Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Early Capital Budget Invests in Pelham

It’s not only the earliest for Pelham ever, it’s also the first across the Region.

You see, Pelham Council adopted your 2009 Capital Budget on Monday, December 1st – two weeks ahead of last year’s approval. Because we are ahead of the game, I hope the Town will save thousands of dollars on early tendering.

As you may know, a capital budget plans for the acquisition or rehabilitation of major infrastructure and equipment that have a long life. Such capital assets include municipal buildings, arenas, trucks and vehicles, roads and sidewalks, and water/sewerage pipes.

(The operating budget provides for the “day-to-day” expenditures such as salaries, wages, benefits, heat, hydro, and maintenance of buildings and infrastructure.)

So how will your money be invested?

Your $5.4 million Capital Budget will fund many improvements, such as:
• Pelham’s share of the revitalization of Fonthill’s and Fenwick’s Downtowns (if we receive joint “Building Canada” funding from the Federal and Provincial governments);
• Road reconstruction on Station Street (Hwy #20 to Town Square), Effingham Road (Canboro to Pancake and Oille to Pelham Road), Chantler Road (Balfour to railroad crossing), Foss Road (Victoria Ave. to Farr), Metler Road (Balfour to Maple), and Church Street (Canboro to Foss);
• Traffic light installation at Port Robinson and Pelham Street (which is expected to be justified in a traffic study);
• Sidewalk installation and driveway repairs at Fonthill Fire Station #1;
• Fonthill Stormwater Master Servicing Plan to determine drainage needs in an area bounded from Station, to Port Robinson, to Highland, to Shorthills Place.
• Park enhancements such as the construction of two junior soccer fields in Centennial Park, playground equipment in Harold Black Park, and playground equipment and multi-purpose court resurfacing in North Pelham Park;
• Vehicle replacements such as the 20-year-old one-ton utility truck, the 17-year-old five-ton dump truck, and the 21-year-old backhoe;
• Fonthill Library Branch renovations like flooring, lighting, and shelving.

Finally, despite all the talk over the last number of years about replacing Firehall #2, the Maple Acre Library, and the Pelham Arena, would you believe that no money has ever been set aside for them?

Well, another first then!

This capital budget sets aside funds in 2009 for a new firehall, and establishes funding plans for a new library branch in 2010 and a new Arena in 2011.

Your 2009 Capital Budget provides a responsible, well-planned, and future-focused investment in Pelham.