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December 3, 2012
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New budget consultation proposed to engage Winnipeggers

Released: 1:48 p.m.

WINNIPEG, MB - The Chair of the Standing Policy Committee on Finance is taking steps to initiate a new public consultation process to assist with the development of the 2014 Capital and Operating Budgets.

"As Chair of the Standing Policy Committee on Finance, I am committed to extensive public consultation on the budget," said Deputy Mayor Russ Wyatt. "We want to ensure we engage Winnipeggers in meaningful consultation that happens early enough in the budgeting process to allow us to consider and incorporate ideas that come forward."

Today, Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, the Standing Policy Committee on Finance passed a motion to earmark funds in the 2013 Operating Budget for a new public consultation process that will take place in the first half of 2013 to assist with the development of the 2014 Operating and Capital Budgets. The new consultation process may include, but not be limited to, holding focus groups, public meetings, public opinion polling and online input.

This year, the City of Winnipeg has adopted a new budgetary process, stemming from the recommendations in the 2008 Capital Project Management Audit. In order to optimize the strategic budget planning, the 2013 Operating and Capital Budgets will be adopted at the same time. Budget adoption is planned for early in 2013.

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Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service Holiday Fire Safety series
Tip #1: Preventing holiday tree fires

Released: 2:06 p.m.

WINNIPEG, MB - The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service is running a series of tips to encourage safety in the holiday season. Today's message reminds citizens to practice fire safety when displaying a natural Christmas tree in the home. A burning tree can rapidly fill a room with fire and deadly gases.

Selecting a tree for the holidays:

  • Needles on fresh trees should be green, hard to pull back from the branches and should not break if the tree has been freshly cut.
  • The trunk should be sticky to the touch.
  • Old trees can be identified by shaking the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut for too long, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.

Caring for your tree:

  • Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks.
  • Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree.
  • Do not put your natural tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks.
  • Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.

Disposing of your tree:

  • Do not put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood burning stove.
  • When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly.
  • The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to one of the City of Winnipeg's 'Let's Chip In' tree recycling depots from December 27, 2012 to January 20, 2013.
Nominations Open for Mayor’s Volunteer Service Award

Released: 2:21 p.m.

WINNIPEG, MB - Mayor Sam Katz and Volunteer Manitoba President Donn Pirie today kicked off preparations for the 30th annual Volunteer Awards with a call for nominations.

The Volunteer Awards, supporting and celebrating Manitoba volunteers, will be presented by Volunteer Manitoba and Manitoba Lotteries at the Winnipeg Convention Centre on Wednesday, April 24, 2013.

April's event will mark the first time that Mayor Sam Katz will serve as honourary chair, a role previously held by former Mayor Bill Norrie.

"For 29 years, Bill Norrie served as honourary chair," said Mayor Katz. "He was a great supporter of Volunteer Manitoba and an enthusiastic promoter of people who give of their time and energy to help make their communities better."

"I hope all Winnipeggers and all Manitobans will take note of the hard-working volunteers around them and consider nominating one of them for an award. When we honour the power of one, we encourage and inspire others to follow," said Mayor Katz.

New for 2013, individuals can be nominated for the Mayor's Volunteer Service Award, in addition to agencies and organizations. Nomination forms can be found online at www.samkatz.ca

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Sherbrook Pool to remain closed for extended period to allow for engineering assessment

Released: 4:55 p.m.

WINNIPEG, MB - The City of Winnipeg is advising citizens that Sherbrook Pool, located at 381 Sherbrook Street, is expected to remain closed to the public for an extended period of time to allow for a detailed structural engineering assessment of the facility.

The City of Winnipeg closed the pool on Thursday, November 29, 2012, as a result of concerns arising from an inspection. A third party, private sector engineering firm has been engaged to assist City staff with the assessment.

As a result of the facility closure, the majority of Fall 2012 Aquatic Programs currently running at the Sherbrook Pool have been relocated to alternate facilities.

