Council votes to adopt 2015 Capital and Operating Budgets
Bowman delivers first budget as Mayor of City of Winnipeg; approved 14-2
Released: 1:59 p.m.
Winnipeg, MB - Under the leadership of Mayor Brian Bowman and the Chair of Finance Councillor Marty Morantz, City Council today passed the 2015 Capital and Operating Budgets with a vote of 14�"2.
“Council is committed to meeting the goals of Winnipeg, and today, City Council’s voice came together to pass the 2015 Capital and Operating Budgets by a vote of 14-2”said Mayor Brian Bowman. “I would like to thank my Council colleagues for their collaboration, hard work, and diligence during the challenging budget process. I look forward to working together over the next four years to grow a modern, thriving city with quality of life improvements for all Winnipeggers, including infrastructure renewal and a focus on creating a safe and vibrant community we are all proud to call home.”
The following amendments were approved along with the proposed budget:
Remove the Legal Services outdoor patio/leave and license agreements fee to restore downtown and image route flower planting,
Include a one-year extension to provide a $60,000 grant in 2015 for the East Winnipeg Sports Association - John Buhler Recreation Park,
Restore $100,000 for pool services, earmarking $50,000 of the reduction for pool service realignments and directing $50,000 to the marketing and promotion of pool services,
Provide a grant in an amount equal to cost savings, up to a maximum of $35,000 from the Water and Waste utilities, to the Variety Heritage Water Park at The Forks in 2015.
Other highlights of the 2015 Preliminary Budget include:
A Record Level of Investment in Street Renewal
The 2.3 per cent property tax increase allows the City to triple its 2012 investment in street renewal with $103.3 million in 2015 alone; an increase of $19.1 million more than in 2014.
Two per cent of the property tax will be entirely dedicated to the local and regional street renewal capital program for repair and maintenance of regional and local streets, back lanes, and sidewalks.
A Leap Forward in Managing Traffic Flows
Winnipeg will take full advantage of new traffic management technologies by establishing its first ever Transportation Management Centre (TMC). Once operational by the end of 2016, the TMC will become the primary source of traffic information through the use of social media, smartphones and traveller information boards. It will be funded by $3.5 million annually in the Operating Budget, once fully implemented, and $3 million in 2015-2016, from the Capital Budget.
Fuelling Economic Growth
To support the engine of business that fuels our economy, the 2015 budget decreases the City’s business tax rate from 5.7 to 5.6 percent. This enhances the small business tax credit program to provide 6,025 or nearly half of all Winnipeg businesses with a full rebate when they have an annual rental value of $30,000 or less, up from 5,147 businesses in 2014.
Supporting Public Safety
To support the Winnipeg Police Service and its ongoing efforts to ensure the safety of Winnipeggers, the Budget establishes an increase of $4.9 million for a total allocation of $264 million. The Fire Paramedic Service budget also increases by $10.5 million to $178.3 million for a total investment between the services that comprises 44.5% of the total tax supported budget.
Moving Forward with Rapid Transit
To move forward with Rapid Transit, the budget offers solutions to allow Phase 2 of the Southwest Rapid Transitway/Pembina Highway Underpass to proceed. It provides a sustainable, multi-year funding plan for the next stages of building a more modern public transit network that will drive our economy and serve a growing, thriving city.
Investing in our Community
New and ongoing strategic initiative investments proposed in the 2015 Budget include projects and programs aimed at strengthening Winnipeg as a vibrant and caring community, including investments to help reduce homelessness, increases to civic museums and arts funding, maintaining the Aboriginal Youth Strategy, funding for 100% biological larviciding to manage mosquito populations, a commitment to a downtown dog park, and financial support for Assiniboine Park, as examples.
The 2015 Budget also includes a $1 million Innovation Capital Fund. This fund will provide investment for the best ideas for improved efficiency, service delivery and responsiveness in City operations.
Assiniboine river walk from the Osborne Bridge to the Main Street Bridge temporarily closed
Released: 3:43 p.m.
Winnipeg, MB - With the normal spring rise in the river level, the Assiniboine river walk from the Osborne Bridge to the Main Street Bridge is temporarily closed to pedestrian traffic. Barricades have been installed indicating the walkway is closed.
Light standards along the Assiniboine river walk have also been temporarily removed in order to prevent potential damage from river ice during the spring break-up. The public is reminded there will be no lighting along the walk during evening/night.
The river walk will be re-opened and light standards will be reinstalled when conditions permit.