Council Highlights: April 7, 2015

IMPROVING TRANSPORTATION

The Town of Pelham received a provincial Community Transportation Pilot Grant to help improve community transportation services for seniors, youth, persons living with disabilities, and other members of the community who need transportation. Pelham was awarded the maximum $100,000 for a new coordinated service to provide inter-municipal and volunteer service to surrounding municipalities, Niagara College, Niagara Regional Transit and GO Transit. Funding for the coordinated service will be awarded from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2017, at which time the pilot program will be evaluated to determine the effectiveness of coordinated community transportation as a service delivery model.

COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM

The Town’s Community Improvement Plan (CIP) contains a toolbox of incentive programs (financial grants) to directly stimulate private sector investment in the revitalization and redevelopment of Downtown Fenwick and Fonthill. CIP grant applications are reviewed by planning staff and approved by Council. Staff plans to initiate a CIP promotion program to help educate property owners and increase overall awareness and participation.

DOWNTOWN FENWICK RECONSTRUCTION

Staff advised Council that construction of the Fenwick Revitalization Project is resuming after a pause during the winter months. Staff is working to resolve some challenges concerning the extension of brick surfaces, transformer locations and street lighting. So far, a light standard in front of the Broken Gavel restaurant has been removed following requests from the community, and two large light standards on pedestrian sidewalk adjacent to the flagpole will also be removed. Other light standards in the area are being evaluated to see if they are required for road illumination. The project is scheduled for completion within the next few months and a grand opening ceremony is being planned. 

NIAGARA SOUTH COAST TOURISM 

Council directed staff to work with the Niagara South Coast Tourism Association to participate in their working group to help promote the Town of Pelham as a tourism destination alongside Port Colborne, Welland, Fort Erie and Wainfleet. Council also approved $2,200 to cover the 2015 association membership fee.

 STAFF PERFORMANCE REVIEW SYSTEM 

With the hiring of a new Human Resources Director, the Town of Pelham has updated the 2015 employee performance plan to better help guide, track and evaluate staff goals and achievements. Staff is evaluated on the accomplishment of individual goals, eight core competencies and work on inter-departmental teams. A mentorship program is also in the works to further help develop staff.

 BUILDING CODE ACCESSIBILITY IMPROVEMENTS

 Mike Zimmer, the Town of Pelham Chief Building Official, presented to Council an overview of the Ontario Building Code changes that came into effect on January 1, 2015. Ontario’s Building Code establishes the minimum standards for the construction of buildings in which all Ontarians live, work and play, including prioritizing accessibility. Barrier-free design requirements have been part of Ontario’s Building Code since 1975 and the province has set a goal of an accessible Ontario by 2025. Effective January 1, 2015, the amended Ontario Building Code aims to substantially enhance accessibility in newly constructed buildings and existing buildings that will be extensively renovated. The barrier-free design requirements apply to lever door handles, barrier-free doorways and washroom stalls, visual fire and smoke alarms, and fully accessible units within buildings. The Town of Pelham is dedicated to ensuring all public facilities meet accessibility standards and the Building Department will enforce the new Ontario Building Code requirements when construction plans are reviewed and during inspections. For more information, please contact the Community Planning & Building Department at 905-892-2607 ext. 321.