2017 Budget Highlights (South Winnipeg-St. Norbert)
I was involved in initial budget discussions when I was a member of the Mayor’s Executive Policy Committee (EPC). Following my removal from EPC in late 2016, I was no longer part of further 2017 budget discussions, but did actively present views at Standing Policy Committee meetings for Parks, Public Works and the Mayor’s Executive Policy Committee on aspects of the budget.
Much was written by the media on the overall 2017 budget. This update provides a brief overview of the city-wide budget, including a focus on key highlights for the South Winnipeg-St. Norbert Ward.
City-Wide 2017 Budget Highlights
Operating budget (spending on City services):
- $1.08 billion, up $24 million from $1.06 billion in 2016
Capital budget (spending on City infrastructure and equipment):
- $318 million, down $51 million from $369 million in 2016
Property tax increase:
- 2.33% increase, unchanged from 2016. The amount of 2% is dedicated to roads and 0.33% is dedicated to rapid transit. This works out to a municipal-tax hike of $38.51 for a 1,200 sq. ft. home
- $288 million, up $7 million from $281 million in 2016
- $199 million, up $9 million from $190 million in 2016
Road repair budget:
- $105 million, unchanged from 2016
South Winnipeg-St. Norbert Ward 2017 Budget Highlights
Prepare to experience a lot of construction on the south end of Pembina Highway this summer! Definitely some pain before the gain – BUT great news overall!
2017 Regional Road Construction (major rehabilitation work):
- Pembina Hwy SB – Killarney to Dalhousie (South Leg) (including buffered bike lanes): $1.2 M
- Pembina Hwy NB – Dalhousie (South Leg) to Killarney (including buffered bike Lanes): $1.2 M
- Pembina Hwy NB – De Vos to Dalhousie (including buffered bike lanes): $600,000
- Pembina Hwy SB – Dalhousie to De Vos (including buffered bike lanes): $600,000
2017 Regional Mill and Fill Preservation Works (asphalt removed and replaced):
- Pembina SB – Dalhousie (South Leg) to De Vos: $500,000
- Pembina SB – Cloutier to Ducharme: $800,000
2017 Local Street Projects
- The list of 4-5 local streets will be announced by mid-March, 2017
Engineering/planned for 2018 Construction
- Pembina Hwy NB – Ducharme to Cloutier (including asphalt bike path): $500,000
Engineering in 2018, with construction in 2019 and 2020
- Waverley – Grandmont to the City Limit: 2018 ($500,000); 2019 ($1.5 M); 2020 ($1 M)
2017 Roadway Expansion of Kenaston Southbound (McGillivray to Bishop Grandin): $2.2 M
- I call this area the ‘funky flyover’ that takes you either into the Neighbourhoods of Bridgewater or further along Bishop Grandin to Waverley. While the expansion is not actually in the South Winnipeg St Norbert Ward, it directly impacts travel into Bridgwater and South Winnipeg.
- This project includes the following components:
- Widen southbound Kenaston Boulevard by 3.7 meters to accommodate a new through lane commencing at the Petro-Canada southbound exit (150 meters south of the McGillivray intersection) and tying into the current north limit of the 3-lane section south of Scurfield Boulevard.
- Geometric improvements to the right turn cut-offs at Scurfield Boulevard and introduction of new southbound deceleration and acceleration lanes.
- Relocate traffic signal poles along west side of Kleyson Drive intersection. Relocate street light poles and utilities where necessary.
- The project will provide an improved lane configuration for southbound traffic on Kenaston based on accepted transportation engineering standards and practices. It will complete the originally intended design of the Waverley West Arterial Roads Project, and reduce safety risks in the reduction of weaving maneuvers along a short distance approaching the Kenaston Boulevard/Bishop Grandin Boulevard flyover.
