Mayor Dave Augustyn’s Column for Monday, 28 March 2016
Last Tuesday, Council received several presentations about the Pelham Community Centre.
The Architects presented an elegant yet very efficient design that includes adaptable and multi-purpose community spaces, a double-gymnasium (dividable into four sections), a double arena (main arena with 1000 seats; second with less than 100 seats), an indoor walking/running track, a concession area, change rooms and washrooms, and an atrium / lobby area.
Based on an item-by-item-review of the design and informed by their experience on more than 30 community facilities, Ball Construction estimated the construction costs at $32.5 million. The construction managers also pegged total project costs – including design, furniture, fixtures, permits – at $36.2 million.
Staff stated that the Community Centre will cost $46.66 for an average residential property (assessed at $309,200) or 3.44% on the 2016 Pelham portion of the tax bill only. That amount will allow the Town to purchase a 30-year debenture of $9.07 million from Infrastructure Ontario. Since Council already approved project funds in our 2016 Budget, the Town will not require any further property tax increases to build the Centre beyond this year.
The Town will fund the remaining costs through development charges, East Fonthill land sales, and fundraising.
All new housing units and construction pay Development Charges (DCs) to cover the costs for the facilities and infrastructure required to help serve their new developments. The Town’s DCs can fund $12.1 million for the Centre.
In 2005, the Town purchased the 32-acres at the corner of Rice Road and Hwy 20 for $3.6 million ($112,000 per acre). After re-designating, re-zoning, and fully-servicing those lands, the Town will be able to sell nearly 20 acres for an estimated $12 million ($600,000 per acre). (Including the $1.1 million in interest payments, this sale would represent a return on investment of +150%.)
Based on a number of one-on-one interviews, a professional fundraising feasibility study recommends that the community can raise at least $3 million for the Centre. The Town will acknowledge donor generosity through naming and various other types of donor recognition.
This conservative financial plan does not include revenue from other sources like assessment growth from new housing/developments or from upper levels of government. (Council and I will continue to work with local MPs and MPPs to attract government investments for this project and/or other infrastructure improvements.
You may review the designs and the financing plans for this very important and exciting project at www.pelham.ca/community-centre or at Town Hall or Library branches. And, you may speak to the Architect, Construction Manager, Town Staff, volunteer Architectural Design Advisory Committee members and Councillors at Open Houses on Saturday, April 16.
You may contact Mayor Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org or read past columns at www.pelhammayordave.blogspot.com .