This is the first time the City of Red Deer has not only done multi-year budgets, but also operating and capital in the same deliberation session. (File photo)

This is the first time the City of Red Deer has not only done multi-year budgets, but also operating and capital in the same deliberation session. (File photo)

Red Deer council wraps up budget deliberations

Red Deer city council has wrapped up a week of budget meetings by finishing its multi-year budget and plan deliberations.

The 2021 and 2022 operating and capital budgets have been approved. Additionally, the 2023-24 operation plan and the 2023-30 capital plan have been approved in principle.

“This is the first time we have not only done multi-year budgets, but also operating and capital in the same deliberation session,” said Mayor Tara Veer.

“Administration worked hard to ensure the budgets and plans aligned with council’s budget guidelines so we could streamline our decision making.”

During deliberations, council approved the following budgets:

  • 2021 operating budget: $379.3 million
  • 2022 operating budget: $384.9 million
  • 2021 capital budget: $218.7 million
  • 2022 capital budget: $75.1 million

“The focus for our budgets and plans this year is to maintain and enhance our current infrastructure while ensuring we continue to provide the same level of service and programming Red Deerians have come to expect,” said Veer.

“The financial impact to citizens also needed to be minimized; administration brought forward budgets and plans that met all of council’s guidelines set earlier this year, including no increase to the municipal portion of property taxes and user fees for both 2021 and 2022.”

The $900 million 2023-2030 capital plan includes placeholder values for the funding that is expected to be required in each of the years. Approving the plans in principle allows for longer term planning to tailor projects to the changing needs of the community and to better manage finances.

Council also voted to support the regional airport with infrastructure costs to the tune of $1 million in 2021 and $2 million in 2022.

Land and Economic Development Manager John Sennema told council that one of the Red Deer Regional Airport’s aprons is in need of rehabilitation.

There are also other maintenance and field equipment needs and airport parking lot pavement needed.

“There are some capital maintenance requests to keep the airport functional,” he added.

On the brighter financial front, Sennema told council that through cost trimming, some operational expenses were reduced at the airport to $313,000 from a previous $425,000.

Council heard that Red Deer County will be asked to match the same financial support as is requested of the city.

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