River Heights/Ft. Garry Ward Assessment of the City of Winnipeg's Budgets

January 14, 2013

January 14, 2013 – Councillor Orlikow has provided a Neighbourhood Assessment of where the City spends your money and an opportunity for input.

Last week you and Councillor Orlikow were able to get their first look at the 2013 Capital and Operating Budgets for the City of Winnipeg. Unfortunately, the City will not be holding a public consultation event this year but there will be a consultative opportunity for Ward residents through Councillor Orlikow’s Budget Town Hall: Corydon Community Centre – River Heights Site Wednesday, January 23, 2013 7:00 p.m.   The Budgets One of the purposes of the budgets is to determine how much money the City needs to collect from you to pay for the financial costs of running the City. The City Council determines how much and how to allocate those funds. Capital Budget: Operating Budget:       What’s the impact? A family of four living in a $240,000 home in the Ward will pay an additional $57 in property taxes if the 3.85% property tax is passed. Additional costs associated with increased service, permit and water fees will be included at the Town Hall. With respect to the Capital Budget, in general the Ward will receive additional increased investments in the 2013 Capital Budget that are beneficial to residents and represents a good investment of your tax dollars.  The Operating Budget contains some issues that require addressing prior to Council approval and I will continue to bring recommendations forward Outline of Capital Budget Assessment The 2013 Capital Budget falls short of addressing the infrastructure deficit and allocates too large of a percentage of its funds to new and newer suburban infrastructure. The budget does a better job at addressing older infrastructure, such as the 1% dedicated infrastructure tax for fixing older residential roads and back lanes, and other investments that will benefit our Ward. Investment Highlight -          More residential streets, back lanes and sidewalks will be reconstructed -          2013 Waverley Underpass Design and Consulting Funds allocated -          One-time Community Centre Recreation grant Issues to Address DED – additional funds tied to Provincial commitment that needs to be separated Arena funding - no new investment to fund new and/or upgrades to Arenas No Long Term Plan to fix aging infrastructure Outline of Operating Budget Assessment The 2013 Operating Budget reflects the increasing City costs of $28.7M (3%) that is been driven by increases primarily in investments to public safety. For more information on the revenue allocations go to:

images/uerfiles/How is the Money Spent in the Operating Budget.pdf

While focus must remain on determining ways to manage the increases in public safety, I am concerned that the operating budget reduces over $380,000 in grants to groups that are in most need while increasing Councillor office budgets $600,000 and the Executive Policy Committee’s $700,000.

The groups that are having funding reduced are many groups that are focused on poverty and crime reduction. The City should be investing more, not less, into these groups as poverty is one of the biggest issues facing Winnipeg’s growth. Conclusion A further break down of both budgets will be provided for the Town Hall including a larger list of direct capital investments and impacts associated the operating budget. Your suggestions are welcomed as additional motions to the Executive Policy Committee will be made to influence the budgets to better reflect the needs of our neighbourhoods.