Ancaster Community Council gives nod to LRT

News Jun 14, 2016 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

Ancaster will get “absolutely nothing” from Hamilton’s $1-billion light-rail transit project, says Councillor Lloyd Ferguson.

But the Ancaster politician still supports building the controversial system because it will increase the property values along the LRT corridor along Main Street, which will mean higher taxes to the city, which will provide some relief to weary overtaxed Ancaster homeowners.

(“LRT) will transform the city,” Ferguson told members of the Ancaster Community Council June 6. “It will rejuvenate the downtown, increase land values. That’s what’s in it for Ancaster.”

Ferguson, who has indicated he will throw his support behind the vote to keep the $1 billion from the province, said he believes the politically-charged discussion surrounding the LRT funding scheduled for June 15’s general issues committee meeting, will be pushed back to the fall. If it happens it will be the third time councillors delayed voting on Ward 4 councillor Sam Merulla’s motion to support the provincial funding for LRT. There is also the belief pro-LRT supporters are concerned they could lose the vote.

“They will bring it back in the fall,” said Ferguson.

He said one of the reasons some of his political colleagues are getting cold feet in their support for the LRT is because a municipal election is looming in the fall of 2018, and “they want to get elected.”

Ferguson said a few suburban councillors, who in the past have supported seeking the LRT funding, are realizing that during the next municipal election there will be candidates challenging council incumbents who supported LRT.

“Some of my colleagues are trying to get elected,” he said.

Ferguson also raised the issue that a provincial election in 2018 could become a referendum on providing the $1-billion funding to Hamilton, providing a similar scenario to what happened in the late 1990s when the Bob Rae New Democrats won a surprise victory over the Liberals and pulled the funding for the Red Hill Parkway.

Ferguson said that some pro-LRT supporters, in an attempt to get some of their suburban colleagues on side, could offer inducements to vote for the LRT.

“I want my arts centre,” Ferguson told his community council.

Preliminary cost estimates for the Memorial Arts Centre on Wilson Street are about $12 million for the 31,000-square-foot facility, with a 450-seat theatre. Ferguson will be seeking $3 million from the federal, provincial and municipal governments, with the Ancaster community adding its own $3 million share. Ferguson has not attempted to seek the municipal share of the funding.

Members of the Ancaster Community Council all backed the LRT project, saying it will mean an economic uplift

Paul Johnson, director of the LRT project, who made a presentation to the ACC, said Hamilton is already seeing the economic benefits of LRT. He said the LUINA building project beside the Lister Block is moving ahead because of LRT, while IBM made its decision to partner with Hamilton Health Sciences and locate in the downtown, in part because of the new transit system.

“They see it as an advantage,” said Johnson. “We could be the centre for health innovation, just like Kitchener-Waterloo (is known for high technology).”

Ancaster Community Council gives nod to LRT

News Jun 14, 2016 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

Ancaster will get “absolutely nothing” from Hamilton’s $1-billion light-rail transit project, says Councillor Lloyd Ferguson.

But the Ancaster politician still supports building the controversial system because it will increase the property values along the LRT corridor along Main Street, which will mean higher taxes to the city, which will provide some relief to weary overtaxed Ancaster homeowners.

(“LRT) will transform the city,” Ferguson told members of the Ancaster Community Council June 6. “It will rejuvenate the downtown, increase land values. That’s what’s in it for Ancaster.”

Ferguson, who has indicated he will throw his support behind the vote to keep the $1 billion from the province, said he believes the politically-charged discussion surrounding the LRT funding scheduled for June 15’s general issues committee meeting, will be pushed back to the fall. If it happens it will be the third time councillors delayed voting on Ward 4 councillor Sam Merulla’s motion to support the provincial funding for LRT. There is also the belief pro-LRT supporters are concerned they could lose the vote.

“It will rejuvenate the downtown, increase land values. That’s what’s in it for Ancaster.”

“They will bring it back in the fall,” said Ferguson.

He said one of the reasons some of his political colleagues are getting cold feet in their support for the LRT is because a municipal election is looming in the fall of 2018, and “they want to get elected.”

Ferguson said a few suburban councillors, who in the past have supported seeking the LRT funding, are realizing that during the next municipal election there will be candidates challenging council incumbents who supported LRT.

