Rumours of cutbacks

Rumours of shrinking provincial grants has Red Deer contemplating how far it can stretch its capital budget.

Rumours of shrinking provincial grants has Red Deer contemplating how far it can stretch its capital budget.

The $1.4-billion municipal infrastructure program, called the Municipal Sustainability Initiative, could be slashed again in the face of Alberta’s growing deficit.

“We are worried, but we have nothing official to go on yet,” Mayor Morris Flewwelling said this week.

Funding to municipalities has already fallen short compared to what Alberta’s Conservative government promised for the 10-year program.

This year, Red Deer’s share dropped from a projected $12.4 million to just over $8 million.

Next year, the city is in line for $29 million.

“It could be as much as last year, but the rumours I’m hearing is it won’t even be that,” the mayor said.

The city could come out $140 million short over the 10 years if funding stays flat, or worse if the province goes back on its plan to boost payouts each year, he said.

Red Deer is preparing its capital budget, which will go before council in December.

The only relief in sight is coming in the form of lower capital costs like drywall, labour, concrete, wood and fuel, Flewwelling said.

Some projects in the city’s 10-year capital plan, like the $58-million Civic Centre project, could be pushed further into the future.

But delaying projects is not in the best interests of the city and its citizens, Flewwelling said.

“What happens is you get these gaps and you get the pent up demand.”

He said visitors rave over amenities like the Waskasoo Park trail system, the range of international businesses that call the city home, social programming like the city’s plan to end homelessness, and arts activities.

Red Deer is a leader in Canada and that’s how it should remain, Flewwelling said.

Just Posted

Maskwacis RCMP seeking suspect in fatal hit and run

A Maskwacis man was fatally injured after being hit early Saturday morning on Hwy 611

Red Deer to get new a plan to end homelessness as the problem persists

Despite some successes there’s ‘a long way to go,’ says manager

Many Red Deer-area farmers deal with a disastrous year

Dought in the spring, snow at harvest creates bad yields, sends hay prices soaring

Photos: Part of downtown Red Deer covered in trash over the weekend

Downtown businesses deal with trash, needle debris, graffiti

Delburne man’s reckless driving led to fatal crash: Crown prosecutor

Jury began deliberating in manslaughter trial on Monday afternoon

Speaker at rally says Alberta oil ‘puts tofu on the table in Toronto!’

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — A rally in support of Alberta’s oil industry… Continue reading

Moneywise: Canadian workers unhappy with pay, want pension plans

Many working Canadians are feeling underpaid and are so worried about their… Continue reading

Brazil police say faith healer has turned himself in

RIO DE JANEIRO — A celebrity faith healer accused of sexually abusing… Continue reading

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

VANCOUVER — Nicola Froese says she has always loved playing sports, but… Continue reading

Canada’s Kim McRae finishes seventh at luge World Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y.

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Canada’s Kim McRae finished in seventh place at… Continue reading

Jeff Bridges to receive Cecil B. DeMille Award at Globes

LOS ANGELES — Jeff Bridges may have once been considered as one… Continue reading

Top of mind: ‘Justice’ is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year

NEW YORK — Racial justice. Obstruction of justice. Social justice. The Justice… Continue reading

Man who demolished landmark house ordered to build replica

SAN FRANCISCO — A man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘Over my dead body’ will Mueller interview Trump

WASHINGTON — With a number of probes moving closer to the Oval… Continue reading

Most Read