2. Active Transportation
Along with the bike lanes that will be installed as part of the Pembina Highway upgrades (mentioned above), there are a number of initiatives taking place:
- A sidewalk will be constructed on Cornell Dr, east side—Linacre Road to north of Fordham Bay construction (budget $80,000)
- A study will be initiated to determine how to connect the Bishop Grandin Greenway over or under Pembina Highway, which is 8+ lanes of traffic. Pedestrian and cycling traffic is expected on Bishop Grandin Greenway when the Southwest Rapid Transit project is complete. As part of the transit project, a separate pedestrian/cycling bridge is being constructed over Bishop Grandin Blvd (beside the rail line bridge). Feel free to contact me if you would like more details on both these projects.
- There will be many city wide initiatives that will benefit active transportation in the South Winnipeg-St. Norbert Ward, i.e. funding for bike racks at various locations, a new cycling map, education and events and more.
- See the 2017 Active Transportation Action Plan for complete details.
3. Parks & Urban Forestry
Two parks will be receiving upgrades as part of the City’s Capital budget:
- Grandmont Park – upgrades to pathways, lighting, seating, trail markers and trees: $200,000
- King’s Park – replacement and re-design of two pedestrian bridges: $400,000
- Note: If the cost of these projects is less than projected, the balance of funds will go to other amenities in the parks (benches, firepits, etc.)
Ward Councillors have additional funding which they can dedicate to parks, and I will be meeting with Parks staff in early January, 2017 to determine additional projects/budgets. I anticipate that funding will be allocated to:
- Kirkbridge Park – A shade structure (in addition to funding allocated in 2016 for Kirkbridge Park upgrades)
- Dakota Forest/Park – Pathway and bench installations
- I have been raising the issue of increasing funding for Parks & Urban Forestry since being elected in 2014. Parks & Urban Forestry provides a wide array of services including the removal and replacement of infected Schubert Chokecherry trees, mowing grass and dealing with dandelions. Many may also recall the media and information session I hosted regarding the poor maintenance of greenspace in the Neighbourhoods of Bridgewater.
- Again this year, the Mayor and the budget working group did not support an increase in funding for the Parks Department. Rather, there was a $200,000 decrease to the budget for Parks and & Urban Forestry services. I had many meetings on this topic and presented during the budget process, and this is extremely disappointing.
- This will have a negative impact on ALL parks and park services across the City, but in particular, the maintenance of park space in the Neighbourhoods of Bridgewater. It’s even more concerning that developers still take care of maintenance for a greater part of Bridgwater Lakes and Trails.
- Last year I worked to secure a Green Team from Take Pride Winnipeg! to supplement very basic parks maintenance in the Neighbourhoods of Bridgwater and am working to find some kind of short term solution for 2018.
- I encourage you to contact Mayor Brian Bowman and express your concerns: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Transit Expansion – Bridgwater and South Pointe
Transit funding for routes in BOTH Bridgwater and South Pointe was approved in the 2017 budget process! This is welcome news for thousands of transit users in these growing communities! I’ve been working since elected to secure funding in the budget for transit expansion into the communities of Bridgwater and South Pointe, and am extremely pleased that funding for the routes expansions was approved by City Council in the 2017 budget.
- For complete details of the route changes – see Transit Expansion.
5. South Winnipeg Recreation Campus
There is very positive progress on this ‘complex’ Recreation Campus project. I’m very pleased to have secured funding in the 2017 budget process:
- $4.1 Million in the 2017 budget to be used to purchase land for the recreation campus.
- $120,000 in the 2017 budget to study the development of a new South Winnipeg Library, which will be part of the recreation complex.
There are many initiatives underway on this project – for a complete overview see: South Winnipeg Recreation Campus
6. Fire Inspectors
- Three additional fire inspectors have been hired to assist with home and commercial fire inspections. This is positive for our community because it will help ensure illegal rooming houses do not have tenants living in unsafe conditions. Fire inspectors have significant authority to remove tenants from homes due to fire safety concerns.