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Gerbasi, Swandel push to reduce ward budget increases, offset museum cuts

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Two city councillors are hoping for a compromise.

On Tuesday, city council will vote on Winnipeg's 2013 capital and operating budgets, which includes a proposed $40,000 increase to councillors' discretionary ward budgets. The increase will cost a total of $600,000 and has raised ire among several members of council who argue politicians should not be increasing their budgets at a time when the city has cut back on its funding grants to non-profit groups.

Couns. Jenny Gerbasi (Fort Rouge) and Justin Swandel (St. Norbert) will ask city council to consider reducing the increase to ward budgets by enough to offset the cuts to museums and non-profits.

Gerbasi said they plan to move a motion which calls for the city to reduce the ward budget increase by $20,000 and use $300,000 in savings to restore the cut funding.

Last week, executive policy committee voted to partially restore funding cuts to museums so their budgets will be cut by only five per cent instead of 10 per cent. EPC did not recommend any changes to councillors' discretionary ward budgets, which are set to rise to $114,000 from about $74,000.

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