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City Hall Roundup

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City makes good on Canadian Tire money

The day after Canadian Tire opened its state-of-the-art digital headquarters, city hall took the first step to make good on a financial promise to the retail giant.

Members of executive policy committee Wednesday approved a 10-year, $300,000 grant to Canadian Tire -- part of the $1.3-million incentive package that cemented the firm's move to Winnipeg.

Mayor Sam Katz said the financial incentives are a worthwhile investment.

"They could have gone to any city in the country and they picked Winnipeg," Katz said. "This is a small economic incentive to have something of that stature here."

Canadian Tire staged its official opening Tuesday for its Cloud Nine Digital Innovation Centre, a 28,000-square-foot site on the ninth floor of the Air Canada building that houses all the technology the iconic Canadian chain needs to make its websites and online stores run quickly and smoothly.

The employees who work at Cloud Nine will develop apps for the company's retail outlets, including Canadian Tire, Mark's Work Wearhouse and Sport Chek.

The city will provide Canadian Tire $30,000 annually for the next 10 years so long as it creates and maintains 50 jobs at the site. According to the terms of the grant approved by EPC, any decrease in the number of jobs would result in a corresponding percentage decrease in the amount of the grant.

In addition to the city's $300,000, the province is also providing Canadian Tire with $1 million in exchange for the company's minimum $10-million investment in the new operation.


Pipes under control: Katz

Mayor Sam Katz believes the city has the frozen-pipes situation under control.

Even though more properties continue to report frozen waterlines, Katz said the city's ability to restore water service at a faster rate is a positive sign.

"As long as we can basically thaw out the pipes, or provide water, at a greater rate than people are having their pipes frozen, that to me is the path to getting us restored to normal," he said.

In an update released Tuesday, city hall said the number of properties on the waiting list for thawing services continues to decline.

There are now 1,155 properties on the waiting list, a drop of 89 from Thursday.

This was also the 15th straight day the city has reported a decrease in the number of properties on the waiting list.

The waiting list on April 7 totalled 1,372 -- it's dropped 217 since.

"I see the numbers... and this is positive," Katz said Wednesday morning.

"There's no question -- we're definitely on the right track."

Over the four-day Easter weekend, a combined 16 new properties reported frozen waterlines, bringing the total since November to 2,499.


Yard waste pickup resumes

The city resumes biweekly yard-waste collection next week.

City hall said the seasonal curbside collection begins Monday, following the waste and recycling collection schedule.

Yard waste will be collected at the curb every other week, on the same collection day as recycling and garbage.

The program continues until November, weather permitting.

The yard waste can be placed in: reusable containers without a lid, cardboard boxes, paper yard-waste bags.

However, yard waste placed in plastic bags will not be picked up.

Winnipeg launched its yard waste pickup program in 2012 and last year saw 19,000-tonnes collected and composted at the Brady Road landfill.


Return of the brown water

Brown water is returning to south Winnipeg this week.

City hall issued a warning late Wednesday afternoon stating construction work on a feeder main at Pembina Highway and Bison Drive will likely cause discoloured water for many homes and properties throughout a wide swath of south Winnipeg -- Waverley Heights, Waverley West and south Fort Garry.

The construction work is set to begin this morning and conclude Sunday.

City hall is reminding residents that, while health officials state drinking discoloured water would not a pose a health risk, it's not recommended they use it for any purpose that requires clear water -- drinking, preparing food and beverages, and laundry.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 24, 2014 B2

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