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Mayor highlights dynamic developments at luncheon

May 15, 2024   ·   0 Comments

By Jim Stewart

The King Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Mayor’s Luncheon took place at Nobleton Lakes Golf Club last week. More than 150 civic-minded guests – comprised of business and political leaders – attended the banquet to hear Mayor Steve Pellegrini’s annual address that captured the vibrant quality of life in King Township.
Guests mingled and networked freely in the pre-banquet reception and, when seated, were treated to an array of gustatory delights. The buffet featured BBQ ribs and chicken, roasted potatoes, penne, garden or Caesar salads, grilled vegetables, and assorted rolls. Dessert included colorful fruit platters and delicious baked goods complemented by coffee and tea.
The brightly-lit reception area – showcasing the pristine 18th hole and the beautiful track’s numerous water hazards – was a perfect emerald green backdrop for the vision that Mayor Pellegrini delineated to an attentive audience.
Chamber of Commerce Vice President Gus Kokkoros called the Banquet to order and introduced President Michelle Frauley who welcomed guests and thanked the main sponsors who provided financial support for the event as well as the beverages and centerpieces that adorned the tables. Frauley referred to the luncheon as a “celebration of the vibrancy of the Township” and reminded attendees of the vital function of such a gathering: “Let us not forget the importance of community and collaboration. Let’s make the most of this opportunity to connect with and celebrate our community.”
Pellegrini seized the opportunity afforded by President Frauley and celebrated the achievements of the King community. The amiable municipal leader focused on many developments and accomplishments as he delivered the State of the Township address, but he opened with an amusing reference to the Maple Leafs’ recent playoff misfortunes by noting that attendees “might see players like Marner on the golf course behind me.” After the assembled Leafs fans recovered from the good-natured ribbing, Pellegrini acknowledged his own teammates by introducing the King Councillors in attendance: Ward 5 Councillor Debbie Schaefer, Ward 3 Councillor Jennifer Anstey, Ward 6 Councillor Avia Eek, Ward 2 Councillor David Boyd, and Ward 4 Councillor Mary Asselstine.
Pellegrini noted that he and his team of councillors have “supported the local economy by creating an environment where businesses can thrive. This means providing support and resources for business development, streamlining regulations, and investing in infrastructure that supports business growth. I’m proud to say King has been moving forward on all these things.”
He pointed to a series of recent accomplishments including a new service performance dashboard on the Township’s website that demonstrates “King’s commitment to transparent and accountable government.” The mayor explained that the dashboard “provides the community with easy access to information about the performance of municipal services from pothole repairs to snow clearing, garbage collection, communication efforts and recreation programs as well as the number of new businesses in King” and will report to citizens over six categories: Planning and Growing King; Serving King; Maintaining King; Greening King; Keeping King Safe; and Governing King. Mayor Pellegrini noted that “very few municipalities report to the public with this level of detail.”
Another significant detail that the mayor reported was an update on the Township-Wide Recreation Centre being built on the southeast corner of Seneca’s campus at the 15th Sideroad and Dufferin Street. He praised the environmental standards by which the TWRC is being constructed: “This building is the first such structure in the country to achieve the Canada Building Council’s Zero Carbon Building Design Certification.” He stressed that the TWRC is “On time and on budget” and the $100-M project cost King taxpayers only “$700,000 due to tax-supported funding from the federal and provincial governments and a land lease from Seneca.” He acknowledged the great partnership with Seneca College and highlighted the features of the facility including “an aquatics centre with a six-lane lap pool and leisure pool; two NHL-sized rinks; spectator seating; an artificial turf fieldhouse with a running track and a multi-use community space.”
In addition to this good news item for King residents, Pellegrini discussed the Community Improvement Plan grant program so businesses can receive financial support for new signage and accessibility features. He noted “the two different streams of the program: Village Vibrancy and Rural Resiliency” and commented on the six applications received in 2023, “accounting for nearly $56,000 in grants received by applicants.” He encouraged business leaders to “visit to see if your business qualifies for a grant.”
Under the heading of Development Charges and Growth, Mayor Pellegrini discussed a significant shortfall in revenue for the Township: “As a result of economic circumstances and some legislative changes introduced by the Province, King only collected approximately $780,000 from an estimated $6M anticipated in development charges last year. That’s only 13% and we have over 2,500 draft-planned units ready for shovels to begin digging.” He pointed to two optimist trends to counterbalance this bad news item: “The Economic King team has heard from five businesses who are interested in locating in King” and “According to the TRREB, King was up 20.1% in price change with the highest average price at $1,925,000 with Oakville and Aurora ranked second and third.”
Mayor Pellegrini also touched on the development of a potential Commercial Licensing framework and he discussed how the Township has changed the rules for applying to build farm structures to ensure that farms in King are only used for farming. He praised the work of Councillor Eek who “was instrumental in getting this initiative to the finish line to protect King’s farmland and heritage.”
He also praised the helpful members of the Economic Development team, especially Bianca Cirella and Aimee Artinian Wong who were singled out as key resources for the King business community. Mayor Pellegrini closed his annual address to the KCOC by promoting upcoming events.



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