Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What's Ahead for 2011?

As we start a new year, you might be wondering about some of the major undertakings that will be in store for Pelham in 2011.

2011 Capital & Operating Budgets:The draft Capital Budget – the budget for large, tangible items like roads, vehicles, and buildings – will be presented to General Committee on January 24 and is scheduled to be considered by Council on February 7. General Committee will review the 2011 Operating Budget and the Water and Sewer Budgets on February 28 with Council scheduled to consider them on March 7.

Strategic Plan:In early-February, Council will meet to develop a new Strategic Plan for the Town. With three new Councillors and three returning Councillors it makes sense to update the Town’s “Strat Plan” so that we can have a clear guide for not only the next four years but well beyond. Prior to the full-day planning session, Staff will provide an update on the successes of our existing Plan.

Major Infrastructure:The Town is working hard to finish some major infrastructure improvements. The good news is that Haist Street’s reconstruction, Downtown Fonthill’s revitalization, and the construction of Pelham Fire Station #2 will all be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2011. While the Fire Station work will continue during the winter, the majority of the road works cannot be completed until after the asphalt plants open up again in late-March / early-April. That doesn’t mean that the work will stop, however. Immediately prior to warmer spring weather, the contractors will complete the underground works – water and sewer hook-ups and storm sewer construction.

Recreational Facilities:As you will recall, the Recreational Facilities Committee's broad mandate includes reviewing the future of all Town recreational facilities -- arena, outdoor pool, sports fields, and parks. In early 2011, the Committee will issue a final report on a functional analysis, refined capital and operating costs, and a test of the business case for a community centre facility. It is expected that Council will then gather significant and informed public input about the report’s recommendations. I will push hard for affordable and workable solutions with a phased action plan for recreation.

East Fonthill Secondary Plan & Official Plan Update:The current schedule will have the Town reviewing, gathering public input, and completing both the East Fonthill Secondary Plan and the Town’s new Official Plan in 2011. You will hear more about these items in the Spring.

Of course, there is much other work to accomplish as well; Council and I look forward to working together with you on it.