By Lloyd Ferguson, Ancaster councillor
Talk of our long winter now exceeds any coffee shop discussions about local politics or any other topic of interest, including where we escaped for March Break. It has been a long and brutal winter season and our local roadways and neighbourhood streets have taken a beating as a result.
Like other communities, and the 400-series highways throughout the province, Ancaster streets are feeling the pain of the frost heaves, snow and neighbourhood construction projects. As I write this column, our town is once again taking another hit from Mother Nature and our municipal crews are proving how valuable they are to our safe travels to work and other personal pursuits. Thank you once again to the men and women of our Public Works Department for your diligence in making our community safe for all of us.
Especially hard hit in Ancaster are Southcote Road between the 403 and Garner Road, and Amberly Boulevard from Fiddlers Green to Wilson Street. I am monitoring this situation and will have more to say in future columns about them after I’ve had a chance to review cost estimates with city staff as well as seeing if the “big melt” and the warm sun helps heal the asphalt as is often the case. I also have a few updates on the status of other construction projects related to the Ancaster Lawn Bowling and Tennis Club clubhouses. Due to Horizon Utilities requiring an easement for the relocation of hydro lines, a special meeting was required by city council to approve the request and as a result, the project has been delayed. I will have a better idea of the completion date in my next column. As well, we have stayed on top of the renovations at the Ancaster Senior Achievement Centre (ASAC), I am pleased to report that we are on target for a March substantial completion. The facilities will be in use on time but at the request of the ASAC Board of Directors, the official grand re-opening won’t be held until June to coincide with Seniors’ Month. Congratulations to all involved, especially City staff, and STM Construction Ltd., for their diligence in seeing this project comes in on time and on budget.
As we approach the annual budget season, I am also pleased to report that we are almost completed this task and it appears we will be looking at an increase of about 1.5%.
And finally, I have been in discussions with students and officials from Redeemer University College as well as employers in our Ancaster Industrial Park around expanded daytime, evening and weekend bus service along the Rymal Road/Garner Road Route. This enhancement is both complicated and expensive, as there are capital costs associated with doubling daytime service due to buses that would need to be purchased to meet this increased demand. A compromise might be to provide evening and weekend service only so no capital costs are incurred as there are buses available during this slow time. We are fortunate to have hundreds of Redeemer students and thousands of employees in the busy Ancaster Industrial Park who could use evening and weekend service. I will be getting cost estimates from HSR officials on these enhanced services. Stay tuned for details as they develop.
As always, if you need to reach me for any reason, please contact my office at City Hall at 905-546-2704. You can also contact me by e-mail at Lloyd.Ferguson@hamilton.ca.