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This article was published 14/3/2012 (3482 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Winnipeg’s 2012 operating budget will proceed toward city council with $345,000 in extra spending and no additional transit-fare hike.
City council’s executive policy committee met Wednesday morning to make amendments to the operating budget, a $900-million spending plan for all city services this year.
As expected, the committee voted to rescind a 20-cent transit fare hike that would have gone into effect in June. That hike was approved by council last fall as a means of raising $6 million a year to help complete the Southwest Rapid Transit Corridor, but abandoned after the Selinger government declined to amend a transit-funding deal to allow the city to devote all the additional revenue to the bus or rail corridor.
EPC also voted to use money from corporate accounts to make the following additional spending commitments:
- $150,000 to expand recreational pleasure-skating rinks in neighbourhoods without other ice rinks.
- $135,000 to increase the Winnipeg Public Library’s materials budget, provided the province removes a cap on library funding.
- $50,000 to increase the Winnipeg Arts Council budget, with a stipulation all the money goes into projects and grants, not administration.
- $7,500 to the Manito Ahbee Festival.
- $2,500 to increase funding for Heritage Winnipeg.
EPC also voted to ask the public works department to spend six months studying ways to enhance the city’s Dutch Elm Disease prevention program.
The operating budget will come before council as a whole on March 20. It includes a 3.5 per cent property-tax hike.
In other votes, EPC unanimously approved a plan to speed up the approval of building permits and voted 4-2 to approve the purchase of used articulated buses for use on the Southwest Rapid Transit Corridor. Couns. Justin Swandel (St. Norbert) and Scott Fielding (St. James) voted against the used-bus purchase after Swandel grilled Winnipeg Transit director Dave Wardrop over the long-term cost of the replacing the vehicles.