Kame, Ridgeville, Funding and Transit at AMO Conference

The Mayor’s Report with Pelham Mayor Dave Augustyn

Town of Pelham Mayor Dave Augustyn

Town of Pelham Mayor Dave Augustyn – Photo by Divino Mucciante

This week, Councillors Accursi and Durley, Town CAO Ottaway, and I will attend the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Conference in Windsor. The annual three-day conference offers a range of learning sessions and networking opportunities and organizers expect more than 1,300 delegates.

While at AMO, your Pelham representatives will also directly advance your interests with the Provincial Government through meetings with various Ministries.

First, we will meet with Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Natural Resources (MNR), about increasing the protection of the Fonthill Kame. For the last eight years, we effectively used AMO and “Niagara Week” meetings to urge the Province to enhance the Area of Natural & Scientific Interest (ANSI) protections of the Kame. For the last couple of years we thanked the Provincial Government for finalizing those protections in late 2013. Like last year, we intend to ask MRN to add more of the Fonthill Kame to the protections offered by the Niagara Escarpment Plan.

Similarly, we will be meeting with the Bill Mauro, Minister of Municipal Affairs, about the same topic and more. You see, the Province is seeking final input on their “Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review” — a review of the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan (NEP). These planning documents work together to “manage growth, build complete communities, curb sprawl and protect the natural environment.” In addition to asking for adding additional Fonthill Kame lands under the protection of the NEP, we want to thank the Minister for fixing an historic planning error regarding Ridgeville. Since the Greenbelt Plan excluded the Hamlet of Ridgeville more than 10 years ago, the coordinated review is proposing that it be included and recognized.

Next, we will meet with Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture & Sport, about the Pelham Community Centre and Provincial funding opportunities. Since Minister McMahon recently attended the launch of Pelham Summerfest, we will also be updating her about the successes of our signature, four-day festival.

Finally, we will meet with Daiene Vernile, MPP & Parliamentary Assistant to Minister of Transportation (MTO), regarding our Community Transportation Pilot Project. Thanks to $100,000 of Provincial funding, the Town has operated Pelham Transit for nearly a year as a pilot program. We will again thank the MTO for the grant, talk about plans for Regional Transit, and outline the need for ongoing sustainability of transit.

Please be assured that Council and I will continue to take all opportunities to promote Pelham’s interests to the Provincial Government.

You may contact Mayor Dave at mayordave@pelham.ca and view past columns at www.pelhammayordave.blogspot.ca.