Winnipeg councillor reveals recording about city’s pothole budget
Published Tuesday, May 24, 2016 6:42PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, May 24, 2016 6:50PM CST
Dealing with the potholes in her west Winnipeg neighbourhood, has become a nuisance for Nancy Walker.Winnipeg councilor reveals recording about city’s pothole budget
“It's just terrible, it's pothole heaven,” she said.
Even with her property taxes continuing to go up, she is still waiting for the problem to be fixed. “I keep hoping maybe it's going to be on the schedule to get completely re-done,” Walker explained.
The Mayor and his inner circle tabled a budget this year, boasting a record amount of money to repair local and regional streets. To help achieve their goal, property taxes were increased by 2 per cent.
However, Councillor Russ Wyatt has evidence less money is being allocated to fix residential roads this year despite the tax hike. He has voice mail from city asset manager Rod Hamilton proving the city is spending less compared to last year on local streets to the tune of $4 million.
“We had a little bit of surplus last year on local streets from provincial funding, which was $6.2 million, so we only have $2 million this year so there is a little bit of a drop,” Hamilton said in the voice message.
Wyatt belives the Mayor and his team have some explaining to do. “This confirms that there's been a shell game going on,” he said.
The city's infrastructure chair Janice Lukes accuses Wyatt of twisting the numbers. She explained the money Hamilton is referring to is one time provincial funding in 2015.
Lukes added that while money for local streets is less this year, the regional road budget is higher - leading to an overall increase when both amounts are combined, totaling $105 million.
“The bottom line is we're spending more this year than we've ever spent on roads,” she said.
The Mayor's office pointed out that when Wyatt was city finance chair he projected less local street money than was actually budgeted for this year.
Walker does not care who has the correct arithmetic, she just wants her roads repaired.
“Whatever they tell me I take with a grain of salt cause yah they're probably fiddling with the numbers to support their point of view,” she said.