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This article was published 7/3/2016 (382 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Pressure is mounting on city hall to find funding for a riverfront development in St. Boniface.
Several groups and the ward councillor appeared at a civic committee meeting Monday, urging support for a $5.6-million upgrade to Promenade Taché.
Shawn Brandson, chairman of the Provencher Business Improvement Zone, said many photographs depicting Winnipeg are taken from that riverfront location, which offers a pristine view of downtown Winnipeg, The Forks and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
"It's truly an iconic spot in Winnipeg," Brandson told members of the protection, community services and parks committee. "Unfortunately, the condition of the park itself is poor at best."
The project first appeared at city hall over a year ago: an ambitious scheme to rejuvenate the park first opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1984. The proposal involves the creation of a 2.5-kilometre pedestrian walkway along the St. Boniface side of the Red River facing The Forks, from the Provencher Bridge to the Norwood Bridge. The Winnipeg Foundation has committed $1 million for the construction of a treetop lookout. The Winnipeg Arts Council has agreed to commission a $200,000 sculpture to be placed along the route.
There wasn't support on council to include it in the 2015 budget but it was referred to the 2016 budget. However, it wasn't included in this year's preliminary budget, unveiled last week by Mayor Brian Bowman and members of his executive policy committee.
Coun. Matt Allard asked the committee, which spent most of the day reviewing department budget submissions, to include the project in the 2016 and 2017 capital budgets. Allard proposed financing $4.1 million worth of riverbank stabilization and sidewalk repairs this year, and a further $1.5 million next year for the construction of a treetop lookout.
Allard said he is concerned the Winnipeg Foundation will re-allocate its $1 million to another project if city hall doesn't commit to the Taché upgrade this year.
Other groups that appeared at the committee Monday in support of the project included Enterprise Riel, Old St. Boniface Residents Association, Rivers West and the St. Boniface Museum.
"It's a historic area with so much to offer, just waiting to be updated and embraced," Brandson said. "Winnipeg needs to celebrate Promenade Tache and the history of our community."