The City of Red Deer’s payroll will grow by nearly 18 positions in 2018 — with new policing positions leading the increase.
The $364-million operating budget includes 10 new RCMP officers, as well as 7.9 additional full-time-equivalent (FTE) positions. Many of the city positions are non-permanent.
According to city data, the total number of new hires is down from 2016 when 20.5 FTE new city positions were added (including six police officers), and up from 2017, when seven new FTE positions were added (zero of them police officers).
Many of the 2018 additional positions either target crime and boost public safety (the $1.53 million spent on police), or deal with temporary situations. These include preparations for hosting the 2019 Canada Winter Games and the rolling out of the new Green Cart organic waste program this spring.
Besides the 10 new police officers, only two permanent positions will be added to the city’s payroll — for a wastewater treatment plant lab technician and a position in the social planning division. The latter will be funded through cost-sharing with FCSS.
One of these salaries will be off-set by the city reducing one safety codes officer position, because fewer fire inspections are now needed for low-risk commercial properties.
Some of the other, non-permanent term positions, include:
– Two new Environmental Services positions needed to help roll-out the new green cart organic waste collection program this spring.
– Nearly three positions to help with the clean-up of rough sleeper and needle debris in city parks.
– Three positions to help co-ordinate for the 2019 Canada Winter Games.
Most of these will be paid for through tax revenue, but five of the new FTE positions will be covered by utilities.