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Funding cuts worry city official

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Funding cuts in the 2014 budget have the city’s director of planning worried.

Barry Thorgrimson said the budget juggling has essentially left little cash in several key reserve accounts and not enough money to keep or attract new staff.

Thorgrimson said the department is losing key professionals to the private sector and they can’t offer competitive salaries and benefits to either retain them or replace them with equally talented individuals.

"We do our best to provide good working conditions and quality-of-life aspects but that will only get you so far," Thorgrimson told the property and development committee.

Thorgrimson said the city’s economic development reserve account is down to $1 million — not enough to spur a project — and the heritage account is in the red.

The city also hasn’t set aside enough funds to properly update the buildings it owns, he said, using the Sherbrook pool and the civic centre parkade as two examples.

"Our deferral of ongoing maintenance is impacting and as a city, we need to look at our facilities and make a decision to either keep them or get rid of them."

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

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