Red Deer council tackles mid-term budget review
Red Deer city council is int he midst of their mid-term budgetary review.
• The bumpy ride may soon be over for Red Deer motorists.
City manager Craig Curtis told Red Deer city council on Tuesday that the $12.7-million road maintenance budget is the largest investment in road work in the history of the city. Curtis said it looked like someone was tossing small grenades all over the city when they looked at the roads after the spring melt.
As of Aug. 1, 2013, roughly 8,500 potholes have been fixed out of the projected 14,000 to be competed this year.
Two frost boils have been completed and 14 are outstanding.
Crown paving has been completed in 14 areas and 29 areas are outstanding.
Curtis said the city had a fairly large number of potholes and frost boils that had accumulated after two years of very damaging freeze-thaw cycles. He said the city has made huge inroads in road work so far this year and expects major improvement at the end of the cycle.
• School sites, including the recreation areas, will soon be exempt from paying offsite levies.
On Tuesday, city council voted 9-0 in favour of directing administration to develop the 2014 Off Site Levy Bylaw to exclude high school sites from the service basis. The decision follows the local school board’s inability and the province’s refusal to cost share in the plans for the proposed high schools and recreation sites in northeast Red Deer.
“This adds a huge amount to the cost of development generally, whether it is being borne by a private developer or a school district,” said Mayor Morris Flewwelling. “In this case, the province has said we are simply not paying those because in a sense it is one government paying one government.”
Flewwelling said this puts the school boards at real disadvantage if they are not working with their municipalities. “Council has made the decision we will share it over the whole city,” he said. “It won’t be just this quarter section or that quarter section. It now becomes part of the overall levy costs. Everything is going to be taxed a little piece for that site.”
City council had budgeted roughly $9 million for the site acquisition and subdivision and site concept planning. Without the offsite levies, the city will retain $6.3 million for the project.
Council also directed an advocacy effort to outline the concerns identified by council with respect to the responsibilities municipalities have to assume because of provincial downloading with respect to education infrastructure.