Survey results: 1120 Haist Street property

The results from the public survey closing Monday March 4, on the whether the Town should sell or retain a portion of the Haist Street property, are now in.

Nine hundred and three responses were provided with 769 (85.16%) voting in favour of selling portions of the land and 134 (14.84%) voting to retain portions of the land.

The survey was prefaced with the following statement:

Residents are asked to provide their preference on whether to sell or retain a portion of the property at 1120 Haist St, known as the Pelham Arena lands. 

There will be no change to the locations of existing parkland, paddle tennis club, playground equipment, and wooded area along the west side; these areas will all be retained by the Town. Only the area currently occupied by the arena building, parking area, outside storage/works area, and multi-purpose court is under consideration. 

This survey is available until Monday, March 4, at 11:59:59 p.m.  

Current financial situation and implications:

 - The retention of the arena property for future use by the municipality requires the demolition of the building and remediation of the soil that could cost the Town approximately $1 million. 
- The Town has commitments to capital projects that were started prior to 2019. Purchase orders have been issued and consequently the Town is obligated to finish these capital projects. The Town does not have any cash in its reserves to use for these purposes. 
- The approximate cost of these capital projects is $2.6 million and without cash reserves the Town will need to sell the land OR the Town will need to take out debt. 

In summary, the financial resources required to cover the demolition of the building and remediation of the soil plus the completion of the committed capital projects is approximately $1 million plus $2.6 million =$3.6 million. This debt will require an additional 3.9% increase in property taxes for 10 years – over and above any other increases to the tax levy.

Respondents were required to provide their municipal address, and were asked to choose between selling or retaining a portion of the land at 1120 Haist Street. Additionally, respondents had the opportunity to provide a response on how they first found out about the Town’s survey.

The survey was posted to the Town’s website and social media sites, with an initial posting and follow up reminders. There was a paid advertisement in the Voice of Pelham on February 20 and a direct mail card delivered by Canada Post beginning Feb. 21. Additionally, there was robust newspaper coverage indicating the poll’s availability.