Red Deer city council to debate $106.7-million capital budget

Starting Tuesday city council will debate the 2017 proposed $106.75-million capital budget.

Two days have been set aside for council to debate spending on major projects such as street work, road maintenace, new facilities and new initiatives.

In October, city administration tabled the budget that had already been cut by $26 million to adjust to the challenging economy and reduced growth in Red Deer.

Red Deer’s economy contracted by 2.1 per cent in 2015 following an average growth rate of 4.45 per cent between 2010 and 2014.

The economy is projected to shrink by an additional .8 per cent this year before starting to recover with a moderate gain of 1.4 per cent in 2017

Employment is expected to fall by 3.3 per cent this year to increase the unemployment rate to 7.2 per cent. With moderate growth in 2017, the unemployment rate is projected to reduce by 7.0 per cent

Housing starts fell by 20 per cent in 2015 and are forecast to fall a further 13 per cent this year before stabilizing in 2017.

Some capital projects have been deferred, the biggest being the North Highway Connector along 20th Avenue, which will ultimately include a new bridge across Red Deer River and one across the railway line along Hwy 11A.

Construction was scheduled to begin in 2019, but has now been postponed by about three years.

Meanwhile, the first phase of development of the area south of Red Deer College was to move ahead and will join up to the new QEII/Gaetz Avenue interchange. The area will eventually have big box commercial development, residential and will add to the city’s park system.

Ongoing development related the 2019 Canada Winter Games also continues like the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre at RDC, the QEII and Gaetz Avenue interchange, and others.

The 2017 capital budget deliberations begin at 9 a.m. today and on Wednesday.

Just Posted

Olympic ski run designer creates upgrades at Canyon Ski Resort

Jeff Ihaksi says free-style and alpine ski venues are Canada Winter Games-worthy

Updated: Collision expert backs version of crash of driver accused of manslaughter

Daniel Newsham accused of manslaughter in fatal 2016 collision

Red Deer artist highlights the dinosaur connection of Alberta birds

Jeff Powers is fascinated by winged creatures

Murder charges laid against woman from the Sunchild First Nation

The 25-year-old female victim was found dead on Dec. 12

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

McDavid, Draisaitl with three points each to lead Oiles over Flyers

Oilers 4, Flyers 1 EDMONTON — Connor McDavid had two goals and… Continue reading

Tips to keep crime at bay this Christmas

RCMP offer tips for crime-free holiday ’Tis the season for joy and… Continue reading

All aflutter about our feathered friends

Christmas Bird Count will be held Dec. 23

Fashion Fridays: How to change your beauty routine

Kim XO, lets you in on her style secrets each Fashion Friday on the Black Press Media Network

WHL’s Thunderbirds, Silvertips open to NHL joining Seattle hockey market

TORONTO — The Seattle area’s major junior hockey teams aren’t worried about… Continue reading

Canadian freestyle skier Karker excited for Dew Tour’s modified superpipe

Rachael Karker has a renewed sense of confidence heading into her second… Continue reading

CBS settled with Dushku over ‘Bull’ star’s sexual comments

LOS ANGELES — CBS reached a $9.5 million confidential settlement last year… Continue reading

Kanye reignites Drake feud on Twitter, alleges threats

LOS ANGELES — Kanye West is not sending Christmas cheer to Drake.… Continue reading

Most Read