“Some of my colleagues are trying to get elected,” he said.

Ferguson also raised the issue that a provincial election in 2018 could become a referendum on providing the $1-billion funding to Hamilton, providing a similar scenario to what happened in the late 1990s when the Bob Rae New Democrats won a surprise victory over the Liberals and pulled the funding for the Red Hill Parkway.

Ferguson said that some pro-LRT supporters, in an attempt to get some of their suburban colleagues on side, could offer inducements to vote for the LRT.

“I want my arts centre,” Ferguson told his community council.

Preliminary cost estimates for the Memorial Arts Centre on Wilson Street are about $12 million for the 31,000-square-foot facility, with a 450-seat theatre. Ferguson will be seeking $3 million from the federal, provincial and municipal governments, with the Ancaster community adding its own $3 million share. Ferguson has not attempted to seek the municipal share of the funding.

Members of the Ancaster Community Council all backed the LRT project, saying it will mean an economic uplift

Paul Johnson, director of the LRT project, who made a presentation to the ACC, said Hamilton is already seeing the economic benefits of LRT. He said the LUINA building project beside the Lister Block is moving ahead because of LRT, while IBM made its decision to partner with Hamilton Health Sciences and locate in the downtown, in part because of the new transit system.

“They see it as an advantage,” said Johnson. “We could be the centre for health innovation, just like Kitchener-Waterloo (is known for high technology).”

Ancaster Community Council gives nod to LRT

News Jun 14, 2016 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

Ancaster will get “absolutely nothing” from Hamilton’s $1-billion light-rail transit project, says Councillor Lloyd Ferguson.

But the Ancaster politician still supports building the controversial system because it will increase the property values along the LRT corridor along Main Street, which will mean higher taxes to the city, which will provide some relief to weary overtaxed Ancaster homeowners.

(“LRT) will transform the city,” Ferguson told members of the Ancaster Community Council June 6. “It will rejuvenate the downtown, increase land values. That’s what’s in it for Ancaster.”

Ferguson, who has indicated he will throw his support behind the vote to keep the $1 billion from the province, said he believes the politically-charged discussion surrounding the LRT funding scheduled for June 15’s general issues committee meeting, will be pushed back to the fall. If it happens it will be the third time councillors delayed voting on Ward 4 councillor Sam Merulla’s motion to support the provincial funding for LRT. There is also the belief pro-LRT supporters are concerned they could lose the vote.

“It will rejuvenate the downtown, increase land values. That’s what’s in it for Ancaster.”

“They will bring it back in the fall,” said Ferguson.

He said one of the reasons some of his political colleagues are getting cold feet in their support for the LRT is because a municipal election is looming in the fall of 2018, and “they want to get elected.”

Ferguson said a few suburban councillors, who in the past have supported seeking the LRT funding, are realizing that during the next municipal election there will be candidates challenging council incumbents who supported LRT.

“Some of my colleagues are trying to get elected,” he said.

Ferguson also raised the issue that a provincial election in 2018 could become a referendum on providing the $1-billion funding to Hamilton, providing a similar scenario to what happened in the late 1990s when the Bob Rae New Democrats won a surprise victory over the Liberals and pulled the funding for the Red Hill Parkway.

Ferguson said that some pro-LRT supporters, in an attempt to get some of their suburban colleagues on side, could offer inducements to vote for the LRT.

“I want my arts centre,” Ferguson told his community council.

Preliminary cost estimates for the Memorial Arts Centre on Wilson Street are about $12 million for the 31,000-square-foot facility, with a 450-seat theatre. Ferguson will be seeking $3 million from the federal, provincial and municipal governments, with the Ancaster community adding its own $3 million share. Ferguson has not attempted to seek the municipal share of the funding.

Members of the Ancaster Community Council all backed the LRT project, saying it will mean an economic uplift

Paul Johnson, director of the LRT project, who made a presentation to the ACC, said Hamilton is already seeing the economic benefits of LRT. He said the LUINA building project beside the Lister Block is moving ahead because of LRT, while IBM made its decision to partner with Hamilton Health Sciences and locate in the downtown, in part because of the new transit system.

“They see it as an advantage,” said Johnson. “We could be the centre for health innovation, just like Kitchener-Waterloo (is known for high technology).”