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Infrastructure funding coming soon from federal government: Sweet

By Dianne Cornish, Special to The News

Hamilton will soon get official word of funding commitments for community projects from the federal government through its Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF), MP David Sweet (Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale) said Saturday during his New Year’s levee in Waterdown.

Although “not at liberty” to say which of the 18 projects submitted by the city will receive funding or how much, Sweet said in an interview that those and other details will be known as the process rolls out.

“The process was slowed by the holidays,” he said, adding the funding announcement will be made “in the near future.”

In December, the city received unofficial word from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario that (CIIF) funding will be granted for expansion and renovations to the Ancaster Senior Achievement Centre and the rehabilitation of the Sackville Senior Centre. The commitment will be $500,000 for the Ancaster project and $650,000 for Sackville on Hamilton Mountain. The city will match the federal funding
One of the projects on the list for government funding was a $1.2-million renovation of Waterdown’s Memorial Hall.

Another local project that has yet to secure a funding commitment from the Canadian government is the cleanup of chemical pollution at the Hamilton airport. The city wants the government to help pay for cleaning up perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) contamination caused by firefighting foam used 30 years ago during training at the site, when it belonged to the federal government.

Sweet said Transport Minister Denis Lebel, who rejected Hamilton’s request for funding assistance last summer while pointing out the city accepted the airport lands “as is” in 1996, indicated late last month that he is “reviewing the file.” The minister is also waiting to hear the results of a study by TradePort International Corp, operator of the airport, about the amount of contaminant on the site, the direction of its spread and the estimated cost of cleanup, the local MP said.

It’s estimated the cleanup could cost up to $4 million.

On the national front, Sweet noted Canada’s economy continues to outperform all Western countries. He said the Conservative government plans to continue its focus on the economy, jobs and growth over the next year. Keeping the tax rate low, reducing government spending, looking at more ways to reduce government red tape and balancing the federal books are also priorities, he said.

About 100 people attended Sweet’s levée at the Waterdown Legion Hall, where they got an opportunity to talk with their MP and enjoy refreshments.

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