The City of Hamilton has asked Flamborough Chamber of Commerce (FCC) Executive Director Arend Kersten to sit on its LRT (Light Rail Transit) Committee in an advisory capacity. The committee is comprised of Mayor Fred Eisenberger and six councillors (Aiden Johnson, Jason Farr, Matthew Green and Sam Merulla from the lower city, Terry Whitehead from the West Mountain and Lloyd Ferguson from Ancaster). Other advisory members of the LRT Committee include representatives from the Hamilton and Stoney Creek Chambers of Commerce, the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington, the Hamilton-Halton Home Builders Association, McMaster University and the Downtown and International Village BIAs.
Through Metrolinx, the Province of Ontario has made a $1 billion commitment to Hamilton to construct a LRT line along King Street from the Queenston traffic circle to McMaster University, complete with a spur line to the new Hamilton GO station on James Street North (with the possibility of extending it to the Hamilton Bay waterfront).
Arend attended his first LRT Committee meeting last Monday where the focus was on a proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Metrolinx and Hamilton. It was clear that many on the committee feel that the advent of the LRT will result in tremendous economic development along the corridor and will result in a ‘transformational change’ for Hamilton.
At the end of the meeting, Arend informed the committee that the FCC has a number of questions regarding the LRT (ie: What are the implications of the LRT for Flamborough taxpayers?). Since ‘communications’ will be the focus of the next LRT meeting, Arend said he will prepare a number of questions prior to the meeting so that answers can be presented.
Representing the FCC and its members, Arend is already a member of Hamilton’s Open For Business Committee and Government Relations Committee.