Once elected, I began a constant push to have the city do something about our failing streets and back lanes.
The 2013 City of Winnipeg capital budget established a new local street renewal fund dedicated to fixing streets and back lanes.
This fund relies on a 1% property tax increase each year for several years to catch up to the huge problem. At a provincial budget consultation, I brought a map of the Mynarski ward to demonstrate the problem throughout our older neighbourhoods, and it seems the provincial government was listening as they set aside an extra $7 million toward street renewal.
Red streets visible in the colour map on this page depict a 34% failure rate in Mynarski.
Readers will note that West Kildonan (north of Inkster) has a failure rate above 60%.
I receive many calls from residents who are frustrated just as I am. With a city streets engineer and I working together, we try to get the worst streets and back lanes fixed first.
However, in 2013, there is only enough money to fix four city blocks and one back lane in the Mynarski ward. With the provincial money, we are recommending 500 metres be rehabilitated along a street begun in 2012.
Another limitation is related to the ongoing sewer separation and repair program in West Kildonan.
We cannot fix some of the very worst streets in the next few years as it is a waste of money to fix a street and come back to separate the sewers.
Sewer separation is important for preventing overflow of the combined sewers into your homes and into the river. Separation involves creating a new sewer and land drainage pipes.
Water mains are replaced at the same time where needed. This work is funded through your water bill payments. Not to be confused with sewer separation, some sewer maintenance is paid for out of your property tax money.
In a couple of weeks, the streets engineer and I will be considering Mynarski streets for the 2014 construction year.
Providing city council passes another 1% increase in property taxes for the local street renewal plan, we might see as many as seven blocks fixed with a possible two or three back lanes.
If you want, please call my office at 204-986-5188 to talk more about the condition of our streets and back lanes.