St. James Civic Centre reopens following building systems upgrades

City releases Financial Status and Forecast Report to June 30, 2022

COVID-19 and other financial pressures continue to cause shortfalls in City’s operating budget

Released: 9:48 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB – The City of Winnipeg’s second quarter financial status and forecast report is forecasting a projected deficit in the tax-supported operating budget (General Revenue Fund) of $55.9 million and an additional shortfall of $14.7 million in Transit as at June 30, 2022. The financial status and forecast report will be presented at the meeting of the Standing Policy Committee on Finance on September 12, 2022.

COVID-19 continues to have a significant impact on the City’s financial forecast above what was budgeted for. As part of the 2022 budget update, the City had budgeted $41.3 million for anticipated COVID-19 related financial impacts. However, as at June 30, 2022, an estimated $10.9 million in further COVID-19 financial impacts are identified in the report.

Additional financial pressures are being felt as a result of significant snowfall this past winter and high fuel rates. The total over-expenditure relating to snow removal and ice control is forecasted to be $40.3 million for the year. The report also notes fuel prices have escalated beyond what was anticipated in the 2022 budget update, which is largely impacting the operating budgets of Transit and the General Revenue Fund. The financial impact in this forecast for fuel for the year is $9.3 million.

“In addition to the continued financial impacts of COVID-19, this second quarter financial report details how the City is also contending with significant over-expenditures in snow and ice operations this year,” said Councillor Jeff Browaty, Chairperson of the Standing Policy Committee on Finance. “In the event the General Revenue Fund reports a deficit at year-end, the City may transfer the amount required to avoid a deficit from the Financial Stabilization Reserve Fund. However, it’s important to note the balance of the reserve fund is currently projected to be $20.1 million at the end of 2022, far lower than the Council-mandated minimum balance. It remains important for the City to maintain prudent fiscal management throughout 2022 in order to reduce the forecasted deficit while minimizing impacts on City operations.”

The City’s financial update is publicly available through the Decision Making Information System (DMIS).

St. James Civic Centre reopens following building systems upgrades

Released: 12:40 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB – The City of Winnipeg announced the phased reopening of the St. James Civic Centre, beginning with today’s reopening of the south side of the facility. The Ab McDonald Arena is anticipated to reopen to the public on September 25.

The reopening follows an extensive upgrade project that replaced critical building systems, improved accessibility, and refreshed spaces within the 56-year-old facility.

“Recreational centres foster creativity, promote healthy living, and connect our communities,” said the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “Our Government is proud to contribute more than $5 million to support upgrades to the St. James Civic Centre that will make the facility more modern, accessible and inclusive for all to enjoy.”

“The refurbished and rejuvenated St. James Civic Centre will give families in Winnipeg a vastly improved facility for recreation and fitness,” said Manitoba Labour, Consumer Protection and Government Services Minister Reg Helwer. “Our Manitoba government is committed to the well-being of people across the province, and we are pleased to administer the Canada Community-Building Fund for upgrades like the one that has transformed this fine complex into a much better facility.”

“For over 50 years, the St. James Civic Centre has been an important place for the community to come together in this growing part of Winnipeg,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “The critical upgrades to this part of the building were needed to ensure the building could continue to run properly while updating accessibility to meet the needs of the residents of our growing city. Once fully complete with the opening of the Ab McDonald Arena later this month, this will be a busy space that contributes to community wellness for many years to come.”

“The re-opening of the St. James Civic Centre is very good news for the residents of St. James and West Winnipeg who have been eagerly waiting to get back to the activities they enjoy there,” said Scott Gillingham, Councillor for St. James. “The investment in renewing the building will make it more efficient and help extend its life for several decades. And the upcoming expansion will make this an even more vital recreation hub for people of all ages.”

Upgrades to the facility include new mechanical and electrical systems, two new roofs, and a repaired concrete arena slab. The second floor has been repurposed into a new mechanical and electrical room, and a new material lift has been added to provide better access to storage areas in the basement. A fire suppression system has also been installed throughout the facility.

The project also addressed accessibility requirements, per the City’s Accessibility Design Standards and the Accessibility for Manitobans Act. The lobby area has been refreshed with a new accessible arena entrance, new accessible washrooms, and a new universal toilet room.

The budget for the project was $10.104 million, with $5.290 million from the Canada Community-Building Fund, and $4.814 million from the City of Winnipeg.

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