As we welcome warmer weather and the new beginnings of spring, there are important updates.
For the city’s 2021 budget, council has given preliminary approval to be ratified end of March. With the huge costs of COVID-19, and starting with around a 4.6 per cent tax increase in January, council and staff have reduced the tax increase down to 1.8 per cent for Waterdown and Flamborough residents and 2.2 per cent across the broader Hamilton tax base.
Once again, for 10 years in a row, tax increases have been kept to cost of living and rate of inflation. Many surrounding municipalities have been higher than 2.5 per cent, most notably Burlington with a 3.99 per cent tax increase.
In addition to your taxes paying for firefighters, police, paramedics, public health and all other department staff, the budget continues to provide support for many important services throughout the ward.
Those services include park improvements, public libraries, the Royal Botanical Gardens, Hamilton and Halton Conservation authorities, cemeteries and more, to name a few. Not to mention roads, sidewalks, street lights, stop lights, ditches, culvert replacements and on.
Few people like to pay taxes; however, yours and mine allow us to enjoy a quality life, living in the beautiful communities of Waterdown and Flamborough.
Meanwhile, staff are finalizing details of the next phase of the Waterdown bypass from Babcock Street east to Centre Road, with construction expected to start this spring and be completed by the fall of 2021.
From Centre Road heading east to Parkside Drive and Avonsyde Boulevard is the largest and more complex section. Residents should expect to see activities along Parkside Drive through 2021.
Tree removals are now complete on Parkside; Enbridge Gas main replacement is commencing mid-March and utility pole relocation are expected to take place in May to October. CN-CP will also be reconstructing the rail crossing intersection on Parkside Drive just west of Boulding in fall 2021.
Patio extension applications for restaurants have opened for the 2021 outdoor dining season, after council approved extending the Outdoor Dining Districts Program through to next fall in support of restaurant, bar and cafés. This allows eligible businesses to establish temporary seasonal patios and seating areas on municipal or private property — if current zoning is compliant.
Please stay home if you feel unwell, wear a mask, keep physically distanced and wash your hands frequently. For video updates, visit Facebook at Judi Luxon Partridge, YouTube at www.youtube.com/JudiPartridge or visit website judipartridge.ca.