Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Bowman pledges additional $40M for road repairs

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Brian Bowman says he won't take cash from police,  fire or paramedics to pay for his promise.

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Enlarge Image

Brian Bowman says he won't take cash from police, fire or paramedics to pay for his promise. Photo Store

Mayoral candidate Brian Bowman has pledged to find an additional $10 million in the city's budget every year for the next four years for road repairs.

Bowman said he'll work with staff and council to find the extra funds -- the equivalent of two per cent of the city's tax-supported operating budget -- from existing operations, without layoffs or staff reductions.

"Winnipeggers feel the impact of an aging infrastructure every day and that's not acceptable," Bowman said.

Bowman said expects to find the $10 million through "energy efficiencies and taking advantage of new technologies."

Bowman said the savings will come from all departments, except police, fire and paramedic services.

City council approved a 2.95 per cent property tax increase for 2014, with two percentage points directed toward regional and local road repairs.

The city spends $84.2 million on regional and local street repairs annually.

Other mayoral candidates have been trotting out infrastructure announcements, too.

Former councillor Gord Steeves laid out an extensive platform, promising to speed up regional road-renewal projects by ensuring 75 per cent of them are worked on during evenings and weekends; ensure capital projects are tendered earlier; commit $421,000 to a two-week pothole-repair blitz; and create a working group with the federal and provincial governments to better align infrastructure-funding priorities.

Coun. Paula Havixbeck pledged in May to speed up tendering of road contracts.

Judy Waslycia-Leis opened her campaign in June with a promise to repair the city's infrastructure but said details on funding and how she would achieve it would be explained later.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 11, 2014 B2

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