Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Major Infrastructure & Planning Issues Ahead

For your information, here is a summary of the speech I delivered yesterday at the Pelham / Welland Chamber of Commerce Mayor's Breakfast.

Major Infrastructure Investments:
• Pelham received unprecedented Federal & Provincial investments – totaling $12.4 M in capital projects
• Context: Double annual capital budget; second best per capita in Niagara

Downtown Fonthill Revitalization: $2.5 M + bury Hydro
• Pelham Street from College Street, across Regional Road #20 to Broad Street – New road, water and sewer, improved streetscape
• Public Open Houses in November and January 2010
• Construct from May until November 2010

Haist Street Reconstruction: $5.7 M

• Priority project that with investment, doing three years work in one year
• New road, water, storm sewer, sidewalks, crosswalks, cycling
• Sanitary Sewer relocation – construction November 2009
• Rest of construction from March to ~November

Replacement of Fire Station #2 (Fenwick): $2.9 M
• Required for +decade; Fed. & Prov. support make possible now!
• Replace 60 year old Firehall that falling apart and too small for growth
• Functional analysis complete, property issues complete fall 2009
• Construction from March to October 2010

Nine New, Accessible Playgrounds: $1.1 M
• Replace and upgrade playground equipment in nine playgrounds across Town including: MSSP, Centennial Park, Harold Black, North Pelham, etc.
• Install totally accessible equipment and accessible flooring
• RFP awarded this fall; Installation & Finishing from April to July 2010

Town Hall Addition: $260K
• Add on to second floor of Town Hall to accommodate staff (sardines now!)
• Construction beginning in December and ending in March 2010

Major Planning Issues:

Community Improvement Plan Designation & Design Guidelines:
• CIP allows for establish area that can receive special treatment
o Incentives, Tax-Increment Plan, Development Charge exemption
• CIP public meeting in November, and to Committee / Council in December
o Budget implications for 2010?
• Design Guidelines:
o What will it all look like for fa├žade improvements?
o What will be long term vision for downtowns?
• Design Guidelines report to Committee / Council in November
o Action Plan to achieve strategies

Official Plan:
• Policies for commercial development, agriculture, residential development, for downtowns, for growth
• Work of several years; last updated in 1987
• Work impacted by:
o Provincially imposed policies such as Greenbelt, Places to Grow, Provincial Policy Statement
o Regional Growth Plan
• Open House in October
• Public Meeting in November; Enact in January 2010?

East Fonthill Secondary Plan & Town-Owned Lands:
• Town-Owned Lands purchased as if designated and zoned a certain way:
o Province changed “Rules”; Secondary Plan process to Landowners
• Town-Owned Lands:
o Report for Workshop to Council in October
o Dependant on rest of Secondary Plan
• Secondary Plan:
o Landowner’s Group present draft plan by end of 2009
o Final to Town in April / May; Public meeting in June
o Ratified in July/August?

An important year lies ahead.
Let’s keep working together to improve Pelham!