City council approves 2011 capital budget

Red Deer City council has approved its 2011 capital budget.

Council worked through the budget on Wednesday, approving a total of $86.2 million.

Council approved 84 projects for 2011, the largest project being the multi-year Riverlands subdivision development at a cost of $17.8 million to prepare City owned lands for future development.

Other projects include park land acquisition including the Bower Natural Area and Heritage Ranch redevelopment, the Gaetz Ave. revitalization, the realignment of 55th St. and railyards development, phase one of Garden Heights and other engineering projects.

Initially, the capital budget totaled $87 million, but council was able to lower that figure by reducing the number of new City vehicles that are to be purchased in 2011 for growth purposes.

The City is estimating its allowable debt limit for 2011 to be about $376 million.

In addition, council also reviewed the City’s 10-year capital plan.

“The 2010-2011 capital plan is designed to keep the City on track towards our long term vision while responding to the economic recovery,” said Craig Curtis, City manager. “We had to make substantial revisions to the capital plan this year with 23 projects deferred within the plan or pushed out to the year 2021, and five projects removed from the capital plan.”

Deferred projects in the 10-year capital plan include phase one of the Civic Centre, streetscape upgrades on Alexander Way as well as major upgrades to Gaetz Ave. and an expansion to the Collicutt Centre as well as a 50 metre pool.

However, Councillor Frank Wong asked council to consider moving funding for the development of a skateboard park in the City’s north end from 2018-2019 to 2011-2012. Council agreed.

“This is something that has been on the books for a long time,” said Wong.

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

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