Property department looking at 'critical repairs only' as budget freezes for four years
WINNIPEG -- There are more austerity proposals at Winnipeg City Hall as another department tries to stay within extremely tight budgets.
On Friday, the property department mandated to freeze its budget over the next four years offered its proposals to scale back.
It is recommending deferring repairs and renovations on up to 900 city-owned buildings. Many are old and in poor condition, and include arenas, pools and recreation centres.
Department director John Kiernan said only emergency maintenance will get done.
"We've reduced it into life safety, regulatory, and, you know, basically site functional matters so it would be only critical repairs that will be undertaken," said Kiernan.
Other cuts and reductions include:
-Eliminating the riverbank greenways program;
-Eliminating the public art strategy;
-Reducing downtown enhancements;
-Reducing cemetery improvements.
All of this means fewer full time positions -- 27 gone over four years, including:
-Three housing inspectors;
-Two zoning field officers;
-Three inspections scheduling clerks.
The department said this could lead to delays in inspection and complaint responses, and an increase in non-compliance. To mitigate this, the permit and scheduling process will likely shift online over the next three years to help cut down on people waiting for service.
"Those are the people who end up waiting in our waiting room for two, three hours, may not have brought in the right survey plan or plan of information, if they can do that online, it's a better service," said Kiernan.