MHCA seeks clarification on Winnipeg streets budget for 2020


Public Works recommendations outline options for cuts in capital program

Winnipeg’s Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works Committee heard Wednesday local and regional street renewal projects will be deferred and cuts will be made in successive years to planned investments. The Public Works Department’s presentation was the first of four committee hearings on the 2020 budget planning process.

“Regional and Local Street Renewal program projects (with the exception of accelerated regional roads) will be deferred due to the realignment of the bridge program,” the Public Works document, delivered to the IRPW Committee, said.

The presentation noted that bridge work is now eligible for funding out of the Local and Regional Street Renewal Reserve, established to flow revenues collected from the annual 2% tax initially dedicated just for streets. The Committee was told funding for bridges will be required sooner that originally forecasted.

The Committee was told that to meet the budget cap of 1.5% increase, set by the Executive Policy Committee for Public Works, deferred expenditures were required through to 2025. In total, for local and regional street renewals it would cut some $28.8 million in planned investment 2022-2025. Further, funding of the Sherwin Road culvert in 2020 and ’21 will require $7.3 million in deferred industrial street projects planned in those same years.

“We are working with the administration to understand what was recommended by the department Thursday to IRPW,” MHCA President Chris Lorenc said. “Part of the confusion is that, in total, we are actually told the 2020 budget for local and regional streets has increased compared to the forecast given in last year’s budget.”

MHCA plans to appear before IRPW on November 28, to feed into the Committee’s deliberations.

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