Red Deer County debt free

Red Deer County council budget update paints positive picture for 2017

Red Deer County is officially debt-free.

Heather Surkan, director of corporate services, delivered the good news to county council during a budget update on Tuesday.

The update covering 70 per cent of the budget year is mostly positive, with many departments and projects expected to come in under budget at year end. Red Deer County’s operating budget is about $52 million.

There are signs in the budget of the difficult economic times.

About $4.8 million in taxes — which were due at the end of June — remain outstanding. That’s up $2 million from the same time last year.

Almost half of the uncollected taxes are related to pipelines, a reflection of the oil and gas industry downturn. The remaining uncollected taxes are from a mixture or residential and commercial ratepayers. The county expects to collect about $44 million in taxes this year.

“I believe we had fairly high number of (unpaid or late) linear last year as well, said Mayor Jim Wood. “I think it’s somewhat of a barometer, but I think those taxes will definitely be collectible.

“We’re seeing higher penalties this year. People are paying a little bit later,” he said.

“It’s definitely a sign of our Alberta economy, although I do believe our economy is on the rebound right now.”

One of the few positives from the recession is that paving and construction prices have been competitive giving municipalities more bang for their tax bucks.

“I remember years ago at this time of year there were all these projects that weren’t going to be finished,” he said.

“We’re seeing the work being done and the work is being done at a level below budget so I think our process is working really well.”

Wood said the county’s game plan has been to build up financial reserves and hold back on projects when pricing is peaking.

“Then, when we get a time like right now where we can take advantage of 50 cents on the dollar construction costs we do a lot of construction.”

The county also contracts out most of its work to take advantage of competitive bidding.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Thousands expected at memorial for fallen police officer in Abbotsford, B.C.

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — The streets of Abbotsford, B.C., will be lined with… Continue reading

One person dead, five others injured in early-morning crash in Kingston, Ont.

KINGSTON, Ont. — A man who was checking the damage on his… Continue reading

Gus is a special, collaborative art exhibit inspired by motherhood

The portrait display by mother and son is showing in Red Deer

Robotics challenge sparks student interest in Red Deer

Student-built robots compete in fun challenge

Accused murderer tells all to Mr. Big undercover officer

Joshua Frank tells undercover police officer he shot the Klaus family

Chicken crosses B.C. road, stops traffic

Rooster makes early morning commuters wait in Maple Ridge

Red Deerian honours her brother who died in a motorcycle collision

Houaida Haddad is encouraging Red Deer residents to donate blood

Red Deer County firefighters to be recognized for Waterton help

RCMP brass will give formal recognition Monday

Ron James tries to lighten humanity’s load through humour

The comedian returns to Red Deer for shows Dec. 1 and 2

100+ Women Red Deer donate to Christmas Bureau

About $14,000 will help with Christmas hampers and toys

Semi collides with vehicle on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

Members of the Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit dealt with a call on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

After 70 years, Red Deer veteran still remembers his traumatic war experience

Frank Krepps feels lucky to have survived the Second World War

Merritt Mountie charged with assault

Charges are in relation to an incident in May at the detachment, B.C. Prosecution Service said

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