Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Havixbeck wants answers about frozen waterlines

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More than 500 properties across Winnipeg still have frozen waterlines, but the city is not using all available equipment to restore water services.

Coun. Paul Havixbeck said she has learned that Brandon and Regina have thawed all their the frozen waterlines and both cities have equipment Winnipeg could use to thaw the remaining properties.

"No one from Winnipeg has called" those communities for that equipment, Havixbeck said.

She said when she asked acting CAO Deepak Joshi if the city had asked to borrow the thawing equipment from Regina or Brandon, he would not provide her with an answer.

"The last email (from Joshi) was that he was formulating a response" to her question, she said.

Havixbeck said she and Coun. John Orlikow will bring a motion to today's council meeting directing the public service "to go get that equipment."

"Officials in Regina laughed when they heard we couldn't get this under control," Havixbeck said.

City hall is reporting there are 522 properties still on the list for thawing services.

Of the affected properties, 434 have temporary water services as a result of a hose connection to a neighbouring property.

But that still leaves 88 properties across Winnipeg without water service of any kind.

"I don't know what it's going to take to get this done, but it's sad that we have to bring a motion" to instruct city staff, Havixbeck said.

She said she is still waiting for a report on how much the frozen-pipes situation has cost the city for staff overtime and lost revenue from lack of water services.

The city reported there have been 2,581 properties that have lost water services since November as a result of frozen waterlines.

The situation was experienced by many cities across Canada and the United States, but Winnipeg appeared to have been among those hit hardest and the problem for some of those properties is expected to exist into June.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 27, 2014 B4

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