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City may review authority public administration given to make financial decisions

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Winnipeg may review the authority it gives to its public administration to make financial decisions on the heels of questions surrounding the city's fire hall replacement program.

Coun. Paula Havixbeck (Charleswood-Tuxedo) recently called on Winnipeg to review how it delegates authority to city administration and compare it with other municipalities.

City council delegates the approval of certain financial transactions to the public service.

Havixbeck said some cities will only give senior officials the authority to make financial decisions on municipal buildings in the range of $100,000 and $1 million.

Under those rules, Havixbeck said no fire hall could've been built without prior council approval.

Council's finance committee will consider the motion at a meeting next week.

"The fire halls precipitated this," she said. "It only came (to council) because of a cost overrun."

Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Chief Reid Douglas and the city's real estate division negotiated a proposed swap of fire-hall land on Berry Street and Grosvenor Avenue, and a strip of vacant land on Mulvey Avenue East to Shindico Realty for Winnipeg's new fire-paramedic Station No. 12, which was built on Shindico-owned land on Taylor Avenue.

The total cost of the new fire halls increased to $17.8 million from $15.3 million, and an external probe into fire-paramedic station replacement program is currently underway.

 

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