Monday, May 30, 2016

Oversight, Staffing, and Sale of Lands

Last Tuesday, Council held a special meeting to learn more about development charges, discuss project oversight and staffing of the new Community Centre, and move ahead on land sales / development.

Development Charges:
A Provincial expert in Development Charges affirmed that over the next 30 years, the Town is eligible to collect at least $12.1 million from the recreation services portion of the Town's Development Charges. Development Charges will also fully-fund all interest costs.

Because this revenue will only be for the indoor recreation services portion of the collectable Development Charges, funds will still be available to help pay for other growth related infrastructure throughout the Town – including roads, water, wastewater, fire services, library services, and transit.

Project Oversight:
Council approved establishing a Community Centre Oversight Committee that will ensure the project will be constructed on time and on budget. The small, volunteer Committee will supervise the project’s schedule, budget, quality of construction, final design, health and safety, and other risk mitigation measures. They will provide monthly reports to Council (and to the public at Council will consider the Committee’s terms of reference and members on June 6.

Council also approved the CAO’s recommendation to hire a financial specialist on contract (18 to 24 months) to oversee all financial elements of the Community Centre and the East Fonthill development. This dedicated position will not only provide constant financial management, but will also allow current staff to maintain the rest of the Town’s operations.

Staffing for the Centre:
The HR Director presented the first iteration of the proposed staffing needs to operate the Pelham Community Centre. The operating pro forma presented to Council in March – which shows it will cost approximately $110,000 (net) per year to operate the Centre – contained $611,699 for new staffing. While this first-draft shows 18 new staff – four (4) full-time, six (6) part-time, and eight (8) seasonal – staffing details will continue to be refined over the coming months as the Town prepares to open the facility.

Sale of Lands:
Council reviewed a comprehensive inventory of all the lands that could be considered and disposed of by the Town for development. Council further directed staff to develop a strategy, including the drafting of conceptual plans, for the sale the East Fonthill surplus lands (19.75 acres) and the Haist Street arena property (8.2 acres). Council also approved an Environmental Impact Study so that 12 tax-sale-lots owned by the Town on the unopened portion of Balfour Street (between Chantler and Webber Roads) might be sold.

Council continues to take steps to monitor and oversee the construction of the Community Centre and to ensure the financial plan is realized.