Pelham City Council gives updates on splash pad, pickle ball courts, appoints new member to planning commission

Published 4:33 pm Wednesday, June 21, 2023

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By LIZZIE BOWEN| Staff Writer

PELHAM – The Pelham City Council held a regularly scheduled meeting to discuss a new addition to the planning commission, progress on construction in Amphitheatre Road and progress on pickle ball courts in the senior center as well as construction of a new splash pad coming to Pelham.

A resolution was made during the council meeting in regards to appointing a citizen to the Pelham Board of Adjustment and Appeals place no. 1 effective immediately with the term of office ending on Sept. 30, 2024.

Mayor Gary Waters thanked members of the council for conducting interviews in such a thorough manner in order to select the best candidates who had applied to vacant positions.

“In your July 10 packet, there will be a letter from me, naming Ron Briggs to the planning commission,” Waters said. “He interviewed very well, and I was captured by his passion for service. I think he’s going to be a really good fit.”

Brigg’s appointment is effective as of July 15.

City Manager Gretchen DiFante provided a report to the council during the meeting, thanking Shelby County for their help in several ongoing projects.

“As you know, as a result of inflation, so many capital projects have been over budget, and Shelby County has come in and helped us with three different projects we are currently working on right now,” DiFante said. “One is the pickle ball courts in the pavilion at the senior center. One is the Campus 124 park, and the other is City Park Splash Pad and bathrooms. It certainly helped us save money in our budget.”

DiFante said Shelby County is working on all three of these projects simultaneously.

“I sat in on a park and rec staff meeting today and it was a little bit about (how) they’re working on the senior center in the morning and working on the splash pad in the afternoon,’” DiFante said. “We just really appreciate that, and to have that kind of partnership with the municipality is very much appreciated.”

DiFante also offered an update on construction work on Amphitheatre Road.

“Construction work began today on Amphitheatre Road,” DiFante said. “We were delayed some weeks for some ADEM permits, and we are happy to have those and begin work on that project because it is an important project to the success of our new Canopy Development and also Civic Complex and Ice Arena and any other businesses and groups going through that area. It is very busy.”

Department Budget Workshops have begun for the city of Pelham, starting with the Pelham Fire Department budget.

“We look forward to having more conversations and going over every dollar that we are asking to be in the budget,” DiFante said.

Prior to the city council meeting, a work session was held for the public, and updates were given on the Bishop Creek Entertainment District.

“The purpose of an entertainment district as its written in the ordinance is to establish districts authorized where certain conduct that is otherwise prohibited by this article is permitted,” Economic Development Michael Simmons said. “Specifically, regulations against possessing an open container, drinking in a public place, moving an open container, etc.”

Pelham is a Class A municipality which limits the city of Pelham to having only one entertainment district.

“The idea for Pelham is to have a place and an opportunity for alcohol within a very defined, cup, color and location to move around in areas where the ABC Liquor License would otherwise ban that movement,” Simmons said.

More information on upcoming projects can be found at