Robing Peter to Pay Paul

By Ryan McGreal
Published February 14, 2005

This just in from Citizens at City Hall (CATCH):

City Council is gutting the Future Fund to patch the gaps in this year's budget, caused mainly by capital needs for the solid waste management master plan and the Red Hill Valley project.

The Fund was created in 2002 by mortgaging Hamilton Hydro for $137 million. $37 million was applied immediately to city projects and the rest was left to accumulate interest - another $37 million every five years - to fund future projects.

Hydro customers are on the hook for paying back that $137 million mortgage, under the presumption that the Fund would be used "to create and protect a permanent legacy for current and future generations of Hamiltonians."

Some legacy. Ciy Council has voted to clear out the fund over the next seven years, squandering the principal and abandoning the principle.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.


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