Happy New Year and thanks for making 2013 another great year in our community.
As many of you shared with me on Sunday at my New Year’s Levee, Ancaster residents continue to enjoy a community rich in economic success, cultural festivals and events, and planned residential growth. I will have more to report on your ideas in my next column but for now, thanks for helping preserve the unique character of Ancaster through your support of my civic leadership with my council colleagues.
It is also with deep sadness that we mourn the passing of one of my colleagues and a pillar of Hamilton’s political scene for more than two decades. As the Ward 3 councillor for 22 years, Alderman Bernie Morelli, as he was known for so long, was an ardent supporter of his inner city constituents. I am so pleased that his legacy, just approved by council, will be a new seniors’ centre and sports facility in his ward.
Further to earlier reports on the status of the Ancaster Lawn Bowling and Tennis Club facilities, as well as the Ancaster Senior Achievement Centre (ASAC), I am pleased to report that these projects are progressing well despite inclement weather and associated construction delays.
As for the lawn bowling and tennis facilities, the water and sanitary lines have been installed and the foundations poured and ready for the next stage in the construction process. I have been assured that both facilities will be operational for the opening of the bowling and tennis season.
STM Construction Ltd. is also making up for lost time at the ASAC where the renovations and upgrades will be substantially complete by the target date of March.
Finally, I want to thank residents for their patience and city crews for their tremendous efforts as we recover from yet another extreme storm. With the July wind storm and now the latest ice storm in December wreaking havoc, 2013 was the worst year for tree damage in recent memory.
We have more than 100 employees working six days a week to undertake storm cleanup activities and anticipate it will be the end of March before the city is back to normal.
Residents who are able to cut and bundle their brush to four-foot lengths will have their debris collected as part of normal waste-collection services. All other tree material will be picked up at a later date by crews with chainsaws and chippers.
In the meantime, we are asking that you ensure branches do not block sidewalks and roads. When the cleanup work is done, forestry staff will focus on replanting new trees to replace those lost in the two storms in 2013.
For more information about the city’s street tree planting program, call 905-546-CITY (2489) or visit www.treeshamilton.ca.
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.