Council begins deliberations on the operating budget

City taxes could rise 4.55% is budget as approved as presented

Council began deliberations yesterday on the City’s 2012 operating budget.

“This year is an interesting budget because it is really moving us forward a great deal. The new strategic direction was a signal that things were going to change and this budget is an important step in this direction of change,” said City Manager Craig Curtis.

He also said it is a very exciting direction but that a number of changes in terms of the money that comes into the City have affected the decisions made.

Some of the focuses of the operating budget come from the strategic direction including movement and safety.

Snow and ice control as well as crime prevention and policing were pointed out as being key areas where money needed to be added as well. Also on this list were municipal services.

“People want clean roads and a safe community. We heard that and have put money where we can,” said Mayor Morris Flewwelling.

If approved, snow and ice control will see $1.6 million in additional funding, $980,000 of which was already approved in the capital budget last November.

The focus of the snow and ice control is on trails and bus stops. Flewwelling explained this fits with the integrated movement study that was done promoting people to use transit.

“We’ve targeted the budget so that when you get off the bus you’re not onto an ice rink or into a snow bank,” said Flewwelling.

In addition, if approved, crime prevention could see an additional $1.4 million including a recommendation for a new criminal analyst position and money towards three additional RCMP members, which was a carry-over from 2011.

“We’re putting $300,000 into our safety charter and as we work through that we will determine how that money will be spent whether it’s on more police officers or on crime prevention. That is continuous funding,” said Flewwelling.

Flewwelling said the money being put into crime and policing is not specifically delegated so that it can later be allotted where necessary.

As for a tax increase, council is currently looking at an increase of 4.55% in 2012.

“This is just a starting point for council to work from,” said Curtis.

Flewwelling said that as the budget sits now with the circumstances of the economy that a tax increase of 4.55% is reasonable but that there will be people who don’t like it.

Flewwelling said the difference between 2011 and 2012 is that the operating budget has to be tighter.

“Growth has been less, interest has been less and land sales have been fewer. It shouldn’t concern residents because what we’ve done is try to maintain service levels and to keep the taxation and fees in line with what would be expected,” said Flewwelling.

Just Posted

City council approves operating budget to a tune of $364 million

The 2.02% hike includes 1% for capital investment and 0.11% for the carbon tax

Province not providing aid to Red Deer for its June storm

Cause of storm wasn’t ‘extraordinary’ according to province

UPDATE: Two taken into custody after shots fired in Riverside Meadows

Red Deer RCMP believe incident was targeted attack

WATCH: Alberta Party leadership candidates present visions to Red Deerians

Party members will vote for their new leader on Feb. 7th

City sells former RCMP building, land to province

Construction of new courthouse in Red Deer one step closer to reality

WATCH: Lacombe and Red Deer Chambers prepare members for cannabis legalization

Luncheon speaker educates businesses on marijuana policies

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including two Canadians

Botox, bomb shelters, and the blues: one year into Trump presidency

A look into life in Washington since Trump’s inauguration

Suspected Toronto serial killer targeting gay community arrested

A 66-year-old man is charged with first-degree murder in disappearance of two Toronto men

Barenaked Ladies, Steven Page, to be inducted into Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Canadian band to get top honours at 2018 JUNO Awards

B.C. out of the running for Amazon’s next headquarters

Toronto is the only Canadian city left in the running despite the province backing Metro Vancouver’s bid for new Amazon headquarters

Post interest rate hike debt tips

What to do about your debt and mortgages after the interest rate hike

Foreign workers sleeping in Alberta Burger King basement

Alberta Health Services said its inspectors found foreign workers sleeping in the basement of the Lethbridge restaurant

Most Read