Hamilton approves $474 million for capital infrastructure projects in 2021

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The City of Hamilton Hamilton’s recently approved budget includes $474 million for capital infrastructure projects – in addition to $10 million in projects already approved during 2020. The increase in capital funding from property taxes equates to an increase in the operating budget of 0.4 per cent or $3.6 million.

The capital budget for 2021 will focus on strategic investments in priority areas including:

  • continuation of year five of the 10-year Local Transit Strategy through the leveraging of available financing in the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) – Public Transit Stream
  • affordable Housing
  • West Harbour Waterfront and the Airport Employment Growth District

Also, council is committing approximately $114 million in capital investments “that have potential to contribute positively to the city’s climate action goals,” a press release stated.

The 2021 Capital Financing Plan maintains planned investment levels for state-of-good-repair financing of infrastructure critical to the delivery of municipal services such as roads, bridges, traffic lights, sidewalks, parks and facilities.

This was accomplished through the utilization of available one-time funding sources from reserves, recognizing the need to manage tax affordability given the economic impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on many households.

“We understand that people are hurting,” Mayor Fred Eisenberger said in the release. “That’s why we are holding the line on taxes as much as possible while at the same time maximizing the key capital investments in things like roads, bridges, sidewalks, transit and affordable housing which will create jobs and drive our prosperity forward.

“We are supporting our economy and enhancing employment opportunities while maintaining our infrastructure to the best degree possible.​ Now more than ever we need to protect our most vulnerable people.”

With many recent announcements of additional capital funding from senior levels of government, the gross capital investment will be higher in 2021 while property taxes will be lower than originally forecast.

Partnership struck to create new affordable housing community in Hamilton

The additional investment will “support the community’s resiliency and response to the COVID-19 pandemic and provide needed support to the community’s most vulnerable population, as well as provide economic stimulus as the community recovers from the deepest recession since the 1930s.”

2021 capital budget highlights:

  • Transit initiatives – $192.9 million
  • Roads, bridges, traffic, sidewalks – $114.2 million
  • Long-term care and recreation facilities – $39.7 million
  • Housing initiatives – $30.3 million
  • Parks, forestry and open space – $20.6 million
  • Planning, economic development, tourism and culture – $13.9 million
  • Fire and paramedic services – $1.3 million
  • Central fleet vehicle and equipment replacement – $10.6 million
  • West Harbour strategic initiatives – $9 million
  • Development Charge exemptions – $8 million


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