The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - Com­piled by Matthew Van Dongen mvan­don­gen@thes­ 905-526-3241 | @Mat­tatthes­pec

Coun­cil de­clares heavy rain ‘disas­ter’

Coun­cil will de­clare all rain­storms be­tween April 20 and May 6 “disas­ters” to give flooded city res­i­dents a shot at com­pas­sion­ate grants. The city had al­ready de­clared an April 20 storm a disas­ter for the grant pro­gram af­ter parts of Hamil­ton saw a month’s worth of rain in a mat­ter of hours. The pro­gram, which of­fers up to $1,000 for el­i­gi­ble res­i­dents, has re­ceived 260 ap­pli­ca­tions so far. Coun­cil ap­proved a mo­tion from Ward 5 Coun. Chad Collins to al­low ap­pli­ca­tions from flooded res­i­dents over a two-week pe­riod, rather than a spe­cific date. Collins’ low-ly­ing beach strip area has been par­tic­u­larly hard-hit in part be­cause of Lake On­tario lev­els higher than any seen in decades. The city has spent more than $5 mil­lion on com­pas­sion­ate grants for flood­ing due to heavy rains since 2005.

Ci­tyLAB Hamil­ton part­ner­ship with schools nearly ready to roll

The city has hired a top staffer for a new “in­no­va­tion hub” part­ner­ship with lo­cal post­sec­ondary in­sti­tu­tions that will run out of the for­mer foot­ball hall of fame. The city has for­mally an­nounced the de­tails of the Ci­tyLAB Hamil­ton part­ner­ship, first ap­proved in 2016, with McMaster Univer­sity, Mo­hawk Col­lege and Redeemer Univer­sity Col­lege. McMaster PhD stu­dent Pa­trick Byrne will act as project man­ager for the pi­lot project, which will run through 2019 and in­volve stu­dents, mu­nic­i­pal staffers and other com­mu­nity groups to work to­gether on city is­sues. The city will be­gin ren­o­vat­ing the for­mer foot­ball hall of fame be­side City Hall to serve as home base for the project.

City pon­ders reg­u­la­tion of pot dis­pen­sary sites

Coun. Ja­son Farr wants the city to reg­u­late the den­sity of pot dis­pen­saries lo­ca­tions if the store­front op­er­a­tions are even­tu­ally le­gal­ized. The down­town coun­cil­lor put for­ward the mo­tion to ac­knowl­edge chang­ing fed­eral and pro­vin­cial rule changes are on the hori­zon for the sale of med­i­cal and recre­ational mar­i­juana. His mo­tion says if store­front dis­pen­saries — cur­rently il­le­gal — end up al­lowed un­der new laws, the city should use a ra­dial sep­a­ra­tion by­law to gov­ern how close to­gether they can set up shop.

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