Pothole repair and road resurfacing are among the projects the City of Red Deer could spend a $6 million federal grant for capital projects. (Advocate file photo)

Pothole repair and road resurfacing are among the projects the City of Red Deer could spend a $6 million federal grant for capital projects. (Advocate file photo)

City of Red Deer will get more money for road repairs in 2021 federal budget

More details are needed about grants for affordable housing and transit, says CFO

The 2021 federal budget brings good news for the City of Red Deer, which will receive $6-million for roadwork and other infrastructure needs.

Chief financial officer Dean Krejci said he was glad to receive confirmation that Ottawa is not only continuing to grant federal gas tax proceeds to municipalities — but that this money would be increased.

A “one-time doubling of the gas tax fund” is also being welcomed by the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA), which stated “it will be instrumental in creating jobs during the current economic recovery and supporting municipalities to repair needed infrastructure.”

Red Deer’s $6 million allocation for 2021 is about a 4.7 per cent increase from past years.

Krejci said this money has to be spent on capital projects: “We primarily use it for the Crown paving program,” including road resurfacing and the replacement of traffic lights.

Since the city will need to re-do some roads in the southeast, and is planning a new traffic circle at 40 Ave. and Delburne Road (19 St.) the money will go to good use, he added.

Krejci is meanwhile keeping an eye out for details about government grants announced for affordable housing and transit services to see how Red Deer could benefit.

Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland’s announcement that an additional $2.5 billion will be available for affordable housing was welcomed by the AUMA since there is “a desperate need for accessible, affordable housing across many Alberta communities.”

The association hopes this funding will stimulate the economy, as well as result “in a visible reduction in homelessness and (a corresponding) savings in health, justice, and law enforcement costs.”

As for the transit funds, Krejci said the federal Liberal government wants to improve bus connections to rural areas and also provide funding incentives for “electrifying public transit.”

Related:

-New traffic circle is planned for 2022

-Construction on new McKenzie Road roundabout to begin

The City of Red Deer once considered changing over to electric buses, but after questions arose about the reliability of this technology in Alberta winters, council went for compressed natural gas buses instead.

Krejci said it’s still a lower polluting fuel source than diesel, so he hopes a transit system with natural gas buses will qualify for some of federal funding.

The promise to boost transit was viewed positively by the AUMA, which is advocating for the Government of Alberta to reinstate permanent long-term transit funding to Alberta municipalities.

While Ottawa did not announce any new money for municipal COVID relief this year, Krejci said the federal government was generous in providing for this in 2020. After replacing some of the revenues lost by the city of Red Deer in transit fees, permit applications, parking, etc. the city was still able to put $9 million away in its operating funds for future relief needs, he added.

“For the country as a whole (the budget) has a lot of the supports that people were looking for as we start to recover from the pandemic,” said Krejci — although many of the details are yet to be provided.

According to the AUMA, the federal budget brings “hope that the federal and provincial governments might work together to ease the burden on Alberta’s residents.”

President Barry Morishita said, “These are sensible and targeted funding measures… I look forward to hearing how the province intends to take advantage of these (matching) federal funds so Albertans can see the best possible future for their friends, neighbours, and themselves.”



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

red deer city

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

file photo
PM tells Canadians to prepare for one-dose summer, two-dose fall

Chief Public Health Officer says 75 per cent getting first dose is target to avoid fourth wave

Chris Scott, owner of the Whistle Stop Cafe, speaks during a rally against measures taken by government and health authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19 at his cafe in Mirror on Saturday. The Whistle Stop was shut down by AHS for not complying with COVID-19 rules. (Photo by The Canadian Press)
Central Alberta café owner and COVID-19 protester released from custody

Chris Scott was arrested at protest rally outside his cafe on Saturday

Free items can be left in front of homes during this weekend’s Kick it to the Curb event. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Kick It to the Curb runs this weekend in Red Deer

Unwanted items can be left by the curb this weekend in Red… Continue reading

Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro announced Wednesday that Alberta Health will give rapid COVID-19 tests to a local chamber of commerce, who will then distribute them to local businesses. (Photo by Paul Taillon/Office of the Premier)
Businesses to get access to rapid COVID-19 tests through local chamber of commerce

Alberta Health is partnering with the Alberta Chamber of Commerce to deliver… Continue reading

A 2018 Jayco Pinnacle fifth wheel model 37MDQS valued at over $100,000 was stolen from Masco RV Storage in Wetaskiwin earlier this week. (Photo courtesy of Wetaskiwin RCMP)
A 2018 Jayco Pinnacle fifth wheel model 37MDQS valued at over $100,000 was stolen from Masco RV Storage in Wetaskiwin earlier this week. (Photo courtesy of Wetaskiwin RCMP)
Fifth wheel RV stolen from Wetaskiwin RV Storage compound

Wetaskiwin RCMP is looking for information about a stolen RV. A break-in… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Here is a list of latest COVID-19 restrictions in effect in Alberta

New mandatory health restrictions are now in effect in Alberta. Additional restrictions… Continue reading

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) celebrates with defenseman Victor Hedman (77) after the team defeated the Dallas Stars during an NHL hockey game Wednesday, May 5, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)
Analysis: McDavid NHL’s MVP front-runner in condensed season

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid has 100-plus point season

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell (36) makes a save as Maple Leafs defenceman TJ Brodie (78) and Montreal Canadiens forward Tyler Toffoli (73) look for the rebound during first period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Saturday, May 8, 2021. The Leafs and the Canadiens will meet in the playoffs for the first time in 42 years when the 2020-21 NHL post-season gets underway.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Singer Celine Dion performs during her first World Tour show called Courage Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Songbird Uncaged: Celine Dion readies return to Las Vegas stage for 10-date run

Starting on Nov. 5, Dion will play 10 dates at the Resorts World Las Vegas theatre

An Empire Day/Victoria Day gathering of school children on Ross Street by the Cenotaph in the 1920s. On the right hand side, are members of the Red Deer Citizens Band (forerunner of the Red Deer Royals). (Photo via Red Deer Archives)
Victoria Day event helped after war

One hundred years ago, on May 24, 1921, a major community event… Continue reading

Gwynne Dyer
Gwynne Dyer: Independence is a one-way gate

Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland declared in 2014 that the referendum… Continue reading

Boston Bruins left wing Nick Ritchie (21) and Washington Capitals defenseman Brenden Dillon (4) battle for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Raffl’s late goal pushes Capitals past Bruins, 2-1

Raffl’s late goal pushes Capitals past Bruins, 2-1

Chicago Blackhawks left wing Alex DeBrincat (12) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers in Chicago, Saturday, May 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Toews’ question chases Chicago Blackhawks into offseason

Toews’ question chases Chicago Blackhawks into offseason

Most Read