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City to apply for federal, provincial funds for improvements to recreational, cultural facilities

The redevelopment of Sam Lawrence Park is one of many projects that Hamilton politicians hope will be funded through a federal, provincial infrastructure program.
The redevelopment of Sam Lawrence Park is one of many projects that Hamilton politicians hope will be funded through a federal, provincial infrastructure program. CHML

City councillors are hoping for federal and provincial dollars to help fund some upgrades to Hamilton’s recreational and cultural facilities.

Dozens of projects worth over $310 million are being submitted for funding under the community, culture and recreation stream of the Canada Infrastructure Program.

READ MORE: Sports complex planned for Hamilton’s Confederation Beach Park

The city’s share of the total cost of those projects would be $83 million, or about 27 percent of the total cost.

The facilities that are on the wish list for renovation or expansion, as approved by the general issues committee on Wednesday, include the Sackville Hill Seniors Centre, Fieldcote Park and Museum in Ancaster and the King’s Forest and Chedoke golf courses, Confederation Beach Park and Sam Lawrence Park.

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READ MORE: Future of Hamilton’s Sam Lawrence Park enters the discussion phase

Ward 4 Coun. Sam Merulla points to the outcome of previous federal and provincial infrastructure programs in predicting that money will flow into parts of the city that are in “government-held ridings.”

Ward 5 Coun. Chad Collins agrees that this will be a “pork barrel politics scenario.”

READ MORE: Hamilton’s capital budget finalized for 2019

The province announced in September it was accepting funding requests under the program and that priority will be given to projects that are community-oriented, non-commercial and open to the public.

The applications must be filed by Nov. 12 and all projects must be substantially completed prior to March 31, 2027.

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