Monday, October 6, 2014

Improved Quality of Life

Signing Wellspring Niagara Memorandum of
Understanding, 2014. Photo Credit: Voice of Pelham
Council and I have worked hard to ensure that the Town improved its traditional infrastructure — like roads and underground pipes – while also improving the quality of life for all residents.

We understand that community is about a sense of place, about our joint heritage and shared histories, and about community events.

Just like a home is about more than four walls and a roof, community is also about people – people coming together, interacting, celebrating, and remembering.

That’s why I collaborated with Council and the community to improve Pelham’s traditional infrastructure and quality of life.

Since people associate communities with Downtowns, we revitalized Downtown Fonthill and Downtown Fenwick (currently being completed). We also improved significant roads – including Haist Street, Effingham Road, Church Street, Port Robinson Road, Hwy 20, and Rice Road – making many of them more walkable and cycle-able.

We replaced all 4,200 water meters in the Town to ensure accurate service and to find and resolve leaks; we also replaced more than 12 km of cast iron water mains to stop costly leaks.

In addition to this traditional infrastructure, we have renewed and restored Old Pelham Town Hall (to be completed by the end of November), the Pool House (reopened in June), and the historic Fenwick flagpole (designated a heritage structure in 2013).

We also renewed all Town playgrounds – making them totally accessible. We created the Isaac Riehl Memorial Skatepark and worked with the Region to develop a new Centre Street Dog Park. We also expanded Centennial Park – adding a soccer field and revitalizing two baseball diamond – and North Pelham Park – by adding a t-ball field.

Walking and being active are important to our community. That’s why we have added 13 km of sidewalks, 9 km of bike lanes, 3 km of trails, and 5 crosswalks. That’s also why we started clearing snow from sidewalks throughout entire Town. For our efforts on improving cycling, Pelham received the Silver Bike Friendly designation – making us the only small Town to receive this award in Ontario!

We also focused on events to bring the community together and to celebrate. We expand Pelham Summerfest to four-day festival with art, music, and local food. We initiated a Supper Market to complement the Farmer’s Market and Fonthill Bandshell Concerts. (Council will receive a glowing report from the participants regarding the Suppermarket tonight!) We also brought together various Christmas in Pelham events and initiated Winterfest.

No doubt you will recall how we worked together with EL Crossley, Pelham’s Service Clubs and businesses to welcome Canada AM and their millions of viewers to showcase Pelham’s vibrant, creative, and caring community in January 2013. We used the announcement of those Aviva funds to build the Isaac Riehl Memorial Skatepark.

Environmental features are important to our community. That’s why I am so proud to have worked for nearly five years to secure the Provincial protection of the Fonthill Kame-Delta. I am also pleased to have brokered the deal with Abitibi and the Ministry of the Environment that saw the removal of the “sludge berm” in Fenwick. Council also approved a new environmental protection bylaw to stop the importation of construction waste to agricultural lands.

And, since health care is so important to people’s quality of life, Council and I secured the development of a new Fonthill Medical Centre, and new retirement home on Town lands. We also donated use of two acres of land for new Wellspring Niagara Cancer Support Centre to serve all families in Niagara Region ravaged by cancer.

Finally, we began the design of a potential multi-faceted community centre in the East Fonthill area to serve our diverse community. While market analysis has shown that people will provide the sustaining demand (ie: cover the operating costs), we are seeking financial support from the Federal and Provincial governments to build the potential facility.

I look forward to working together with you and your friends and neighbours and with Council to continue to improve our infrastructure and the quality of life in Pelham for all.