City council gets B+ for operating budget

Red Deer Chamber of Commerce appreciates council’s due diligence

Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce appreciated council’s effort to reduce the proposed property tax increase to 1.52 per cent from 2.51, says interim chief executive officer Rick More.

On Friday, council passed the 1.52 per cent tax increase for 2017 after nine days of debate on the $356.5-million operating budget.

The percentage is made up of 0.43 per cent for increases in operational costs, 0.3 per cent for the carbon tax and some electricity costs, and the transfer to a capital fund made up 0.79 per cent.

More said the Chamber attended all the budget meetings to see how council approached the multitude of costs making up the budget and their efforts to cut where they could while still putting money away for the capital savings plan for future projects.

“We asked for zero per cent. Getting close to one per cent was really what our target was. They did bring it down. That one per cent is going to make a big difference. We’re happy in that sense,” More said on Monday.

A 1.52 per cent increase will add about $30 to the typical property tax bill.

“Is it perfect? No. Nothing is. But it sure would have been maddening if they kept the status quo of 2.5. I’d give it a B+.”

He said it was a good experience for the chamber to go through the budget process and to see councillors asking a lot of questions about many of the items in the huge budget binder.

“They did their due diligence.

“In tighter times we have to say what can we do without for now. Everyone has to kind of pull together. We can’t have everything we want as we do in better times.”

More said hopefully 2017 will bring more prosperity so the focus doesn’t have to be on cuts in the future.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Red Deer’s Salvation Army vehicles vandalized twice in six weeks

Police investigating Sept. 10 and Oct. 21 incidents

Update: More details released of fatal police-involved shooting near Alix

ASIRT says man rammed police car, injured officer

Influenza vaccine clinics get started across Red Deer, Central Alberta

Clutching stuffed animals they got from the Calgary Zoo, Owen and Alton… Continue reading

Red Deer launches light bulb exchange program

Up to three LED bulbs per house for free

Replay: Red Deer

Watch the highlights from this week

Montreal prepares for “Cohen Week” as first anniversary of singer’s death looms

Three sets of crumbling concrete steps have just been fixed heading into… Continue reading

Montreal prepares for “Cohen Week” as first anniversary of singer’s death looms

His soulful poetry, distinctive baritone and knack for writing runaway hit songs… Continue reading

Sylvan’s talent on display for fundraising show

Sylvan Lake Refugee Project is hosting Sylvan’s Got Talent Nov. 3

B.C. ice rink where 3 people died remains closed due to safety concerns

FERNIE, B.C. — Residents who were forced from their homes because of… Continue reading

Trudeau condemns appointment of Mugabe as WHO ambassador

EDMONTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the appointment of Zimbabwe President… Continue reading

Friday Oct. 21: Winning Lotto Numbers

Friday, October 20, 2017 LOTTO MAX Winning Numbers 1 4 12 27… Continue reading

New northbound Hwy 2 lanes at Gaetz Avenue to open this Sunday

Drivers heading north through Red Deer on Hwy 2 will have a… Continue reading

Canadian planet hunter seeking alien life

‘The shifting line of what is crazy’ says Toronto-born astrophysicist

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month