August 15, 2018

Winnipeg
20° C, Sunny

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Sewage plant project delayed

City's capital budget down 16% this year

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/1/2011 (2762 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The City of Winnipeg has put off construction of a $365-million North End sewage-treatment upgrade for a year, giving Mayor Sam Katz more time to lobby the province -- and perhaps a new provincial government -- to end a dispute about polluting Lake Winnipeg.

On Friday, Katz and city council finance chairman Scott Fielding (St. James) tabled the 2011 capital budget, the city's blueprint for $370.1 million worth of road, bridge, building and waste water improvements this year.

There were few surprises in the infrastructure renewal plan, except for the absence of what would have been the city's most expensive project, the $365-million nutrient-removal facility at the North End Water Pollution Control Centre.

In 2003, the province ordered the city to build the nutrient-removal facility as part of a larger waste water treatment upgrade that will eventually cost the city billions. The province wants the facility to remove both phosphorus and nitrogen, which promote the growth of algae that cloud Lake Winnipeg during the summer, then die off in large quantities, depriving the lake of oxygen.

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 60 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Join free for 60 days

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 60 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/1/2011 (2762 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Mayor Sam Katz, speaking to news media after the city's capital budget was tabled, says the waste water nutrient-removal plant will be built by 2014.

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Mayor Sam Katz, speaking to news media after the city's capital budget was tabled, says the waste water nutrient-removal plant will be built by 2014.

The City of Winnipeg has put off construction of a $365-million North End sewage-treatment upgrade for a year, giving Mayor Sam Katz more time to lobby the province — and perhaps a new provincial government — to end a dispute about polluting Lake Winnipeg.

On Friday, Katz and city council finance chairman Scott Fielding (St. James) tabled the 2011 capital budget, the city's blueprint for $370.1 million worth of road, bridge, building and waste water improvements this year.

There were few surprises in the infrastructure renewal plan, except for the absence of what would have been the city's most expensive project, the $365-million nutrient-removal facility at the North End Water Pollution Control Centre.

In 2003, the province ordered the city to build the nutrient-removal facility as part of a larger waste water treatment upgrade that will eventually cost the city billions. The province wants the facility to remove both phosphorus and nitrogen, which promote the growth of algae that cloud Lake Winnipeg during the summer, then die off in large quantities, depriving the lake of oxygen.

The city has long argued that in addition to phosphorus, it should only remove nitrogen in the form of ammonia, which is toxic to fish, and not bother with other forms of nitrogen, which the blue-green algae can obtain directly from air. Citing freshwater scientists, the city insists nitrogen removal will waste money and harm the environment. The province stands behind its own science.

"I've made it clear where science stands on the issue," Katz said Friday, insisting the nutrient-removal plant will be completed by 2014, as ordered by the province, no matter what happens with his lobbying efforts. He said he has no assurances from the Progressive Conservatives they will back the city's position if elected.

Fielding, meanwhile, said delaying the facility had nothing to do with the ongoing negotiations with environmental consulting firm Veolia Canada, which will help design and build the plant. The city's contract with Veolia to oversee at least $661 million worth of sewage-treatment upgrades remains incomplete.

Overall, the $370.1-million capital budget this year represents a 16 per cent drop from 2010, when federal infrastructure stimulus projects made up a sizable component of last year's $439-million capital budget.

The biggest projects planned this year include the $195-million Disraeli Freeway reconstruction, the $109-million Chief Peguis Trail extension and the $106-million conversion of the downtown Canada Post building into a new police headquarters.

The city is borrowing $79 million for the police headquarters project. Transcona Coun. Russ Wyatt argued the city should borrow even more in order to conduct more infrastructure renewal.

"This is not even a stand-pat budget. It's a fall-back budget," Wyatt said.

City borrowing, however, is on the rise. A combination of conventional bank borrowing and private-public partnerships will effectively double the city's debt in five years, budget documents project.

bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Few budget surprises

The City of Winnipeg plans to spend $370.1 million on roads, bridges, buildings and other infrastructure this year, down from $439 million in 2010. There's little in the way of new projects in the 2011 capital budget, as most were announced in previous years. Here are some of the highlights:

Under construction this year

Disraeli Freeway: The $195-million reconstruction, which includes a separate bike-and-pedestrian bridge, will take two years.

New police headquarters: After buying the Canada Post building for $29 million, the city will transform the Graham Avenue into a new police headquarters at a total cost of $106 million. The city will borrow $79 million to complete the project.

Chief Peguis Trail: The $108.5-million eastern extension, which includes an underpass at Rothesay Street and bike-and-pedestrian bridge at Raleigh Street, will be close to completion this year.

Road repairs: $43 million will be spent on road repairs, including $18.7 million on regional streets, $12 million on residential streets, $3 million on gravel roads and $2.75 million on back lanes.

Osborne Bridge: The city will begin the two-year, $17.4-million rehabilitation this year.

Transit fare-collection system: After years of delays, Winnipeg Transit buses are finally getting high-tech fare boxes at a total project cost of $15.2 million.

Assiniboine Park: $9.6 million will be spent on the city's largest park, up from $8 million in 2010.

Active transportation: The city will spend $4.75 million on new bike-and-pedestrian paths, recreational trails and sidewalks this year. Almost $3 million will be used to complete projects planned for 2010.

University of Winnipeg soccer complex: The city will spend $2 million on an indoor-soccer facility, as promised by Mayor Sam Katz during the 2010 election.

Put off until next year

North End sewage treatment: Construction of a $365-million nutrient-removal facility at the North End Water Pollution Control Centre has been delayed until 2012.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.