June 17, 2019

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Public Works committee debates restoring street-sweeping program

Some councillors on Winnipeg's public works committee balked at the idea of cutting the city's street-sweeping program.

KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Some councillors on Winnipeg's public works committee balked at the idea of cutting the city's street-sweeping program.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/3/2015 (1553 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Another civic committee is proposing changes to Winnipeg’s 2015 budget.

Councillors on the public works committee want to restore the twice-a-year residential street leaf sweeping program, which the administration wants to cut for an annual savings of $700,000.

Councillors said the cut was a short-sighted move to save money that could result in sewer backups and result in other problems.

The administration argued the street-sweeping program had been undermined by too many homeowners who were sweeping leaves from their own yards onto city streets.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/3/2015 (1553 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Another civic committee is proposing changes to Winnipeg’s 2015 budget.

Councillors on the public works committee want to restore the twice-a-year residential street leaf sweeping program, which the administration wants to cut for an annual savings of $700,000.

Councillors said the cut was a short-sighted move to save money that could result in sewer backups and result in other problems.

The administration argued the street-sweeping program had been undermined by too many homeowners who were sweeping leaves from their own yards onto city streets.

Last week, the protection and community services committee recommended a series of amendments, including restoring cuts to indoor pool operations and additional library material purchases.

Now, the recommendations from both committees will be reviewed by executive policy committee and council.

There were no recommendations for budget changes from the property and development and the downtown development committees. The finance committee, the fifth civic committee, does not review the budget.

The executive policy committee meets in a special session Tuesday morning to hear delegations on the budget and will meet again Wednesday to consider the submissions from the civic committees.

The budget will be debated by all of council at a special meeting March 23.

It was a long day for members of the public works committee, which began at 9 a.m. and went until 6 p.m.

The day began with hearing presentations on the budget from three councillors and 10 citizens, some of them representing community groups.

Coun. Matt Allard (St. Boniface) asked the committee to re-instate $5.2 million that had been set aside for this year’s capital budget for engineering work on a Marion Street upgrade.

This year’s budget took the Marion funds and put it into a general pool of several mega-projects. While that pool includes the Marion project, neither it nor any of the others are guaranteed to be funded.

Allard said he was disappointed Mayor Bowman and members of the executive policy committee shifted the money without consulting him, adding the Marion Street upgrades had always been included in the city’s long-term planning and he was upset that the project could lose its status simply because a new council is elected to office.

Coun. Russ Wyatt (Transcona) argued $6.5 million found in department savings should be used to borrow $100 million, instead of being used for regional street upgrades.

Wyatt said leveraging the $6.5 million allows council to add more money for regional street work and other needed projects, explaining that very little work can actually be achieved by applying the $6.5 million directly to street upgrades.

David Sanders, administration critic and former mayoral candidate, argued for council to abandon the transitway corridor route — a case he makes almost every time he appears before a committee or council.

Sanders said the copies of documents he recently received as a result of a freedom of information request show there is no benefit to upgrading and widening the Pembina Highway underpass at Jubilee Avenue.

A new citizens group, Functional Transit Winnipeg, supported Sanders’ position on the transitway corridor, arguing the plan should be abandoned and the money spent instead on improving the frequency of existing transit routes.

With files from Geoff Kirbyson

 

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Aldo Santin

Aldo Santin
Reporter

Aldo Santin is a veteran newspaper reporter who first carried a pen and notepad in 1978 and joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1986, where he has covered a variety of beats and specialty areas including education, aboriginal issues, urban and downtown development. Santin has been covering city hall since 2013.

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History

Updated on Monday, March 16, 2015 at 8:05 PM CDT: Corrects typo.

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