'Extremely frustrated': city councillor still hoping for flashing amber lights in school zones
WINNIPEG -- A Winnipeg city councillor took to Twitter Friday afternoon to voice his frustrations regarding the handling of a gift from a local businessman that would have seen flashing amber lights set up in school zones.
The donation, which has been on the table for several years, would see solar-powered amber lights placed in Winnipeg school zones to make them more visible.
The gift was initially agreed upon by the city in 2019 but has been stuck in city council.
On Thursday, the Property and Development Committee deferred the decision to accept the lights to the city's Executive Policy Committee.
The deferral prompted Chuck Lewis, the man offering the gift, to rescind his offer. A move, which has Councillor Matt Allard upset.
"We could have had final approval by the end of the month & started installing lights ASAP with Council approval if the offer wasn't pulled," said Allard on twitter.
The deferral occurred after some members of the committee had some questions.
"To be clear, the 'delay' less than two weeks, and in those 12 days we could have addressed the two issues, one of which was a helpful suggestion from a supporter of the flashing lights who was there to speak in the delegation. The other being concerns about the 1.4 million dollars," said Allard in another tweet.
With only a short delay, Allard feels the offer should still stand.
"I am extremely frustrated by the news that Mr. Lewis was pulling the offer. Many hours of city staff time were spent to make the flashing lights gift offer into a feasible and practical plan that could be implemented, only for the offer to be rescinded at the 11th hour."
Allard ended his Twitter thread by saying he emailed Lewis, asking him to change his mind.
Mayor Brian Bowman was asked about the subject at a news conference Friday afternoon.
"I'm supportive of the gift," he said, "I'm disappointed the committee wasn't able to reach a decision."
Bowman said he would touch base with the councillors on the Property and Development Committee before deciding next week.
"We have a decision to make on Monday, and I'm going to respect that process and see what I can to at the Executive Policy Committee on Monday."
-With files from CTV's Devon Mckendrck