Winnipeg facing $1.1-million deficit, according to year-end financial update

The city says it's facing a $1.1-million deficit due in part to the Thanksgiving weekend winter storm that brought down an estimated 30,000 trees across the city. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

The City of Winnipeg says it will need to dig into its reserves to end off 2019 in the black.

The city’s latest financial update, released Monday, shows its operating budget facing a year-end deficit of $1.1 million.

That’s down significantly from the $6.7-million deficit the city had forecasted as of Nov. 30.

“While facing fiscal challenges this past year as a result of extreme snow and the October storm events, City departments were able to show discipline to reduce the forecasted deficit position by year-end,” Coun. Scott Gillingham, chair of the city’s finance committee, said in a release.

Ongoing efforts to clean up after the Thanksgiving weekend storm that levelled tens of thousands of trees across Winnipeg have put a strain on the city’s finances.

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The city estimates cleanup from the storm — which damaged some 30,000 of Winnipeg’s 300,000 trees — will cost nearly $10 million.

It could be up to five years before the replanting process is done, the city has previously said.

The city said it will use money from its financial stabilization reserve fund to make up the deficit.

Months after the storm, the province announced a disaster financial assistance program for the October storm Jan. 23, and city officials say they have applied for the help.

The year-end financial update will be presented at the finance committee’s next meeting on Feb. 7.

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg’s clean up of storm-damaged trees could take a year'
Winnipeg’s clean up of storm-damaged trees could take a year

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