Hey there, time traveller! This article was published 4/10/2013 (2909 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The city is willing to consider a recommendation to reduce the width of snowplowing on city streets as a way to save taxpayers money.
But Coun. Dan Vandal (St. Boniface), the chairman of the public works committee, insisted Friday there would be no effect on clearing windrows from in front of driveways or sidewalks.
"If it's only a foot or 18 inches on each side of the curb, let's talk about that," Vandal said. "I'm willing to let it come to committee (executive policy committee) and have further discussion. (But) windrows are off the table."
Vandal was referring to one of 25 recommendations in an external audit of the public works department that could trim up to $5.5 million from operations annually. The recommendation to reduce the width of street snowplowing represented a potential saving of $2 million to $3 million, according to the report conducted by consultant KPMG.
Vandal acknowledged the city's $10-million deficit, with three months left on the calendar year, is pressuring council to consider all options. "That's the context we're in," he said. "Things are tight fiscally."
Deputy mayor and finance committee chairman Russ Wyatt added that cleaning the entire street "knocks the heck out of our curbs," which is an additional cost to the city.
However, Wyatt conceded that any move by the city to tinker with a hot-button issue such as street-cleaning will create opposition.
"Ultimately, whenever you introduce an element of change, there will be those who embrace it and those who do not," he said.
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