Mayoral candidates debate October 8
Mayoral candidates debate October 8, 2014. The winner will be Pelham's Mayor for 2014-2018

Members of YMCA Niagara were at Town Council Tuesday night to discuss the potential partnership regarding the building of a multi-faceted community centre.

Niagara Volunteer Board Chair Leanne Standryk and CEO Janet St. Amand gave council an overview of what the YMCA provides across the region. With locations in Niagara Falls, Port Colborne and St. Catharines, the not-for-profit organization has quickly become a staple of consistency in Niagara. With over 92,000 people served at 112 YMCA sites, the duo were hoping to persuade a new partnership with the Town of Pelham in the future development of East Fonthill.

“This is a work in progress. Both organizations I think need to work through this process together to consider the nature of the development and how that might work,” Standryk said. “Tonight we wanted to provide a foundational information background about the YMCA and the ingredients of a successful partnership.”

Completed work between the Town of Pelham and the YMCA remains limited so far. Market research and tours of other YMCA facility’s have begun, but some councillors questioned why the Town had only looked into a single option for the build.

“How can we, as business people and leaders of our community, make a reasonable fiscally responsible decision if we haven’t looked at alternatives,” Coun. Gary Accursi said. “If we only have one option on the table and that’s all we have to evaluate, then we have no yardstick to compare to.

We have a building rising out of the ground so lets take the time to do it correctly.”

Others questioned the costs of the project, which St. Amand said will differ as there are a “variety of agreements” out there, so it depends on the situation. She said the presentation was merely the framework to provide a better understanding of the project.

The Town agreed to move forward and direct staff to draft a Memorandum of Understanding with the YMCA for review and consideration at the next regular meeting on Aug. 25.


In 2010 mayoral candidates Dave Augustyn and Sharon Cook debated issues which are still around four years later, some slowly coming to fruition in these past few months,

just before the election. The debate sponsored by the Rotary Club of Fonthill saw Augustyn stressing his “positive leadership” style and his accessibility to the crowd.

Cook however shot back maintaining that she was  “the can-do candidate for mayor” who aggressively took the public’s concerns to council.

Also in 2010, three questions on a community centre complex, on economic development and on personal achievements were given to the candidates in advance.

Cook said a community centre would serve as a catalyst for the town and as a magnet to bring in a good demographic mix for residential and commercial development.

In 2010 Augustyn when asked about  a twin pad arena, new community centre, new pool and skate board park,  he stressed the town had to determine what it could afford.