conducted our personal lives, to the way we ran government.
“I’m proud of how Council and staff quickly adapted to the challenges the pandemic caused. During the lockdowns we maintained all essential services like waste, water, road and sidewalk maintenance and fire and emergency services,” he said.
“As difficult as it was, the rapidly-changing nature of the pandemic forced us to look at all aspects of our operations. Because of this, we were able to introduce many innovations.”
Pellegrini said the most important thing they needed to do was continue to deliver essential services in the face of lockdowns. Thanks to a tremendous amount of work by the IT team and many others, staff were able to work remotely.
“We recently heard from a change management consultant that such a move under normal circumstances could be expected to take a year to plan and a year to execute. We did it in a few weeks.”
All departments within the Township looked for ways to use technology to deliver and, in many cases, expand services.
King implemented curbside pickup for things like green and blue bins and materials from the Library. The Township offered recreation programs virtually and they started livestreaming council and committee meetings.
“In short, we used the crisis as an opportunity to improve the ways we serve the community.”
The mayor pointed to the successful vaccination clinic held last summer at the Trisan Centre as a measure of success. Over four months staff, volunteers and medical professionals from the community made it possible for 77,000 shots to be administered.
“We had tremendous help from the business community. Trisan Construction, 360 Medical, Motive Media, Hospall, Magna, just to mention a few. I’d like to acknowledge the amazing work done by the Kingbridge Centre as it opened its doors to some of the most vulnerable people as a homeless shelter during the pandemic.”
When lockdowns were imposed, King’s Economic Development division realized we needed to support our business community.
In the face of COVID-19, King launched the Public and Private Lands Patio Program. This supported over 20 local businesses, enabling service continuity to their customers and our residents.
Economic Development enhanced the #ShopKING campaign, intended to promote local shopping and dining in King, ultimately supporting the local economy and maintaining local employment opportunities.
The mayor said 52 new businesses opened between 2019 and 2021, and 24 last year.
“This is incredibly good news considering how precarious things were for many businesses during the pandemic.
“We were also able to distribute $150,000 between 2019 and 2021 as part of our Community Improvement Plan. It targets specific areas within the Township and assists eligible businesses to receive grant funding for various initiatives such as new signage and accessibility features.”
Exciting things are happening on Main Street in Schomberg.
In 2021, King received almost $70,000 in funding through Ontario’s Rural Economic Development (RED) program to undertake the actions in the Schomberg Main Street Revitalization Strategy.
Since 2020, Economic Development has partnered with Central Counties Tourism to partially fund the pop-up patio program on Main Street. Patios were installed on May 11 for the 2022 season.
King was able to secure $116,000 in funding to revitalize the Schomberg Lions Parkette. The funding comes from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario program My Main Street.
EconomicKING is your one-stop-shop for information and resources if you are looking to start or expand your business in King.
ExperienceKING is your destination to all things King has to offer residents, visitors, and tourists. Visit
Despite the financial pressures the pandemic placed on Township operations, council directed staff to keep the 2022 tax increase as close as possible to zero per cent, while still offering quality services.
“That’s because we knew many families and businesses were struggling with reduced work hours and lost revenue.
“The average increase for the Township portion of municipal tax has averaged only just 1.11 per cent between 2018 and 2022, the lowest in the GTA,” Pellegrini said.
Despite this, some major projects came together recently.
They include the Township-Wide Recreation Centre; $2 million worth of bridge and culvert rehabilitation; Phase 2 of Tasca Park and the restoration of Cold Creek Conservation Area.
The Township-Wide Community Centre has been made possible with funding support from the federal and provincial governments, Seneca and local developers.
Scheduled to open in 2024, the centre will feature 124,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor facilities and is being constructed on 25 acres at the southeast corner of Seneca’s King Campus.
Late last year, King unveiled its brand new King City Branch of King Township Public Library and King City Seniors’ Centre. Construction of the 21,000-square-foot building on King Road began in 2018. The bright, modern facility is nestled in the hillside across the road from King City Secondary School.
The Library Branch building includes meeting and study spaces, a reading lounge, book and out-of-the-box collections, public-use technology, children and teen areas and a Make-It Lab. The Seniors’ Centre includes rental space, community space and program areas.
The Schomberg Community Hall renovations are progressing to create an energy-efficient and environmentally conscious space. Currently, work is continuing onsite with completion scheduled by summer 2022.
Osin Lions Park in Schomberg is scheduled to undergo redevelopment this year. The project will include the replacement of aging play structures and surfaces. The new play area will be fully accessible and incorporate inclusive options, such as a “quiet corner.” Additional site amenities include a large picnic shelter with accessible site furnishings, a beach volleyball court, skatepark and paved pathways to connect the park features.
“We continue to make excellent progress on connecting people and places as part of our strategic priority of investing in infrastructure. There have been almost nine kilometres of new alternative transportation opportunities built, including trails, sidewalks and streetscaping.
“This includes six new kilometres of trails in subdivisions and parks, almost nine kilometres of gravel roads converted to paved and 1.5 kilometres of upgraded roads. This work was completed as part of our 2021 paving program. I’m pleased to report we are ahead of schedule on our 10-year road improvement plan and we’ve paved more roads in the last three years that we have in the past three decades.”
The mayor noted King has continued to take a leadership role on the current climate crisis with the installation of a dozen electric vehicle (EV) charging stations throughout the Township at libraries, rec. centres, fire halls and the Municipal Centre. This was due to a $200,000 grant from the Ministry of Natural Resources which, when added to the Township’s $300,000 contribution, which amounts to over 20 charging connectors.
“We know electric vehicles are the future of personal transportation. That’s why we’ve started to put the infrastructure in place now that will allow our residents convenient access to charging stations. This improved network is just the latest action we’re taking on improving our community’s overall sustainability.”
Residents and businesses have been asking for greater access to high-speed internet, and it’s a commitment in King’s corporate strategy.
“We’ve actively supported the installation of broadband and fibre across King, in partnership with the provincial and federal governments, private service providers and other community stakeholders. Since the launch of King Connects, thousands of residents now have access to reliable high-speed internet.”
The mayor reminded residents about the King City Craft Beer and Food Truck Festival. It takes place on Saturday, June 11.
The mayor also stressed the Township offices have been open for some time and staff are always on hand to help residents in person. Some staff are still working remotely, but all departments are running smoothly.
Regarding the pesky spongy moths, King has made burlap wraps available to the public. Pellegrini said very few trees actually died last year, and almost all have bounced back.



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