City on track in mid-year budget review

  • Aug. 22, 2012 4:29 p.m.

Red Deer’s finances are right where they should be when it comes to its annual budget, as City council learned on Monday during its first ever mid-year budget review. City Manager Craig Curtis, summing up the 2012 budget year so far, says except for one higher than expected collective agreement (for the RCMP) everything is basically going as planned and the City’s annual budget is showing a slight surplus.

“We’re in good shape going forward,” said Mayor Morris Flewwelling. “This is something new for us. At this time of the year all the various departments are looking at their 2013 budgets anyway, so it’s a wonderful opportunity for council to reconnect with the realities of the budgeting process. Setting the budget is one of the four key things that council does and this is a good time to look back and look ahead. However, we have to guard the agenda very carefully.”

Council sets the City’s annual budget in January every year.

However, council took time during the budget review to approve several items, the cost of which varied between the 2012 budget and the still to be set 2013 budget. For example, council approved $20,000 for the 2013 Special Olympics Alberta Spring Games (hosted by Red Deer) from the 2012 budget, and approved $173,000 for a 2013 City census to be funded in the 2013 budget.

Council also approved $70,000 to purchase an additional Action Bus plus annual operating costs of $106,000, to answer increased demands for handicapped bus services.

However, council turned down a request for an additional conventional bus at a cost of $445,000, putting it off until the 2013 budget. Other funding issues involved approving $3,820 to reopen the Fairview skating rink, but council declined a request to resume 30-minute bus service after 10:45 p.m. (despite a petition with almost 500 signatures). Cutting that funding from the 2012 budget resulted in savings of $160,000.

Council also learned that a 2012 budget addition of $475,000 to the City’s preventative roadway maintenance repaired over 14,000 potholes on City roads, compared to an annual average of 4,000 to 5,000 repairs.

“It feels really good from a check-in perspective,” said Councillor Cindy Jefferies. “There are good parts about it and troubling parts about it. I think it keeps us more in touch about the budget and it’s good to try new things. Overall the financial picture is fine and it’s about where we expected to be.” She added it’s a chance to see how budget decisions made last January are working out.

Councillor Frank Wong said, “This is the first time we’ve done this. Yes, it’s a good idea to see where we are, but I don’t like this bringing in (new) items to be approved. Some people think they can get issues on (the agenda) but I don’t think we should do that. We’re going to spend a little more.”

Just Posted

Reflecting on the impact of dementia in a loved one

January is Alzheimer Awareness Month

Red Deerians can weigh in on proposed Bighorn Country investment tonight

Telephone town hall takes place 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Vibrant colours highlight newest exhibit at The Hub

‘Chaos to Calm’ by Cathy Fee runs through to the end of March

Neonatal nurse practitioner joins NICU care team

Babies requiring specialized care at Red Deer Hospital have extra set of hands caring for them

The old Greyhound Bus Depot is being demolished

The Red Deer building has been around for decades

UK lawmakers reject Brexit deal in 432-202 vote

House of Commons votes against the deal struck between Britain’s government and the EU

Theresa May wins no-confidence vote after Brexit deal rejection

UK PM can keep her job, after House of Commons voted 325-306

Liberal candidate steps aside after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Alberta doctor accused of sexual assault asked to voluntarily give up practice

College says Dr. Barry Wollach should discontinue his practice, given the seriousness of the allegation against him

Defending champions Team Scheidegger will fight to keep title

Stettler hosting 2019 Alberta Scotties provincial women’s bonspiel

WATCH: World-renowned illusionist, magician, escapist performs in Stettler

Matt Johnson performs two sold-out shows at Stettler Performing Arts Centre

Olivia and Liam top list for Alberta baby names in 2018

Premier Rachel Notley announced the top baby names in Alberta in 2018; Loki didn’t make the cut

Edmonton Police charged 236 people with auto theft in 2018

Police states many of the thefts are crimes of opportunity

Woman’s complaint leads to sexual assault charge against Calgary priest

Malcolm Joe D’Souza, who is 62, has been charged with one count of sexual assault

Most Read