Ancaster councillor asks federal government to fund Memorial School arts centre

News Jul 06, 2016 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

The Ancaster Performing Arts Centre has been included in the federal government’s funding lineup, but that doesn’t guarantee the facility will see the spotlight.

After a contentious debate by Hamilton politicians last month, council in an 8-7 vote agreed to Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson’s motion to submit to the Liberal government a funding request for $3 million for the $12-million centre.

Ferguson introduced his motion, he said, even though the funding request didn’t meet the eligibility requirements for the federal Liberals’ Canada 150 Infrastructure Program.

“I’m trying to avoid the city paying the whole cost,” said Ferguson.

He said Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas Liberal MP Filomena Tassi encouraged him to submit the funding request to the federal government. But Hamilton councillors were concerned federal politicians would identify the performing arts centre request as the city’s infrastructure priority.

They had earlier in the meeting approved a list of 24 projects across the city totalling over $4.8 million that will be submitted to the federal government for funding through the Canada 150 program. But the program is targeting “small” infrastructure projects, such as Westmount’s parking area, playground equipment for Perth Park or installing elevators at the public library.

The performing arts centre’s $3 million request “exceeds the maximum (funding) cap,” said Mike Zegarac, corporate services general manager.

Mountain Councillor Terry Whitehead said Ferguson’s funding motion was essentially “jumping the cue” for federal funding, which will put the other projects at risk.

Ward 5 councillor Chad Collins said the city has an application process councillors should follow and Ferguson’s request was circumnavigating it.

“The process is an issue,” he said. “There may be higher priorities (other than the arts centre).”

Ferguson argued over the last few years he has backed a number of his colleagues’ funding requests, including renovating Westmount Recreation Centre, the purchasing of Dominion Glass property in Ward 3 and building the Bernie Morelli Recreation Centre, also in Ward 3.

Ferguson said for backing various urban projects, he expected some support from downtown politicians.

“I don’t come here often asking for dollars,” he said.

The performing arts centre, proposed in the former Memorial Elementary School on Wilson Street, is estimated to cost about $12 million. Ferguson has made it a priority to get the facility built after shepherding other local community projects to completion, including expanding the Ancaster Senior Achievement Centre, improving Village Green Park and upgrading Wilson Street.

“I don’t know if (Tassi) can pull it off,” he said.

Ferguson has proposed to have the three levels of government, plus the community, contribute to the project’s cost. He said the community is nearing its $3 million fundraising goal.

“I would like to get the arts centre across the finish line by the end of the term,” he said.

Ancaster councillor asks federal government to fund Memorial School arts centre

City submits funding request of $3 million to pay for $12-million facility

News Jul 06, 2016 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

The Ancaster Performing Arts Centre has been included in the federal government’s funding lineup, but that doesn’t guarantee the facility will see the spotlight.

After a contentious debate by Hamilton politicians last month, council in an 8-7 vote agreed to Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson’s motion to submit to the Liberal government a funding request for $3 million for the $12-million centre.

Ferguson introduced his motion, he said, even though the funding request didn’t meet the eligibility requirements for the federal Liberals’ Canada 150 Infrastructure Program.

“I’m trying to avoid the city paying the whole cost,” said Ferguson.

“I would like to get the arts centre across the finish line by the end of the term.”

He said Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas Liberal MP Filomena Tassi encouraged him to submit the funding request to the federal government. But Hamilton councillors were concerned federal politicians would identify the performing arts centre request as the city’s infrastructure priority.

They had earlier in the meeting approved a list of 24 projects across the city totalling over $4.8 million that will be submitted to the federal government for funding through the Canada 150 program. But the program is targeting “small” infrastructure projects, such as Westmount’s parking area, playground equipment for Perth Park or installing elevators at the public library.

The performing arts centre’s $3 million request “exceeds the maximum (funding) cap,” said Mike Zegarac, corporate services general manager.

