City council to review 2013 budget
Red Deer city council will delve into the books for a mid-year budget review on Tuesday.
Starting at 9 a.m. at City Hall, council will be briefed on the city’s major work plans, its financial outlook and capital projects.
Council will consider new funding requests and make potential adjustments on the $288.5-million operating budget and $107.5-million capital budget for 2013.
Exemption of $4 million in offsite levies for a proposed multi-neighourhood park/high school sites and recreation site with sports fields for three school districts will be on the table.
The site is in the northeast corner of the intersection of 67th Street and 30th Avenue.
In its 2013 capital budget, city council approved $9,492,000 for the land acquisition, site servicing, planning and offsite levies with a provision that cost sharing be negotiated between the school boards before allocation of funds.
But the city has met with school boards and all three have indicated they are unable to provide any capital or other funding costs, a provision in the funding allocation under Alberta legislation.
Elaine Vincent, city director of corporate services, said offsite levies are not handled consistently across municipalities so it is left to each municipality to determine how best to handle them.
Vincent said the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association is working on a consolidated approach but it is a work in progress.
Council will consider directing administration to develop an offsite levy bylaw to exclude the high school and recreation site from the service basin and amend the budget for this item to $6,342,000, and adds reference to the potential of a Francophone high school on the site.
In other budgetary issues:
l At the time of the 2013 capital budget discussions, it was indicated that $1.2 million would be needed for the Lancaster East storm pond construction in 2014. The developer has since accelerated the plans and engineering is requesting the funds be moved to the 2013 budget.
l Administration is recommending the purchase of an additional $70,000 Action Bus funded from the Federal Gas Tax Fund. This new vehicle would help address the increasing demand for specialized door-to-door public transportation. Approval at this time would put a new Action Bus into the system in the first quarter of 2014.
l According to city documents, as of July 31, $722,545 has been spent on costs incurred during the June 2013 flood. Council will be briefed on the expenditures related to initial response, cleanup and remediation work.
Administration will work within the 2013 operating budget to complete the operational work with no additional requests.
However, if there are any capital costs then additional requests will be forwarded to council.
Unless there is an emergent need, the plan is to bring these items to council as part of the 2014 capital budget deliberations.
An estimated $155,259 will be needed in future expenditures on the operational side to complete the work.
While difficult to assess, administration estimates another $361,278 would be needed on the capital side.
l Council will consider re-assigning $900,000 from its GreenTRIP funding to purchase two buses to be part of the Lacombe and Blackfalds Regional Transit Service, conditional on a successful negotiation of an agreement between the three municipalities.
Other new items on the table for consideration are one-time funding for an annual municipal census, funding requests for sports organizations and one-time funding for placements in aboriginal and other diversity-related employment programs.
This is the second year the city has conducted a mid-year budget review.