March 23, 2015 1:04 pm
Updated: March 23, 2015 9:58 pm

Flowers, pool hours survive cuts in Winnipeg city budget

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WINNIPEG — City council gave its stamp of approval Monday to the 2015 budget that is filled with tax hikes and fee increases.

The budget includes a 2.3 per cent property tax increase along with a hike to the frontage levy and an increase in several user fees including garbage collection and water. It’s estimated the changes will cost the average home owner more than $100 more per year.

Before councillors voted they debated several motions to restore funding that was cut in the budget.

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The mayor says he was swayed in recent weeks to restore $177,290 in funding to plant flowers in downtown and along major routes as well as to get rid of a proposed patio fee.

Another motion sought to funnel funding back into pools. The budget looked to reduce some pools hours. Councillor Jeff Browaty moved to restore $50,000 in funding “to keep hours consistent” as well as to direct $50,000 to market and promote pool services.

Both those motions passed.

“We spend millions on pools collectively and we want to see people use them,” said Mayor Brian Bowman.  “I’d encourage everyone get out to a pool sooner than later.”

Jason Schreyer and Shawn Dobson were the only two councillors who voted against the budget.

The budget also is eliminating summer and fall street cleaning as well as park patrol.

The budget also sets aside $103 million dollars to fix crumbling streets.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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