Red Deer city manager, Allan Seabrooke. (Advocate file photo).

Red Deer to change its budgeting process with an eye to the future

City is moving towards multi-year budgeting

Forecasting the near future will soon play a role for City of Red Deer as it moves toward a multi-year budget process to boost efficiency.

Instead of approving the operating budget for one year at a time, as it does now, the city is heading towards a three-year budgetary process.

“I believe that multi-year budgets are a more effective and efficient tool,” said City Manager Allan Seabrooke, who noted the 2020 budget will be the last to be considered on a one-year basis.

Next time, city council will deliberate on the operating budget for 2021-2022. And after that, budgets will be approved for three-year spans, starting with 2023-2025.

Seabrooke believes this will increase stability as city staff will know the lay of the land, in terms of funding and service levels, for the near future.

He also feels it will improve efficiency by maximizing staff time that’s taken up with budget matters.

“The numbers and the concepts don’t change a lot from year to year. It saves on workload and (managers) can do more advanced planning,” said Seabrooke, who noted that business owners and other levels of government often plan for multiple years.

“It’s the best practise to plan ahead.”

Wage increases can be taken into account from the average of other union settlements, he noted, and funding for provincial programs is already based on multi-year plans — “it’s not a huge dollar difference, usually at or below inflation.”

If economic fluctuations create unexpected expenses, tax increases readjustment would only be plus or minus a fraction of a percentage, said Seabrooke.

City council discussed planning future operating budgets in December instead of January. And Seabrooke suggested that budgetary discussions could be less exhaustive in future if more of the issues come before council in advance of the budget.

Coun. Vesna Higham has stated that she favours multi-year budgets for boosting efficiency since city managers often start planning the next year’s budget as soon as this years is passed so it’s become a very time-consuming process.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Red Deer City Council

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

Just Posted

Stolen catalytic converters recovered

Innisfail RCMP arrest two suspects

Canadians released from coronavirus-ridden cruise ship in Japan fly home

OTTAWA — A sixth presumptive case of COVID-19 has been diagnosed in… Continue reading

Visually impaired hockey players to compete in Red Deer

Teams prepare for national tournament

Higher oilsands volumes drive beat as Inter Pipeline reports $100M Q4 income

CALGARY — Inter Pipeline Ltd. is crediting strong results from its oilsands… Continue reading

Royal Bank reports $3.5B first-quarter profit, raises quarterly dividend

TORONTO — Royal Bank of Canada raised its dividend as it reported… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

Gary Harris’s generosity helped shape our college, and our city, writes Joel Ward

I was deeply saddened to learn of Gary Harris’s passing. I first… Continue reading

A teen’s perspective: Ordinary Canadians are paying a price for railway blockades

The following is a letter by Alberta teenager Liam Smith to his… Continue reading

2010 leader John Furlong urges Vancouver to bid for 2030 Winter Games

While Vancouver celebrates the 10th anniversary of the 2010 Winter Olympic and… Continue reading

American women seek more than $66M in damages from US Soccer

Players on the U.S. women’s national team are seeking more than $66… Continue reading

ACTRA honouree Jean Yoon reflects on her fight for onscreen diversity

TORONTO — Jean Yoon is flush with honours these days. In September,… Continue reading

The Weeknd sets cross-continent tour with 57 dates, including several in Canada

TORONTO — Canadian R&B singer the Weeknd is going big for his… Continue reading

Einarson, Homan, Jones frontrunning at Tournament of Hearts

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — Manitoba, Ontario and the Jennifer Jones wild-card team… Continue reading

Most Read