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  #101  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2008, 1:21 AM
raisethehammer raisethehammer is offline
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Originally Posted by brett.electrician View Post
So, since my first post in this thread, i have spoken to a few long time residents of Hamilton and Flambourgh and employees of the city tax and finance department about the opinions expressed in this thread. From what I've gathered a few people here don't have there facts to straight. From what I've heard prior to amalgamation there was the county of wentworth. The county looked after suchs things as roads, and schools. Each township in wentworth contributed taxes to this. While the rest of the township's expenses were covered by the townships themselves. Thus, Hamilton's taxes did not subsidize Flambourgh or anywhere else for the last 30 years. This leads me to believe there taxes were / are lower there due to the lower capital expenses compared to hamilton. I.E 100+ year old sewer and water system, highways, etc. Secondly and most likely more important from the residents of flambourghs point of view, without amalgamation the city of hamilton would have been bankrupt. Thus amalgamation was implemented to allow the rural areas to subsidize hamilton. So i can see why the residents are upset. Also, many residents of flambourgh feel they have a lot more in common with burlington and the gta the hamilton. They even tried to join them, but was forced to join hamilton due that bankruptcy issue.
no offense, but whoever you spoke to doesn't have their facts straight.
I'd love to see the paperwork that shows the residents of 'Wentworth' all paying 100% of the cost for all the sprawl, roads, highway interchanges etc.... in Waterdown.
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  #102  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2008, 4:24 AM
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The County of Wentworth and the Township system i.e. Saltfleet, Beverly, etc end in the 1975 with the formation of the Region of Hamilton-Wentworth. Places like Saltfleet, Tapleytown, Winona, Fruitland etc where amalgamated into the City of Stoney Creek. Waterdown, Greensville, Carlisle, Rockton, Troy etc where amalgamated into the Town of Flambourgh in 1975.

Hamilton subsidized a lot in these areas. A lot where indirect subsidies. A lot of these areas have sewer and water that are from systems that where built by Hamilton. All traffic lights and signs where done by the City of Hamilton. Hamilton road crews did paving through out the region. Regional road where maintained through area where subsidized by up to 805 from Hamilton. Etc etc etc.

Hamilton heavily subsidized policing. They could never afford a swat team or K9 unit or any of the specialty teams by themselves. I remember talking to and old police officer that originally started with the Stoney Creek Police Department. He said they only had a 9-man department and on some days they had no one available for duty and had to bring in police from Hamilton.

The fire service was heavily subsidized. Hamilton ran communication, the training complex on Stone Church Road, hazardous materials team etc. Communications had more people in it than all of the full time firefighters in the other 5 municipalities put together. The HazMat team has more than 40 people in it. Ancaster, Dundas and Waterdown had only 2 firefighters each on duty just before amalgamation.

These are just some examples of Hamilton’s involvement in the region.

There where 2 public school systems. One for the city and one for the region. They where amalgamated a few year before the municipalities where. The Catholic system was amalgamated for as long as I can remember.

Eons ago where I worked for the Hamilton Public Library, we where sending books and other items and resources out to the region daily.

Yes they had their own people and vehicles to look after lawn cutting, tree planting etc. but a lot came from Hamilton.
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  #103  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2008, 5:35 AM
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Flamborough's cost per resident for roads/sewers/hydro poles is higher than that of Hamilton downtown. This is because of density. For every km of road, every km of sewer pipe, etc there are many more downtown residents paying into that km of service than a km of service in Flamborough.

Furthermore, many areas of Hamilton still have old lead pipes, outdated sewer systems, etc. that have NOT yet been updated.

Very little tax money has gone into the downtown compared to the $ paid into the pot by downtowners. Again density is the key factor - there are a lot more people here per square kilometer paying tax $. I wonder how much more tax $ would have had to been paid by suburbanites in Stoney Creek and the Mountain to fund the Redhill Expressway if it were not for downtown tax dollars?

