Hamilton seeks $63 million in federal funding to face impacts of climate change

City officials say shoreline protection work is needed to guard against flooding and trail damage during extreme weather. City of Hamilton

Hamilton politicians have approved a wish list, of sorts, ahead of a January deadline to apply for funding under a federal disaster mitigation and adaptation program.

The city will be seeking close to $63 million, or 40 per cent funding, of $157-million worth of work that it says is needed because of the impacts of climate change.

READ MORE: City of Hamilton tackling escarpment erosion

Projects that the city is applying for under the Infrastucture Canada program include:

– Shoreline protection work to rectify damage caused by storms in 2017 and 2018 and improve resilience for future extreme storm events.

– Installation of back-flow devices at critical locations along Hamilton’s sewer system outlets to prevent inflow infiltration from high lake levels as the result of extreme storm events.

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– Implementation of Churchill Park and Rosedale neighbourhood community flood mitigation strategies and construction of new storm sewers in the Aberdeen-Hillcrest area.

– Escarpment stabilization work to repair deterioration caused by extreme storm events.

– Construction and rehabilitation of various bridges and culverts to alleviate reported flooding from extreme storm events.

READ MORE: City of Hamilton offers ‘compassionate grants’ to those with ice storm damage

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger says climate change is a thing and it’s about “preparing ourselves to deal with these issues as opposed to waiting for them to happen.”

He notes that freeze-thaw cycles have been “devastating” on the escarpment crossings, shoreline flooding has happened on many occasions and he says, “Avoiding those, I think, is going to be a cost savings for us, not an expense.

READ MORE: City of Hamilton crews dealing with aftermath of spring ice storm

The city’s share would be $94 million, if the entire federal grant request was approved.

Council’s challenge would then be to prioritize those projects over 10 years within Hamilton’s capital budget.

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