Bylaw passes, singing OK
CITY council approved a new transit bylaw Wednesday to ensure greater safety and protection for riders and drivers.
The new bylaw was amended, before passage, to eliminate singing and playing musical instruments on transit property as finable offences.
Included in the bylaw are provisions to allocate two Winnipeg police cadets to ride select routes determined to be most problematic.
Several transit operators addressed council before the vote, adding they are routinely assaulted by passengers.
Grants for organizations
SILOAM Mission and Neechi Commons are getting tax grants from city hall.
Council approved providing both groups grants from the additional property taxes they would be paying because of the development taking place at their sites.
Siloam Mission is proposing a multimillion-dollar expansion of its Pacific Street facilities to provide housing, food and employment for the city's homeless. The group will be receiving $4 million, through annual payments spread over 50 years.
Neechi Commons, which converted a closed grocery store on north Main Street into a restaurant, catering service and grocery employing local residents, will be receiving $150,000.
PST proposal rejected
A proposal to put a referendum question directing the province to allocate all of the one-percentage-point increase of the PST collected in Winnipeg to city hall for infrastructure improvements was defeated.
Coun. Russ Wyatt, who proposed the idea, said the referendum question is needed to pressure the province into giving the city more money for street maintenance.
However, other councillors derided the idea as a stunt and a bully tactic.
The issue was defeated in a 4-12 vote. It was supported by Couns. Jeff Browaty, Scott Fielding, Paula Havixbeck and Wyatt.
Forks plan approved
THE redevelopment plans for the last remaining vacant parcels of land at The Forks was approved by council.
The project involves 4.9 hectares of land on two parcels of land: the Rail Side site, a Forks-owned concrete parking lot immediately north of Citytv's studio and Parcel 4, a city-owned gravel parking lot briefly considered in 2012 as the site for a hotel and water-park development.
The Forks proposes to redevelop the sites for a mixed-use development, including residential highrise buildings, two parkades, a tiered park and an urban plaza.
The proposal, which resulted from a public consultation process, preserves 60 per cent of the 4.9 hectares for public space. The 40 per cent allocated to private development will finance development on the public side.
The Forks expects the private sector to invest $200 million on five sites over the next six to seven years for residential and commercial development.
The Forks will be responsible for building a terraced park and parkade on the Rail Side parcel and the urban plaza and a second parkade on Parcel 4.
Council agreed to declare the Parcel 4 land surplus, as a sign of commitment to development, and to transfer ownership to The Forks for development.