Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Unprecedented Capital Budget: Turning Years of Wait into Month of Action

You will note that I use the word “unprecedented” when letting you know about our 2010 Capital Budget. Why?

First, Council adopted your Capital Budget on Monday, November 30. That’s both the earliest ever for the Town, and the first in the Region. Since we are ahead of the rest, I hope the Town will again save money on our early tendering of projects.

Second, this Capital Budget is the largest ever for Pelham. Why is this year’s $14.5 million budget nearly three times more than last year’s $5.4 million? This budget will utilize the unprecedented investments that the Federal and Provincial Governments have promised to Pelham.

Those unprecedented investments mean unprecedented improvements for Pelham in 2010. These include revitalizing Downtown Fonthill, reconstructing Haist Street, replacing Pelham Fire Station #2, renewing and making accessible nine playgrounds, and adding-on to Town Hall.

Some of these projects have been years in the waiting. These investments will turn years of wait into months of action.

You will recall that 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 routine maintenance of buildings and infrastructure.)

So, what else is in the budget?

In addition to the projects I listed above, this Capital budget will build a better community:
• New Town Website: to improve interactions between staff and residents;
• Upgrade to Town Information Technologies: seeking Federal investment to integrate the Town’s systems;
• Investments in Recreation: including a new ice resurfacer, and significant upgrades to Centennial, Harold Black, and Marlene Stewart-Streit Parks;
• Renovations to Old Pelham Town Hall: seeking Federal investments to improve the condition of this important historic facility;
• New Library automation system;
• Engineering of Pelham Street South of College: advancing by two years this first step in reconstructing the road and adding sidewalks South of College;
• Replaces a 1988 backhoe and two trucks;
• Renews nine other streets.

Thus, your 2010 Capital Budget will continue our Town’s revitalization through the further progression of our infrastructure. Thanks to the unprecedented investments of the Federal and Provincial governments, the budget supports community spirit, prosperity and growth. It also provides responsible, well-planned, and future-focused investments in Pelham.