Program registration (swimming lessons) for the City of Winnipeg's Winter 2013 session begins Tuesday, December 11, 2012. At this time and as a result of this closure, Winter 2013 programming at Sherbrook Pool will not be offered. Cindy Klassen Recreation Complex and Eldon Ross Pool will have enhanced program offerings for the Winter 2013 Session.

This information will be available online at Leisureonline or by calling 311 after 3:00 p.m. on Friday, December 7, 2012.

The City thanks citizens for their patience and will provide updates regarding this closure as the information becomes available.

Finance Committee receives report on Winnipeg Police Service Headquarters project
Project is on budget, on time

Released: 5:13 p.m.

WINNIPEG, MB - Committed to observing strong fiscal prudence in the use of taxpayers' funds, the Finance Committee, chaired by Deputy Mayor Russ Wyatt today received a report on progress of the Winnipeg Police Service Headquarters project.

The project, which amalgamates numerous facilities and will provide a greater police presence in the downtown, is on budget and is 20 per cent complete, with target completion by the second quarter of 2014.

Winnipeg's taxpayers are protected from cost overruns by a Guaranteed Maximum Price of $137 million for the redevelopment of the former mail-sorting plan at 245 Smith Street and construction of a new, remote firearms training range. The total value of the Headquarters project is $193.6 million, comprised of the redevelopment cost, plus the purchase of the former mail plant and adjoining officer tower at 266 Graham Avenue.

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Finance Committee receives report on Southwest Rapid Transit - Stage One project
Project completed on time, on budget and is fully operational

Released: 5:16 p.m.

WINNIPEG, MB - Committed to observing strong fiscal prudence in the use of taxpayers’ funds, the Finance Committee, Chaired by Deputy Mayor Russ Wyatt, received a report today on the progress of the Southwest Rapid Transit - Stage One project.

Having reached substantial completion, the Southwest Transitway is currently within budget and is fully operational. With a total budget of $138 million, project highlights include:

  • Construction of a two lane transitway between Queen Elizabeth Way & Stradbrook Avenue and Pembina Highway & Jubilee Avenue.
  • Construction of the Osborne Street Overpass and Rapid Transit Station.
  • Construction of additional rapid transit stations at Harkness Street and the Fort Rouge Station located at the western terminus of Morley Avenue.
  • Construction of tunnel and associated pumping station beneath the CNR Fort Rouge Rail Yards and mainline.
  • Construction of new Active Transportation paths for walking, cycling, etc.
  • Reconstruction and rehabilitation of existing infrastructure within the project limits, including the realignment of a section of Donald Street.

Rapid Transit service began operation at the start of the spring seasonal schedule on April 8, 2012.

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Finance Committee receives report on the East Yards Complex Development Project
Plans proceeding on time and on budget

Released: 5:19 p.m.

WINNIPEG, MB - Committed to observing strong fiscal prudence in the use of taxpayers' funds, the Finance Committee, chaired by Deputy Mayor Russ Wyatt, received a report today on progress of the East Yards Complex Development Project.

In November 2011, Council approved a 2012 capital project that sees Public Works and Water and Waste facilities combining operations into one facility that will enhance operational efficiencies. This new complex, consolidating Public Works and Winnipeg Fleet Management Agency facilities on the east side of the Red River, would be located at the former Elmwood Nairn Landfill site on Foster Street.

The total estimated project cost is $49.5 million as contained in the award report dated November 16, 2011. The project is currently proceeding within scope, is on budget and is 60 per cent complete. The project is on track for completion in the 2nd quarter of 2013.

The new complex will house Public Works staff and the Winnipeg Fleet Management Agency operations for the east portion of the city and would result in the disposition of existing facilities at Plessis Road/849 Ravelston Avenue, 590 St. Anne's Road, 1210 Archibald Street, 565 Watt Street and 825 Tache Avenue.

Last update: 04.12.2012

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