Mountain Councillor Terry Whitehead said Ferguson’s funding motion was essentially “jumping the cue” for federal funding, which will put the other projects at risk.

Ward 5 councillor Chad Collins said the city has an application process councillors should follow and Ferguson’s request was circumnavigating it.

“The process is an issue,” he said. “There may be higher priorities (other than the arts centre).”

Ferguson argued over the last few years he has backed a number of his colleagues’ funding requests, including renovating Westmount Recreation Centre, the purchasing of Dominion Glass property in Ward 3 and building the Bernie Morelli Recreation Centre, also in Ward 3.

Ferguson said for backing various urban projects, he expected some support from downtown politicians.

“I don’t come here often asking for dollars,” he said.

The performing arts centre, proposed in the former Memorial Elementary School on Wilson Street, is estimated to cost about $12 million. Ferguson has made it a priority to get the facility built after shepherding other local community projects to completion, including expanding the Ancaster Senior Achievement Centre, improving Village Green Park and upgrading Wilson Street.

“I don’t know if (Tassi) can pull it off,” he said.

Ferguson has proposed to have the three levels of government, plus the community, contribute to the project’s cost. He said the community is nearing its $3 million fundraising goal.

“I would like to get the arts centre across the finish line by the end of the term,” he said.

Ancaster councillor asks federal government to fund Memorial School arts centre

City submits funding request of $3 million to pay for $12-million facility

News Jul 06, 2016 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

The Ancaster Performing Arts Centre has been included in the federal government’s funding lineup, but that doesn’t guarantee the facility will see the spotlight.

After a contentious debate by Hamilton politicians last month, council in an 8-7 vote agreed to Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson’s motion to submit to the Liberal government a funding request for $3 million for the $12-million centre.

Ferguson introduced his motion, he said, even though the funding request didn’t meet the eligibility requirements for the federal Liberals’ Canada 150 Infrastructure Program.

“I’m trying to avoid the city paying the whole cost,” said Ferguson.

“I would like to get the arts centre across the finish line by the end of the term.”

He said Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas Liberal MP Filomena Tassi encouraged him to submit the funding request to the federal government. But Hamilton councillors were concerned federal politicians would identify the performing arts centre request as the city’s infrastructure priority.

They had earlier in the meeting approved a list of 24 projects across the city totalling over $4.8 million that will be submitted to the federal government for funding through the Canada 150 program. But the program is targeting “small” infrastructure projects, such as Westmount’s parking area, playground equipment for Perth Park or installing elevators at the public library.

The performing arts centre’s $3 million request “exceeds the maximum (funding) cap,” said Mike Zegarac, corporate services general manager.

Mountain Councillor Terry Whitehead said Ferguson’s funding motion was essentially “jumping the cue” for federal funding, which will put the other projects at risk.

Ward 5 councillor Chad Collins said the city has an application process councillors should follow and Ferguson’s request was circumnavigating it.

“The process is an issue,” he said. “There may be higher priorities (other than the arts centre).”

Ferguson argued over the last few years he has backed a number of his colleagues’ funding requests, including renovating Westmount Recreation Centre, the purchasing of Dominion Glass property in Ward 3 and building the Bernie Morelli Recreation Centre, also in Ward 3.

Ferguson said for backing various urban projects, he expected some support from downtown politicians.

“I don’t come here often asking for dollars,” he said.

The performing arts centre, proposed in the former Memorial Elementary School on Wilson Street, is estimated to cost about $12 million. Ferguson has made it a priority to get the facility built after shepherding other local community projects to completion, including expanding the Ancaster Senior Achievement Centre, improving Village Green Park and upgrading Wilson Street.

“I don’t know if (Tassi) can pull it off,” he said.

Ferguson has proposed to have the three levels of government, plus the community, contribute to the project’s cost. He said the community is nearing its $3 million fundraising goal.

“I would like to get the arts centre across the finish line by the end of the term,” he said.