CITY council was asked to spend another $3 million on Winnipeg's ambitious bike-and-pedestrian program -- over and above the $20.4-million tab shared by all three levels of government.

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This article was published 22/11/2010 (3981 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

CITY council was asked to spend another $3 million on Winnipeg's ambitious bike-and-pedestrian program -- over and above the $20.4-million tab shared by all three levels of government.

In a report published on Monday, the city's public works department said it needs more cash to complete an upgrade that was supposed to see 36 new bike-and-pedestrian projects built this year.

Six of those projects were delayed until 2011 because property negotiations or public consultations took longer than expected. But some of the costs of completing the rest of the projects were not covered by an infrastructure-stimulus agreement that was supposed to see each level of government pay for one-third of the upgrade.

"When they say one-third, one-third, one-third, it doesn't always work out that way. In fact, it rarely does," said St. Boniface Coun. Dan Vandal, who chairs the public works committee, which will address the funding shortfall this morning.

To complete the active-transportation program, council is being asked to divert $1 million from a dormant portion of a Kenaston Underpass project and approve $2 million in funding from the 2011 capital budget.

The Kenaston money is dormant because of the ongoing Kapyong Barracks redevelopment stalemate, while the 2011 money could eat up a large chunk of next year's active-transportation budget.

In 2009, the city spent $4 million on bike-and-pedestrian upgrades. This year's allocation of $20.4 million was borne out of Ottawa's effort to stimulate the Canadian economy.

Costs that were not covered by the infrastructure-stimulus deal this year include "Manitoba Hydro services, City of Winnipeg traffic services, City of Winnipeg traffic signals, property costs, additional engineering consultant costs and contract over-expenditures," project manager Bill Woroby wrote in a report to council.

While the city managed to bring in some of the projects under budget, it can't transfer federal and provincial money between projects. As a result, the net shortfall on the active-transportation upgrade is $3 million, Woroby concluded.

Vandal said he plans to ask a lot of questions about the funding at this morning's meeting.

"No one's ever happy when you have to move extra money forward," he said.

 

bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca