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Niagara Region budget puts projects in play

Road improvements to core development, little bit of everything for west end towns

The good news, Grimsby, Lincoln and West Lincoln will see considerable work underway in 2014 after Niagara Region passed its budget last Thursday.

The bad news, the work comes with a 1.89 per cent tax hike.

For a home with an average 2013 assessment of $231,756, the regional tax portion will be $1,351. This will be an increase of about $35.

The gross operating budget for Niagara Region is $830 million.

GRIMSBY

Grimsby Reg. Coun. Debbie Zimmerman said considerable work will be done on core needs for the town with further road rehab along Main Street both in the Maple to Baker Road area as well as the east end of Grimsby to Beamsville’s King Street.

“There was substantive work recently completed on Livingston Avenue from the Grimsby Square Plaza to Kerman Avenue, and an off-leash dog park just recently opened, thanks to Ald. Kadwell and regional  support,” noted Zimmerman.

Reg. Coun. Zimmerman added she will host a public meeting in January to discuss “transit opportunities for Grimsby and area”.

LINCOLN

Lincoln Mayor Bill Hodgson said the Hwy. 8 (King Street) resurfacing is a great project for the community.

“For Lincoln, 2014 will see important work begin on the Mountain Street rebuild, with necessary utility relocates and property acquisition etc. being done, and the rest of the work coming in 2015,” said Hodgson.

“The round-a-bout at Durham/King/Greenlane is back burnered because of costs, but I believe the re-surfacing –– complete with bike lanes –– of King Street to Grimsby will be completed next year. This is important to get done asap.”

From a regional perspective, Mayor Hodgson said a couple of major projects dominated the budget process.

“The regional budget really has some big ticket items this year, including the Burgoyne Bridge and NOTL wastewater treatment plant, which rather over shadows the rest,” said Mayor Hodgson.

The Mountain Street rebuild will be done sporadically throughout the year, said Mayor Hodgson as each utility has its own “very specific design requirements”.

“Some (poles and lines) currently are pretty much near the driving lanes. Each utility has its own specific requirements and work to do and it is at the total rebuild stage of a road that it is time to fix these things. There will likely be separate contractors for each utility at different times throughout the construction season.”

WEST LINCOLN

West Lincoln Mayor Doug Joyner said years of work from his administration and fellow councillors has finally resulted in some significant regional attention for downtown Smithville.

For Mayor Joyner, it all starts with the “pillar” he dubs the road improvements from Reg. Rd. 20 between Industrial Park Road and South Grimsby Road 6.

The Region has committed $750,000 towards this project.

“This term of council here in West Lincoln is the first council ever to develop a 10-year strategic plan and it talks about downtown revitalization but all development leads back to the Region because they own Reg. Rd. 20 and Canboro Road, which is the main road heading south from traffic lights down past the high school and town hall,” said Mayor Joyner.

“The new 2014 funding will be used for detailed design, property, and utility relocations. This funding and future investment of $1.7 million in 2015 will help the Township satisfy one of its strategic objectives under the  ‘Quality of Life Pillar’ which states “Invest in Smithville’s downtown and create a safe, vibrant, pedestrian-friendly core”.

“The next couple of years should prove to be very exciting for the Downtown core between Industrial Park Road and South Grimsby Road 6 and these Capital dollars sure do help with the business development.”

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