Anyway, these are some reasons why they are now (finally) starting to put money into the downtown.
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  #104  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2008, 10:19 AM
brett.electrician brett.electrician is offline
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Originally Posted by raisethehammer View Post
no offense, but whoever you spoke to doesn't have their facts straight.
I'd love to see the paperwork that shows the residents of 'Wentworth' all paying 100% of the cost for all the sprawl, roads, highway interchanges etc.... in Waterdown.
No offense, But i believe these peoples facts over you guys. As I mentioned, they are long time employees / residents of the city. Were do you get your info from? Put your self in my shoes. A employee of the city of Hamilton tells me X about how things work / have worked. While random guy Y on the internet tells me they are wrong. Who do you think im going to believe??
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  #105  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2008, 10:46 AM
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Some of the people on here know a great deal more about Hamilton than a random city employee. I live in Dundas and I hear all kinds of crazy myths about Hamilton. It's no secret many Flamborough--and Dundas--residents don't like amalgamation and are willing to believe anything to justify their point of veiw. Nevertheles, I'm inclined to believe LikeHamilton on matters such as this.
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  #106  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2008, 1:03 PM
raisethehammer raisethehammer is offline
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someone mentioned water rates....another great point. flamborough was paying water rates of about 50% compared to if they joined Waterloo or Halton Region. We've been subsidizing their water rates for decades AFTER building their water infrastructure.
As Terry Whitehead recently mentioned, all of Flamborough generates annual taxes LESS than his Ward 8. And we all know, there's not much in Ward 8. I'd love to see the comparison between downtown wards with a ton of business/industry.

The next time people at city hall know what they're talking about will be the first.
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  #107  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2008, 2:38 PM
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Brett, I apologize if people on this message board seem to have it in for suburbanites. There is no reason why we can't discuss these matters in a civilized way. Everything in this thread is 2nd hand information. There are a lot of highly educated people on this board.

Here is an interesting article about urban living trends. It gives some ideas as to why the downtown is such an important area to develop right now.
Expect a lot of development to start happening downtown, its going to snowball.. you ain't seen nothing yet!
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  #108  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2008, 3:38 PM
coalminecanary coalminecanary is offline
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Originally Posted by brett.electrician View Post
A employee of the city of Hamilton tells me X about how things work / have worked. While random guy Y on the internet tells me they are wrong. Who do you think im going to believe??

One more thing you are missing from the city employee's story is the downloading of social services. One of the major reasons for amalgamation was in order to allow the rural areas to help the cities to fund the new expenses that the province downloaded to them. Social services (a provincial if not national concern) were being downloaded, and since most of these expenses are concentrated in dense areas (cities) the burden was going to be unfairly focused on cities. So they amalgamated surrounding regions to help offset that.

So the reality is that much of the "bailing out" that you are talking about was actually the rural AND urban areas "bailing out" the province. Not the rural areas bailing out the cities.

If you think that "old hamilton" actually wanted amalgamation and viewed it as some sort of magical answer to its money problems, you are quite mistaken. "Old city" dwellers appear to be against amalgamation as well in most cases.

If you are going to be so quick to shut out the ideas and logic here simply because of what a city employee told you, then I'm going to have to accuse you of not thinking for yourself.

I think that a simple thought experiment about the cost-per-resident of many services being much higher in rural areas is an important thing to consider, yet you've conveniently ignore many of these comments.

Rural streets get ploughed. Rural services are maintained. Rural areas might not get sidewalks, but the cost per resident to maintain the infrastructure is higher there. The services may be different but the costs are comparable.

Please don't shut your mind off simply because you feel like one or two people on the internet are being obtuse. Open your mind to the consideration of fact and logic instead :-)
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  #109  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2008, 4:00 PM
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So Brett, basically you are saying we should divide up optimally Hamilton in such a way that all the older parts with the decaying infrastructure are in one municipal unit that pays high taxes and then another unit where the taxes are minimized for the convenience of a few? I just want to be clear.

If you are from Victoria, why do you actually care so much about the somewhat increased taxes of a relatively few Flamboroughites? Frankly, the province has bigger problems to deal with now.
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  #110  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2008, 4:48 PM
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Wrong form.
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  #111  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2008, 4:54 PM
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Originally Posted by raisethehammer View Post
As Terry Whitehead recently mentioned, all of Flamborough generates annual taxes LESS than his Ward 8. And we all know, there's not much in Ward 8. I'd love to see the comparison between downtown wards with a ton of business/industry.
And for years and currently still do pay for fire service in the Meadowlands, our fire station at Mohawk and Upper Dundurn (I like to mess with people, it's Garth but it should have been Upper Dundurn to keep with all the other streets, Garth is the only street not an Upper whatever). Thankfully a new fire station is being built and Ancaster can pay for their own fire services.
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  #112  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2008, 5:42 PM
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Originally Posted by coalminecanary View Post
One of the major reasons for amalgamation was in order to allow the rural areas to help the cities to fund the new expenses that the province downloaded to them.
From the members of the former Harris government I've talked to, this was the reason for amalgamation. Everything else was political window dressing.
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  #113  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2008, 5:54 PM
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I hate to give away trade secrets, but I did work on amalgamation. I did research, some preliminary budget consolidations and gave technical advice to some city departments. I did this for over a year. I was amazed on how little staff of all of the municipalities new of what went on outside of their desk, truck or domain.

