Erin Stuart, the city’s inspections and licensing manager, speaks with Red Deer resident Joe Smith at the Budget 2018 Open House at Festival Hall on Wednesday.

Community conversation for budget 2018 has begun

Red Deer seeks input from residents

The City of Red Deer started collecting ideas and feedback from residents at the Budget 2018 Open House on Wednesday.

Staff from city departments and city councillors answered questions and sought input during the three-hour event at Festival Hall.

Mayor Tara Veer said Red Deerians often wonder if attending the open house really matters.

“We can unequivocally say that we do use the feedback to build the budget. Over the past couple of years our citizens have identified crime and public safety, transportation, and general municipal core services as their priority areas and we have endeavoured to be responsive to those core areas in the budget,” Veer said at the open house.

She said the city also wants to know what types of city services residents want and whether existing services should be enhanced or reduced.

“We want to be a responsive local government and for us to be responsive to the needs and interests and priorities of Red Deerians we want to have ongoing conversations with Red Deerians. Our hope is we can work with Red Deerians before there are significant problems so that we can address things on the front end.”

Early on in the open house she heard from residents about snow removal, the local economy and the affordability of living and doing business in Red Deer.

She said when it comes to snow removal progress has been made on major roadways, trails, sidewalks and for transit.

“The one area we have not resolved and I suspect would need addressing in 2018, potentially the 2019 budget, would be the residential side streets,” Veer said.

Red Deerian Joe Smith said he attends the budget open house regularly to find out what the city has done, is doing and will do next.

“I would like to see more people get involved in the issues of Red Deer. It’s such a nice city and we’re growing,” Smith said.

But it may be that people are happy with what’s happening in the city and that’s why they skip these events, he said.

Fred Scaife, executive director of Red Deer Food Bank, said he attends because he wants to be an informed citizen.

“I think it’s important to know how the city is spending money and why they’re spending money and this helps answer a lot of those questions,” Scaife said.

And it’s an opportunity to learn something new about Red Deer, he said.

“I just found out we’re getting a bunch of new city buses that are going to operated off of compressed natural gas rather than diesel which makes them a lot more environmentally friendly. I think it’s a good idea.”

Just Posted

Man killed in collision near Markerville

A 55-year-old man is dead after a collision near Markerville Friday night.… Continue reading

La Loche school shooter carried out plan with ‘stark efficiency:’ Crown

MEADOW LAKE, Sask. — A Saskatchewan judge is weighing whether a teenager… Continue reading

Castor triple-murder trial resumes on Monday

Trial was delayed two weeks for two men accused of killing Castor-area family

Red Deer Royals are sending 1,000 letters to Trudeau

The band must pay for the last 20 per cent of fieldhouse costs

Central Alberta real estate market reflects Alberta’s slow recovery

Real estate markets will bounce back but incoming mortgage changes don’t help, say realtor groups

WATCH: A magical Harry Potter weekend in downtown Red Deer

Wizards, witches and muggles are flocking to downtown Red Deer to celebrate… Continue reading

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

Sockey Night at Saturday’s Rebels game

United Way Central Alberta is determined to provide warm feet for all… Continue reading

Canadian planet hunter seeking alien life

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

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

4 B.C. prisons install body scanners to combat drug smuggling

The scanners are aimed to combat the smuggling of contraband including weapons and drugs

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