The intent of the funding was to provide some of its gas tax revenue to municipalities for green infrastructure “to improve water and air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions”.
Hamilton currently receives $31.9 million a year from this fund. The approved capital budget for 2010 allocates $10 million of this to city hall renovations and the rest to road projects.
Councillor Powers observes. “It started out to be environment and sustainable municipal infrastructure in six different areas, and then it evolved to basically whatever you want,”
Finance chief Rob Rossini subsequently explained that roads spending can be justified “where we can make a case that it helps with traffic, helps alleviate congestion” that can be claimed as environmental benefits.
C.A.T.C.H. lists the projects that Hamilton will be pursuing. By way of example, Margaret Avenue (Hwy 8 to Barton/Federal), is earmarked as follows:
(in millions of dollars)
Gas Tax 1.04, Total cost 1.87, Other 0.83 , Source- Internal, Bikes 0
When one visits Margaret Avenue, not a main artery by no means, there appears to be a disconnect between it and the intent of the program and the expenditures earmarked. Moreover, why Margaret Avenue? It doesn’t appear to have any distinctive features that would serve to differentiate it from other like streets nor does it appear to be be meaningfully consistent with Mr. Rossini’s criteria. Margaret Street, interestingly enough, is home to Councillor Maria Pearson.
Have a look through the rest of the list here. Comments?
Special thanks to WRCU2 for the suggestion for this topic/post.