Winnipeg’s spending strategy in 2016 became clearer on Wednesday after the Mayor’s Executive Policy approved the city’s $1.05 billion operating budget.
The only change from the preliminary budget tabled earlier this month was to axe a proposed $250 fee on appeal hearings.
Despite several requests from organizations asking for more money, EPC opted to refer them to next year. That includes a grant request of $3 million from Siloam Mission and another $5 million from the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada.
“It’s a responsible and disciplined approached to building Winnipeg for the future,” Mayor Brian Bowman said afterwards.
As for the Winnipeg Police Service’s budget and their request for more money, EPC chose to forward the issue onto city council without adding any extra funds.
The budget is already increasing $16.7 million from 2015 to $280.7 million, but the police service argued they need $20 million increase to maintain the level of service.
After find some savings, the police board came back with a $2.45 million shortfall and approved a recommendation to have city council cover it, but Bowman isn’t budging.
“We believe there is sufficient funding there to ensure there isn’t staff adjustments,” Bowman said.
“That’s a significant investment in providing the resources to the men and women of the police service that do really important and difficult work on our behalf,”
The budget now moves on to city council scheduled for a special meeting on Tuesday, March 22.