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City building new public works complex in Elmwood

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A new City of Winnipeg public works complex being built in Elmwood caught at least one area resident by surprise.


Dan Naskar, who has lived in Elmwood for more than 60 years, said he was surprised to learn the city was building a new facility on Thomas Avenue south of Nairn Avenue.


The City of Winnipeg Public Works East Yard Complex, a 117,000-sq. ft. facility, is tentatively scheduled to be completed next spring at an estimated cost of $49 million.


The facility will house a field office, garage, shops, and storage facilities for the public works department and Winnipeg Fleet Management Agency.


Naskar said he’s not against the development, he just wonders why the community wasn’t told what was happening at the site.


"This is a big project for this little neighbourhood. I’m not against it, but let the people know what are the affects on the community," Naskar said.


"It scares me because it’s so secret. I’m fine that they’re doing something, but my concerns are have they done their homework?"


City spokeswoman Michelle Bailey said there was no formal public consultation because the zoning on the land being used was not changing.


"The East Yard Complex combines operations on the east side of the Red River to provide more efficient and cost effective service delivery as well as disposes of existing properties which are beyond their useful life," said Bailey, adding the facility will save the city approximately $15 million during the next 30 years.


"The use of the land is  consistent with the existing zoning."


Naskar said traffic in the area is already congested and the situation will become worse once employees start working at the new complex.


"Residential streets and streets immediately around here will be pressed with traffic. It’s already congested now," he said.


"Drop a couple of thousand more vehicles in here and you will have a bottleneck somewhere."


Bailey said traffic should not be impacted by the opening of the complex.


"A traffic impact analysis report concluded the traffic impact on the existing road network resulting from East Yard Complex development would be minimal," she said.


 Naskar said a project of this size is bound to have some impact on the area.


"This is bigger than IKEA and not one word on it," he said.


"I’m not against progress. I’m against people not telling us how it will impact residents."

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adrian.alleyne@canstarnews.com

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