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Snow clearing, WFPS overtime and Transit adding to city's $3.1M forecasted deficit

The Winnipeg skyline is pictured on Feb. 1, 2023. New numbers from Manitoba Hydro show electricity use spiked during the recent cold snap.(CTV News Photo Jamie Dowsett) The Winnipeg skyline is pictured on Feb. 1, 2023. New numbers from Manitoba Hydro show electricity use spiked during the recent cold snap.(CTV News Photo Jamie Dowsett)
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Snow and street clearing operations along with overtime expenses for the city's firefighting and paramedic service is contributing to a $3.1 million deficit the city is facing.

This latest information was revealed in a third-quarter report to the city's finance committee. It forecasts a $3.1 million deficit along with a $2.9 million shortfall in Transit as of Sept. 30, 2023.

Much of this deficit, according to the report, is the result of overtime and workers’ compensation costs for the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service, which had a shortfall of $6.9 million.

Another factor in the deficit was the city's snow clearing and street cleaning, which saw overruns of $10.4 million. Winnipeg's finance committee chair, Coun. Jeff Browaty said he is waiting to see the final costs for snow and ice operations for this year.

Despite the deficit, Browaty said the city's third-quarter financial position is encouraging, as this time last year the city had a $56.8 million deficit.

"Historically the City has been able to address this kind of challenge and it will be important for departments to remain fiscally responsible over the final months of 2023 to meet balance," Browaty said in a news release.

The report says the city can draw on its financial stabilization reserve fund to cover this year's projected $3.1 million deficit.

You can read more about the full report on the city's financial situation online now. It is set to be discussed at the city's finance committee on Dec. 1. 

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