March 4, 2019
The City of Winnipeg released its 2019 budget on Friday, March 1. The operating budget is up slightly while the overall capital budget is down slightly compared to 2018. Property taxes increased by 2.33% - the same increase Winnipeggers have seen every year since the first Bowman budget in 2015. The most significant impact in this year's budget is a reduction to the road repair budget which is down to $86 million - a $30 million decrease from 2018's budget.
WCA is concerned about staffing reductions in the City's permit office. Timely permit approvals are extremely important for on-time, on-budget construction projects. The budget for 2019 has total staff numbers at 210 for the department - a reduction of three full-time employees compared to 2018.
After looking at process times over the past three years, WCA has noticed there has never been a month in which all of the applications for New Commercial builds have been processed under the City of Winnipeg's target times. WCA would like to see an increase in staff numbers to ensure that the department is consistently meeting the target process times to help construction projects finish on-time and on-budget.