Downtown Wellness & Safety Task Force Recommendations Adopted By City Council

May 24, 2022

Brandon, MB – Brandon City Council has adopted the Downtown Wellness & Safety Task Force (Task Force) recommendations at the regular Council Meeting held on Monday, May 16th, 2022.  

Established in the Fall of 2021, the Task Force is led by and comprised of community members that work or live in the downtown area. The Task Force meets on a regular three-week rotation, with the initial focus being an educational component. Now that the educational component is complete, the Task Force has brainstormed a number of immediate and long-term actions with a prioritization exercise underway.  

“City Council fully supports the recommendations put forth by the Task Force,” notes Mayor Rick Chrest. “These initiatives are a step in the right direction and speak to the importance of improving our downtown core.” 

“The city is fortunate to have twelve people from the community that are so impassioned about improving the social wellness, safety and business climate in the downtown area,” notes Chair of Downtown Wellness & Safety Task Force Tim Silversides. “I am not only impressed by the innovative solutions being developed by our task force but feel more and more confident that they will facilitate positive change in not only our downtown area, but also the larger community.” 

Recognizing that not all solutions are long-term, the Task Force is concurrently considering the following initiatives that could be implemented in 2022, including: 

  1. Proceeding with the Downtown Ambassador program in partnership with the Brandon Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation, at a maximum cost of $10,000 
  2. Twenty (20) benches being re-deployed in various locations in the downtown core and throughout the city 
  3. Purchase an additional eleven (11) new refuse / recycle bins, in addition to the existing nineteen (19) bins purchased in 2021 and place all thirty (30) bins throughout the downtown core 
  4. Graffiti management pilot program, at a maximum cost of $25,000 
  5. Spring to fall public space maintenance pilot program, at a maximum cost of $27,000 
  6. Bi-annual community clean street program, at a maximum cost of $4,500 
  7. Rehabilitate downtown sidewalks in 2022, at a maximum cost of $50,000 
  8. Investigate and pilot portable washrooms in the downtown for 24/7 use, establish partnerships to clean the portable washrooms daily* 
  9. City administration report back to Council on a holistic plan for downtown public washrooms* 
  10. Add a four-month security patrol unit dedicated to Princess Park and the Kristopher Campbell Skate Park to collect data to inform potential future investments into vandal-proofing the Princess Park washrooms 
  11. Investigate enhancing lighting in the downtown area to improve safety and security* 
  12. Investigate and pilot a sharps enhancement program for downtown to increase access to sharps disposal sites, at a maximum cost of $8,800*  

*These initiatives are to be reported back to Council prior to 2023 budget deliberations on their effectiveness.