Winnipeggers welcome budget boost for road repairs
Some Winnipeg motorists say they welcome increased funding in the city's latest capital budget, announced today, to repair streets.
The capital budget, tabled on Wednesday, calls for approximately one-quarter of a 3.8 per cent proposed property tax increase to go towards improving streets, sidewalks and back lanes.
The money would be held in the Local Street Renewal Reserve, which the city says will increase the streets budget by 66 per cent, from $21.65 million in 2012 to $35.86 million in 2013.
News of money being earmarked for streets pleased motorists like Cydney Palmer, who drives a Canada Post truck in Winnipeg's St. James area — a part of the city often considered by drivers as having some of the worst-kept streets.
Palmer told CBC News the streets on her route can be so bad, with potholes everywhere, that she feels like she's riding a horse and not a truck.
Palmer said she hopes some of the money going into the city's streets reserve fund will be spent in the St. James area first.
Motorist Jim Wolf said the money is a "step in the right direction."
"You can always use more money for the roads," he said.
CAA Manitoba, which released the list of the province's 10 worst roads last year, says while it's happy something is being done about the city's streets, Winnipeggers should not be forced to pay more for it.
"We have lots of taxes we pay now through our gasoline, the provincial taxes, our city taxes, the federal gas tax," CAA president Mike Mager said.
"Those monies should be spent more efficiently, more effectively, and redirected as a base position, first of all."