The city will carry out an additional $7.2 million in regional and local street construction work before the end of the year.
The money was found when the 2013 streets budget was predicted to come in under budget for the year, freeing up extra funds for street work that wasn’t scheduled to be done in 2014.
"Improving local streets is a top priority for Winnipeggers," Mayor Sam Katz said in a prepared statement.
The late Tuesday announcement came as a surprise because earlier in the month, civic officials turned down the same recommendation from Coun. Paula Havixbeck.
Havixbeck (Charleswood-Tuxedo) wanted the city to spend the 2013 street surplus before the year was out on additional road work, but she was told there wasn’t enough time to put out bids for contracts and do the necessary paperwork.
But, 11 days later, civic officials were able to pull off what they told Havixbeck and the finance committee just couldn’t be done.
Habixbeck said she's pleased the extra road work is being done, but she wonders if similar budget situations have happened in the past.
"I think we all need to continually be aware of these kinds of pockets of money that might have otherwise sat on the books indefinitely," Havixbeck said. "For how many years have we had similar circumstances or was this an anomaly?"
Additional Regional and Local Street Work To Be Done for 2013
- $3.15 million — prep work, design and tendering of the Ness Avenue-Whytewold Road to west of Conway Street, to be done in 2014.
- $2 million — Emergency bank stabilization work along the Red River to protect areas of Lyndale Drive.
- $1.2 million — Additional this bituminous overlay (repaving) program on 13 local streets across the city.
- $600,000 — Local street repairs, including Victor Lewis Drive and Sheppard Street from Church Avenue to Redwood Avenue.