WINNIPEG, MB - July 6, 2012 - Today, Mayor Katz issued the following statement about the death of Bill Norrie, C.M., O.M., Q.C. and Mayor of the City of Winnipeg from 1979-1992.
"I am deeply saddened by the death of Bill Norrie. Bill made a phenomenal contribution to the community and his dedication to the City of Winnipeg is without question. Bill was very much embraced by the members of the community he served so well.
Even after his time as Mayor, Bill and his wife Helen continued to make a contribution to the City of Winnipeg. Bill will be remembered as a calm, soft-spoken man, dedicated to serving the citizens of this City.
As one of Winnipeg's longest-serving Mayors, he will be fondly remembered. I invite all Winnipeggers to visit City Hall to share their thoughts, stories and reflections in a Book of Condolence.
On behalf of my colleagues on City Council, deepest condolences to Bill's wife Helen and his family at this difficult time."
A Book of Condolence will be available in the Mayor's Foyer in the Council Building at City Hall, 510 Main Street. The book will be available for signing until City Council's meeting of Wednesday, July 18th.
Vacant building by-laws delivering on promise 30 per cent decrease in offending properties since adoption of by-laws, nine-point strategy
Released: 2:41 p.m.
WINNIPEG, MB - July 6, 2012 - Today, the Winnipeg Public Service published a report on the performance of activities related to vacant and derelict buildings.
A nine-point strategy approved by City Council in 2010 provided the foundation for aggressive inspection and enforcement activities that have reduced the number of vacant and derelict buildings in our city.
"Council took action to crack down on property owners who choose to let vacant or run-down buildings decay," said Mayor Sam Katz. "I am very pleased that through this strategy, we're making it safer for fire fighters who may have to enter vacant or derelict buildings, and there's less visual blight in our city."
Since the implementation of the nine-point strategy, the number of vacant buildings in the city of Winnipeg has decreased 30 per cent from 577 to 401, as of April 30, 2012. Of the 401 vacant buildings, 228 have outstanding repair and/or security orders, 108 are conventionally secured with no orders, and 65 are in the process of being inspected.
Since implementation of the strategy, enforcement activities have increased significantly:
Inspections have increased 32% from 2,144 in 2010 to 2,823 in 2011
Compliance orders issued have increased 32% from 373 in 2010 to 491 in 2011
Caveats registered have increased 28% from 112 in 2010 to 143 in 2011
Offence notices (tickets) issued have increased 13% from 156 in 2010 to 176 in 2011
Vacant, dilapidated buildings demolished have increased 39% from 80 in 2010 to 111 in 2011
The number of buildings in the Taking Title Without Compensation process was 32 in 2010 and 26 in 2011
"We're conducting vacant building inspections on a routine basis, and staff continue to prioritize these activities to ensure attention to areas of greatest need," said Councillor Jeff Browaty, Chairperson of the Standing Policy Committee on Property and Development. "Performance management is a key aspect of the strategy, and the numbers tell us the strategy is working."
The customer satisfaction rate on residential property standards being met through inspections has increased from 73% in 2010 to 93% in 2011.
"Citizen feedback is an important part of our assessment. Our staff enforce the by-laws city-wide, and what they’re hearing is that citizens want action on vacant, dilapidated properties," said Councillor Paula Havixbeck, Chairperson of the Standing Policy Committee on Protection and Community Services. "If a property is in violation, we'll find it and take action."
The report, which can be found here will be considered by the Executive Policy Committee on July 11, 2012.
Adopted in July 2010, Council's nine-point strategy included two new by-laws, the Vacant Buildings By-law and the Taking Title to Vacant and Derelict Building By-law, and the following operational components:
More assertive action on boarded buildings
Direct remediation actions
Enhanced routine inspections of vacant residential buildings
Introduction of No-Occupancy Orders and Occupancy Certificate requirements for residential buildings
New and increased fees towards cost recovery, based on the premise that owners who comply with property standards should not subsidize those that do not
Shortened process for Taking Title Without Compensation
More consistent and aggressive approach to prosecution