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This article was published 16/4/2019 (405 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Saving $58.1 million on the Waverley underpass project doesn’t mean city hall will have extra cash to spend on other infrastructure projects.
Coun. Scott Gillingham, chair of council’s finance committee, said the city is required to share the savings with Ottawa and the provincial government, which they can allocate to other projects.
However, since city hall is borrowing its entire share of the project cost, that simply means the city has more room to borrow for other infrastructure needs, if necessary, he said.
Gillingham and members of executive policy committee formally amended the project budget Tuesday to $97.9 million.
The original budget had been set at $156 million in August 2016. It was reduced in November 2017 to $121.34 million and the cost was revised downward again in January to the current $97.9 million.
A report to finance committee last week indicated the amended budget includes $11 million in contingency funding, which means the final cost may end up even lower when the project is completed next year. Most of the construction is expected to be done by October.
Mayor Brian Bowman said he won’t be asking either the province or Ottawa to reallocate their portions of the savings — about $18.6 million each — to any other city infrastructure project.
"I would welcome those dollars being reinvested in the city of Winnipeg, but ultimately that is at the discretion of the provincial and federal governments," Bowman said.
"This is a good news story for everybody and just shows when you bring a project on time and under budget, as we’re expecting, there’s savings to be had for all taxpayers, and that’s a very positive development."