Manitoba

City to buy mosquito-control drone, electric cars following annual 'Dragon's Den' meeting

The City of Winnipeg will buy a drone for its mosquito fighters, two electric vehicles for its fleet of cars and create a new app to monitor lane closures as part of $1.1 million worth of new-technology projects.

Council's innovation committee approves 9 projects totalling $1.1 million

Winnipeg will receive some high-tech help in determining where mosquitoes breed. The Insect Control Branch is buying a $37,000 drone to map low-lying areas where standing water can accumulate. (James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Associated Press)

The City of Winnipeg will buy a drone for its mosquito fighters, two electric vehicles for its fleet of cars and create a new app to monitor lane closures as part of $1.1 million worth of new-technology projects.

City council's innovation committee voted Friday to approve nine new projects during an annual meeting unofficially known as city hall's version of the CBC reality TV show Dragon's Den.

In September, city departments competed for money from the city's innovation capital fund, which is dedicated to new technology or projects that make Winnipeg more efficient. On Friday, the innovation committee voted to put off or ignore half of the requests while doling out $1.1 million in funding for 2017.

The committee approved the following projects, ranked here by the total funds allotted:

  • $390,000 to create a website and app to manage lane closures and tell the public about them.
  • $225,000 to help recommission old city buildings.
  • $197,000 to buy two electric vehicles and install three charging stations.
  • $160,000 to create an alarm permits management system.
  • $43,000 to try out public-engagement software.
  • $37,000 to investigate solar power possibilities on the south side of the Pan Am Pool.
  • $37,000 to buy a drone that will allow the insect-control branch to map low-lying areas.
  • $12,000 to place a thermal imager on a Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service drone.
  • $10,000 to continue composting at city hall.

Committee chair Coun. Cindy Gilroy (Daniel McIntyre) said she hopes these projects will save the city money in the long run.

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