They had no idea what they had or how their budgets work. When working on outside revenue, I found some departments did not know they could bill for work to an outside agency and then find another department was billing for the work. An example was one of the fire departments did not know they could bill for services to a provincial highway. But I found that the roads department was billing on their behalf and keeping the money for work they had not done. They where caught up in their own little world.

The public was no better. I was shock at the public information section what people thought they had and how little they actually had. They always had larger roads department, parks department, fire department and EMS service.

People in Ancaster, Waterdown and Dundas thought they had large fire departments. But it was all smoke and mirrors. They based their assumptions that if there where 6 fire trucks in a station, they where all staffed. Dundas had 3-person maximum on duty; Waterdown only went to 2 persons on days Monday to Friday just before amalgamation and Ancaster had 2 on a fire truck and 2 on an ambulance. During research, it was found that their ambulance that they paid 100% for was spending 85% of its time outside of Ancaster.

They talk about all of the shiny new trucks that Hamilton stole from them. Well if any of them where shiny new there old now. There was a lot of junk out there that went to the scrap yard after January 1. Dundas had 2-fire truck that could not start and they had to bring in mechanics to get them out of the station. Ancaster had several vehicles that went to the scrap yard. There was one Ancaster fire truck that really surprised us. The first workday after Hamilton took over, it was sent to the shop for an expection at 9 am. By noon the plates where removed and they started to strip it and by the end of the day it was at a scrap yard. It was so corroded; it was not safe and uneconomical to repair.

I could go on and on about what goes on out there. I am still somewhat involved with what is going on and I have made friends in low and high place that I still talk to.
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  #114  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2008, 7:32 PM
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Originally Posted by SteelTown View Post
And for years and currently still do pay for fire service in the Meadowlands, our fire station at Mohawk and Upper Dundurn (I like to mess with people, it's Garth but it should have been Upper Dundurn to keep with all the other streets, Garth is the only street not an Upper whatever). Thankfully a new fire station is being built and Ancaster can pay for their own fire services.
It all used to be called Garth St. then they changed the lower part to Dundurn.
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  #115  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2008, 9:36 PM
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I'm so glad this thread has come back to life. It renews my faith in the us vs. them rhetoric that this Forum ultimately thrives on.
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  #116  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2008, 10:46 PM
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Wrong form.
what?
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  #117  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2008, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by raisethehammer View Post
no offense, but whoever you spoke to doesn't have their facts straight.
I'd love to see the paperwork that shows the residents of 'Wentworth' all paying 100% of the cost for all the sprawl, roads, highway interchanges etc.... in Waterdown.
Hwy 6 is a provincially significant road, you need to stop bringing this up.
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  #118  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2008, 1:09 AM
coalminecanary coalminecanary is offline
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Hwy 6 is a provincially significant road, you need to stop bringing this up.
Is it provincially significant to build an interchange in order to service a collection of big box plazas? Cause that's what the 5/6 interchange is all about and if that doesn't make you sick then... I don't know what
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  #119  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2008, 2:39 AM
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If you believe the 5/6 interchange is being built to service retail development in that area, you clearly lack a basic understanding of this topic. The Highway 6 improvements have been on the books for years--back before there was even a Tim Hortons at Clappison's Corners...let alone anything else. The Highway 6 corridor carries a significant amount of regional and inter-urban traffic, as well as being a primary link between Highways 401 and 403.

As someone who grew up in Flamborough, I can attest to numerous severe (sadly, many fatal) collisions which have occured in that immediate area--the grade separation is being built to safely keep traffic and commerce moving, not to feed commercial development in the immediate area. Frankly, the redesigned interchange will limit access to many of the establishments in the area, not improve it. In the future you may consider supporting your arguments in a more tangible way, as opposed to relying on a reality invented to support your agenda.
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  #120  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2008, 2:56 AM
raisethehammer raisethehammer is offline
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you're right. We forgot - it's also to support the mindless, endless, money-pit blob of sprawl out there....AND all the big box crap.
Thanks for clarifying.
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