Special to the VOICE

Rice Road development moves forward

Cam Milne, project manager for Niagara Region, presented updates on the new development south of Hwy 20 and west of Rice Road at last Monday’s Pelham Town Council meeting. While plans appear to be moving forward, Councilors voiced concerns.

Councilor John Durley noted that turning from Highway 20 onto Rice Road can be slippery in winter, but Milne replied that speeds should be low enough to be safe,. However, if there was an issue, it could addressed, perhaps with addition of barriers. Councilor Papp asked whether a roundabout would be feasible on Rice Road. Milne responded that a roundabout would take up too much land and would be too costly and impractical, given that storm water would be pushed back, driveways would be restricted, and it would impinge upon a nearby church. Instead, traffic lights will be installed. Mayor Augustyn asked if a potential turning lane at Rice Road would affect the Rice Road Greenhouse business, and whether there would be a cross-section of urbanization on the east and west sides of the development. Milne replied that the greenhouse would not be affected, as the majority of its business is seasonal, in early spring. As for urbanization, matching both the east and west sides in terms of storm sewers would be too costly. “Seldom is the rural side urbanized [in these kinds of developments],” Milne said.

Seniors seek hub

Gail Hilyer, chair of the Pelham Senior’s Advisory Committee (PSAC), made a presentation on the highlights of and the vision for 2018. Finding affordable senior housing is a perennial issue. The Mayor discussed options such as secondary housing, allowing seniors to create apartments within their homes to offset costs. Hilyer was interested in following up on creating a “hub” for seniors. Councilor Accursi said he was confused by this point. “The Meridian Community Centre is designated to work with seniors. There is funding for programs. What are you looking for?” he asked.

“We need to identify a place that is just ours, that’s not for programming,” said Hilyer. “A place where we can gather and play cards, or gossip, or learn to play hockey,” (the latter was said with a smile).

“The reason we didn’t get money from New Horizons [a program which funds organizations helping seniors] was because we didn’t have a designated place.”

The Mayor and Councillor Papp agreed that further conversation was required to build on policy development and to determine what a “hub” would look like.

Other news

The Town recognized that this would be the last meeting for Andrea Clemencio, Director of Public Works, who was stepping down from her position. Mayor Augustyn thanked Clemencio for her work. “You embraced the creative problem solving processes, brought the Public Works team together, and led staff in team building. On behalf of council, after three years of service, we wish you all the best.”

The Mayor and Councillor Richard Rybiak presented Danielle Landey with a scroll of congratulations for her accomplishments in the figure skating arena. Landey qualified for the Provincial Championships, which were held in Kingston, and placed first with a score of 21.85.