Monday, December 16, 2013

Yet More Improvements in 2014!

Last week, I wrote about some of the major improvements planned for the Town in 2014, including “Uptown Fonthill” Reconstruction, Downtown Fenwick Revitalization, Peace Park improvements, East Fonthill Roads / Services, and Port Robinson Road reconstruction.

As Council continues to focus on maintaining and improving infrastructure, we also budgeted for other important improvements.

Roads & Sidewalks:
First, the Town will complete the reconstruction of Highland Avenue next year. (It was great to see the southern-portion of Highland finally being paved last week!)
The Town will also continue reconstructing Effingham Street – next year from Metler to the south (approx. 550 meters)
Some urban roads will be resurfaced: Vinemount Drive, Berkhout Terrace, and Sunset Drive. In these areas, a contractor will mill-off the old road surface, repair the base road, curbs, and sidewalks (as needed), and resurface the road.
Balfour Street (Welland to Chantler), Brady Street, Cream Street (from Memorial to Canboro and Chantler to Webber), Maple Street (Kilman to Metler), Metler (Cream to Centre), Moore Drive, Sawmill Road (Moyer to Maple), and Tice Road (Victoria Ave to Balfour), will be resurfaced by receiving a single surface treatment. In addition, Effingham (Roland to Sixteen) will receive the missing top-coat of asphalt.
Finally, as well as our annual sidewalk maintenance program, Council also approved the construction of a sidewalk on Church Street, from the train tracks to Martha Court.

Parks & Recreation:
At the request of Pelham Minor Baseball, the Town will be rehabilitating the existing limestone infield at Harold Black Park Diamond #2 with clay baselines, grass infield, and a pitching mound. We also budgeted to replace the rusted backstop and infield fences at Centennial Park Diamond #1 and at Harold Black Diamond #1.
Following this year’s improvements to Marlene Stewart-Streit Park (Riehl Skatepark and Pool House upgrades), Council budgeted funds to reconfigure and build a proper parking lot.
Finally, Council approved the next phase of the rail trail – from Balfour to Centre Street – on the abandoned rail line that will link with Centennial Park.

Other Improvements:
Instead of counting on majority landowners to involve the community and complete the studies, Council earmarked funds take-over and restart the East Fenwick Secondary Plan process.
So that we can be as prepared as possible for flooding that future storms may bring, Council budgeted to carry out a watershed master plan study.
Regional Council approved funds to construct a dog park on the former landfill on Centre Street (just north of Hwy 20); following the property’s rezoning, all we will need to proceed will be $10,000 donated by the community.

I look forward to working together with you on these and other improvements in 2014.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Budgets Mean More Improvements in 2014

Since Town Council approved our 2014 Capital Budget last week and Regional Council is set to approve our 2014 Operating, Capital, and Rate budgets this week, I wanted to inform you about some major improvements planned for Pelham next year.

“Uptown Fonthill” Reconstruction:
Regional Council’s 2014 Capital Budget includes $4.0 million (including nearly $1 million from the Town) to reconstruct Regional Road 20 from Peachtree Park to Lookout Street, and to reconstruct Haist Street from Canboro Road to RR20. The works will include adding bikelanes, adding new sidewalks, upgrading the watermain, road reconstruction (including a turning lane to Haist Street North), and a new traffic signal. Regional staff hopes to begin work in early-spring and be done in early-September. Because of significant developments between Haist and Lookout on Hwy 20, I refer to this area as “Uptown Fonthill.”

Downtown Fenwick Revitalization:
While Council budgeted funds to revitalize Downtown Fenwick in 2013, staff ran into delays with design, with added work (storm sewer to Church Street) and with utilities. In 2014 we budgeted $4.0 million to reconstruct the roads, bury the hydro lines, and make the Downtown more pedestrian friendly. The consulting engineers will meet with the public on December 19 to review the final design with the hope that work can begin in early-spring. Council directed staff to ensure as little negative impact on Downtown businesses as possible.

Peace Park:
Council earmarked funds to landscape and improve Peace Park so that the overwhelming success of the Fonthill Bandshell, the Farmer's Market, and Summerfest can grow. The plan includes tiered seating (for lawn chairs) around the Bandshell, fully-accessible internal pathways, enhancing the cenotaph, and opening-up the park for more multi-use activities. Council directed staff to ensure these improvements do not interfere with the June start of the Bandshell.

East Fonthill & Port Robinson Road:
As you know, the Town has been planning for growth and development in the East Fonthill area for several years. This area includes +450 acres from Regional Road 20 and south along Rice Road, past Merritt Road. The area could accommodate 5,000 people over the next 20-25 years and includes significant commercial / mixed use lands along Hwy 20. Council insists on a great development that is walkable, cyclable, fully integrated to Downtown Fonthill and existing neighbourhoods, and adds to our small-town feel. The Town will reconstruct Port Robinson Road from Station Street to Rice Road next summer and will begin constructing services and internal roads in late-summer / early-fall.

I look forward to working together with you on these and many other improvements in 2014.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Busy Christmas Season in Pelham

Except for the North Pole, I cannot imagine the Christmas Holiday Season being busier anywhere else than in Pelham! Businesses, service clubs, volunteers, and artists fill nearly two months with Holiday activities.

The Christmas “kick-off” began with Holiday Gift Showcases and Downtown Strolls in early November in both Fonthill and Ridgeville. (These shops are continuing with wonderful displays for the Holidays. Please check them out!)

Bev Sneath, renowned artist and teacher, hosted her annual Art Studio Open House on the second weekend in November. And, the Fonthill United Church held their annual Homes for the Holidays House Tours in mid-November.

Thanks to the dozen elves who lovingly decorated the Town with fresh, seasonal garland, wreaths, sashes, and bows last week; it looks wonderful and enlivens the Town!

Now that we are into December, Temperanceville (historic models of Pelham buildings) is on display in Peace Park. In addition, the Fonthill United Church will be hosting Lessons, Carols, and Cookies on December 4 (from 2:00 to 4:00 PM).

And, the Turkey Raffles have begun – Fonthill Firefighters Association held one last Friday, and Fenwick Firefighters will host one on December 6.

Building on the Pelham Business Association’s celebrations in the past, key Town volunteers with the Christmas in Pelham committee will host an Outdoor Christmas Market on Friday, December 6 from 4:00 to 10:00 PM. What some have dubbed “Winterfest”, the event “Under the Arches” will feature gift and food vendors, “Christmas Cheer”, a visit from Santa, and Christmas Caroling in Downtown Fonthill. Watch for the special light display! Then, the next day, from 10:15 AM to 1:00 PM, Downtown Fonthill will feature horse drawn wagon rides, Santa, and youth carolers from throughout Pelham. Please plan to be there!

Also on December 7, please volunteer at the Fonthill or Fenwick Lions Halls and / or place non-perishable food items at your door for the Annual Pelham Food Drive from 9:30 AM. This door-to-door campaign not only do we help those less fortunate, but it also draws the community together.

A tremendous event of fellowship and fun will be the annual Senior’s Christmas Dinner, hosted by the Fonthill & District Kinsmen at Old Pelham Town Hall on December 10.

And, the Fenwick Lions will host the Annual Santa Claus Parade in Downtown Fenwick and in Centennial Park on Saturday, December 14. A great family event!

Unfortunately I could not include all the Christmas in Pelham events here. Please watch our local media for more information or check out for full event details. And, I hope you and your family enjoy a wonderful Holiday.