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City Hall Roundup

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Cadets on buses eyed

ST. VITAL Coun. Brian Mayes wants Winnipeg to spend additional money on transit-safety measures.

Winnipeg politicians tabled the 2013 operating budget earlier this week, a $920-million spending plan on all city programs and services.

Mayes said he would like to see the city increase its budget and add police cadets into the transit system to increase safety for passengers and drivers. Mayes said he would like to see the city spend $800,000 on the move, half of which would be paid for by the province.

City data show there have been 409 reported assaults against Winnipeg Transit drivers between 2000 and 2012.

 

Cab rule could change

WINNIPEG will consider asking the province to amend traffic rules to allow taxis to wait in front of a designated fire hydrant in the downtown.

The city has previously looked at allowing cabs to wait for fares in front of loading zones and fire hydrants, provided cabbies remain in their vehicles so they can get out of the way of emergency vehicles, if need be.

A report recommends the city ask the province to amend the Highway Traffic Act so Winnipeg can launch a six-month pilot project to test the taxi hydrant parking idea.

Council's protection and community services committee will consider the plan at a meeting on Monday.

 

Hobby beekeeping stung

WINNIPEG will not be abuzz with more hobby beekeepers.

A new city report, released Thursday, recommends Winnipeg not expand hobby beekeeping.

An administrative report cited several concerns about urban beekeeping, saying bees may pose a threat to those with allergies, a beehive may diminish neighbouring property values and hobby beekeepers will likely register for mosquito-fogging buffer zones, which could be another concern for surrounding homeowners.

 

Dutch elm expert retires

A former Dutch elm disease researcher has retired.

The city's 2013 operating budget reduced or eliminated grants to several community and non-profit organizations, including the University of Manitoba's Dutch elm disease research program's $5,000 grant. U of M entomology professor Neil Holliday said the move will not have an impact, as he has recently retired and will no longer be conducting the research.

Holliday said he plans to help the city and province as a consultant on a new strategy to combat Dutch elm.

Winnipeg plans to work with the province to combat Dutch elm disease. The city's new strategy includes asking the province to reinstate buffer zones in the RMs of Richot and Springfield and split the cost of tree removal, Elm bark beetle control and tree planting. This year, the province contributed $1 million to fighting the disease and the city spent $2.7 million.

The city has proposed spending an additional $1.9 million and has asked the province to match the contribution.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 11, 2013 A9

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