(Red Deer Advocate file photo).

(Red Deer Advocate file photo).

Red Deer County seeks public feedback on draft budget

Minimal impact on ratepayers was the goal

Red Deer County is seeking public input on the proposed budget, which holds service levels steady with a negligible change to tax levels.

The county has tabled its 2021-23 operating expenses and 2021-2025 proposed building projects and posted it to county website.

Mayor Jim Wood commented, “2020 has been a year like no other. Council realizes that this year has been extremely stressful on residents and business owners.”

Therefore, councillors have instructed staff to draft a conservative budget with a minimal impact on ratepayers.

“We are fully aware that Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the financial health and well-being of those who live and work in the county,”said Wood.

Heather Surkan, director of corporate services, added that administration has created a draft budget that makes every effort to partner with other levels of government “to ease the burden on Red Deer County finances. Despite the challenges that 2020 has posed, we remain committed to effective and transparent financial management and reporting.”

Capital spending in 2021 will increase to $42.4M from last year’s $32.3M. This is mainly due to a large-scale construction project at McKenzie Road on the south end of Gasoline Alley.

The operating budget will also see a slight increase from $54.4M to $56.8M.

County residents have two weeks to comment on the draft budget before it goes before county council on Dec. 15 for discussion and potential approval.

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Red Deer County