Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Continued Improvements for 2013

A new year brings continued improvements to Pelham.

Downtown Fenwick:
Council budgeted $2.1 million to revitalize Downtown Fenwick in 2013. The improvements will help make the area more pedestrian friendly, bury the hydro lines, and enhance the historic flagpole (thanks to funds raised during Fenwick’s 150th celebration). Members of the Downtown Beautification committee will help finalize the design so that the enhancements can be completed for Fenwick’s 160th Anniversary this fall.

Skateboard Park:
Following the tragic death of Issac Riehl in October, a group of committed EL Crossley students began a movement to build a skateboard park in Pelham with funds from the Aviva Community Fund (a National insurance industry fund). The movement flourished and the project is among 30 finalists for a donation of up to $150,000! Because of this work and many previous requests, Council committed to matching any Aviva Funds, to building a skate park in 2013, and directed staff to assist the students with their final proposal.

New Fire Station #3 – North Pelham:
When Pelham’s Shorthill’s Fire & Rescue service began 12+ years ago (following Thorold’s cancellation of the St. John’s Fire Service partnership), the current, rented facility was intended to be a temporary solution. Now those committed fire fighters and residents in North Pelham and Effingham need a more permanent Fire Station. Council budgeted $1.3 million to purchase property and to construct a new station in 2013.

More Walkable & Active:
During the last six years, the Town has added more than 9 KM of sidewalks; in 2013 we will add a couple more. New sidewalks will be constructed on the west-side of Pelham Street from Port Robinson Road to Pancake and on both sides of Port Robinson Road from Pelham to Station Street. Council also budgeted to begin the first phase of converting the abandoned Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway right-of-way into a recreational trail – from Centennial Park to Balfour Street.

Peace Park:
Council earmarked funds to landscape and enhance Peace Park so that the overwhelming success of the Fonthill Bandshell, the Farmer's Market, and Summerfest can continue and grow.

Recreation, Culture, and Wellness:
In December, Council directed staff to finalize the years of work so that we can finally decide on the future recreational, cultural, and wellness needs for the Town in 2013. We also set aside funds for predevelopment studies so that we can proceed should Council decide to move forward with new and / or revamped facilities.

I look forward to working together with you on these and many other improvements in 2013.