By Ryan McGreal
Published June 26, 2009
this blog entry has been updated
Earlier this week, Hamilton City Council voted unanimously to support the city's Cycling Master Plan, but deferred any actual commitment of funds to the 2010 budget process - even though they had already committed to funding the plan when they approved the 2007 Transportation Master Plan.
Now Council has voted to spend $3.2 million, almost three times as much as what staff recommended in annual spending on the cycling plan, to buy land on Airport Road in Mount Hope so Hamilton International Airport can expand its second runway.
According to Richard Koroscil, the CEO of TradePort, the second runway will improve the airport's reliability in inclement weather and allow TradePort to market the airport facilities more widely.
This money is in addition to $3 million the city is already spending on 20 hectares for other airport infrastructure, including new hangars and a fuel farm; and a further $3 million to buy land on Glancaster Rd for the planned Airport Employment Growth District (AEGD) - even though the Province disputes the city's assumptions in defending the plan.
So much for the budget process, which is apparently useful for deferring commitments to investing in livability but doesn't get in the way of financing our hermetically sealed obsession: an energy-intensive transportation node with poor future prospects.
Update This blog entry originally read that Council voted to buy the land so TradePort can build a second runway; in fact, the money is so that TradePort can expand its second runway. You can jump to the changed paragraph. Thanks to RTH reader "realitycheck" for pointing out the error in the comments.
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