The next phase of rapid transit could be in trouble if Coun. Jeff Browaty’s calls for a referendum are answered.
“I think we should ask the people,” said Browaty. “As nice as rapid transit Phase 2 would be to construct for Winnipeggers, and you know it's a big city thing, I honestly don't think it is our best value for almost $600-million worth of capital infrastructure.”
A new report showed the $590-million dollar project will be shared between the three levels of government and be completed by late 2019.
It also said property taxes and transit fees will likely have to go up to maintain BRT.
Browaty is concerned the city's obligations outweigh the potential benefits for Winnipeggers, requiring nearly $20-million in funding a year starting in 2020.
"That's a four per cent increase in property tax," he told reporters. “It's such a massive amount of money. It's bigger than any of the capital projects we've dealt with in recent years. I mean, Disraeli was almost $200-million but this is three times that."
In order for a referendum to occur, Browaty would have to convince his colleagues on city council that the expansion's price tag warranted a review.
They are scheduled to vote on the transit extension at the next meeting.
Browaty wants the referendum to take place in October’s civic election.