City rushes to apply for ice storm disaster relief
City council is facing a time crunch to meet the deadline to ask the province for special ice storm disaster relief money.
Councillors are holding a special council meeting at 1 p.m. to vote on whether to ask for money for Hamilton’s pre-Christmas ice storm. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, Mayor Bob Bratina said.
“We need to know what impact that would have on our budget, and if it’s onerous, we should seek it,” he said. “But what we have to do is get our marker in there.”
Pending the council vote, the city will ask for money under the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program. That would mean that the city, individuals, farmers, small businesses and non-profit organizations can apply for financial help to clean up their properties.
Some Flamborough residents need it, said Coun. Judi Partridge of Ward 15, who will second the motion by Coun. Sam Merulla. Parts of north Flamborough were heavily damaged by the storm, particularly privately owned properties with a lot of trees on them, she said.
“To have to pay for that yourself as a property owner, it’s devastating,” she said.
“You really have to drive up there to appreciate how bad it is — to this day, even.”
Partridge anticipates that the motion will pass on Monday.
“I can’t see why it wouldn’t.”
The ice storm pummelled Hamilton on Dec. 21 and 22. While some areas lost power for a few minutes, others were in the dark for four days.