Winnipeg committee proposes budget amendments

A city committee has proposed several changes to the City of Winnipeg's 2013 budget following public outcry over funding cuts.

More money allotted for Sherbrook Pool, city museums

Winnipeg city council will meet on Jan. 29 to review proposed amendements to the 2013 draft budget. (CBC)

A city committee has proposed several changes to the City of Winnipeg’s 2013 budget following public outcry over funding cuts.

Winnipeg’s executive policy committee announced Wednesday they want several changes to the operating budget approved by city council, including cash for Sherbrook Pool and a lighter hit on museums.

Museums will still see their grant funding cut – but not by as much as the preliminary budget called for.

The city’s 2013 draft budget proposed a 10 per cent cut in funding for city museums and heritage programs, leaving the institutions with a shortfall of about $140,000.

When the 10 per cent cut was announced, local museums began a campaign to preserve their grant funding.

Several museums claimed layoffs, program cuts and admission hikes would result from the funding decrease. The Manitoba Children’s Museum began an online petition to prevent the cuts.

The EPC is now recommending $56,147 of those cuts be reversed, and the Fire Fighters Museum be funded by the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service rather than the Fire Fighter Historical Society.

Under the new recommendations, Sherbrook Pool would also receive $200,000 out of the Mayor’s civic initiatives fund. A local community group spoke out about the need for the pool to be reopened after its sudden closure.

City officials remained mum about what might be wrong with the pool but said it would remain closed until a detailed structural engineering assessment could be done.

"We wanted to ensure there was some funding in the budget to start looking at the issue of Sherbrook Pool in terms of repair work but also to look at the problems we’re having," said deputy mayor Russ Wyatt.

The committee also announced several other proposed changes, including $1.9 million of unconditional commitment to fight Dutch Elm disease, $340,000 more for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy and changes to existing and future salary rates for city employees.

City council will meet on Jan. 29 to discuss the proposed changes