By Lloyd Ferguson, Councillor Ward 12
Ancaster residents will now see enhanced leaf and yard pickup as well as options for blue and green bins as part of the City’s new, multi-year procurement for waste-collection services. And, the new program is expected to save taxpayers more than $2.2 million.
Beginning April 1, our new waste-collection program will feature weekly pickup of organic waste, leaf and yard waste, and call-in of bulk-waste for curbside pickup. While the one-container limit is still in place, each household will be receiving 26 tags that can be used anytime during the year for additional roadside collection service.
As well, we will be making available to residents larger blue boxes and smaller green carts in response to individual needs.
I’m very pleased that we’re providing our residents with better service, individual choices, and reducing costs. This is progressive thinking on the part of staff to look at alternatives to the way we do business in the City and I look forward to your feedback.
Speaking of taking action on municipal services, I want to report that given the snow-clearing issues we had in late December and my assurance of corrective measures, our most recent snowstorm proved that we delivered on that promise and snow removal dramatically improved for homeowners and motorists travelling our city streets and sidewalks.
We turned this around very quickly and again, I want to thank all staff, from dispatchers to plough operators, on a job well done. I have appreciated all your comments on what went wrong and, how we worked decisively to solve the problem to meet your expectations.
While I’ve commented on two significant business dealings of our local government, I also want to update you on the state of our 2013 Budget and where that process is going. We currently stand at a 2.7% tax hike and ‘heading south’ as we tackle costs associated primarily with two area: Public Works, given the increase in fuel costs; and regulatory compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
I am optimistic that we arrive at a new budget by April 2013, we will have landed on an increase below that of the rate of inflation. Stay tuned.
In other news, Doors Open Hamilton 2013 is looking for volunteers – greeters, counter help, tour guides, and photographers – for its event on May 4 and 5 as 52 of Hamilton’s historically and architecturally significant buildings will open their doors to the public for free. The sites stretch right across the City, from Stoney Creek to Flamborough and all points in between. Training is provided. For further information or to fill out a volunteer application, please visit doorsopenhamilton.ca or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, I want to thank the hundreds of volunteers and thousands of Ancaster residents who last week contributed to another successful Ancaster Community Food Drive. For 21 years, you have made this program an important part of building a caring and sustainable community by contributing almost 1.203,000 pounds of food and more than $63,500 dollars to help local food banks provide for those in need in our community.
Thank You Ancaster!