Dave Schurman puts a sticky note on a board asking Red Deerians what the city’s top priorities should be moving forward at the 2019 Budget Open House Wednesday at Festival Hall. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

WATCH: Red Deer 2019 budget discussed at open house

Infrastructure, homelessness and green living were some of the items Red Deerians want council to focus on in next year’s budget.

Residents gave their input for what should be included in the city’s 2019 capital and operating budgets at an open house Wednesday at Festival Hall.

Lorna Johnson, who works at the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery, said the city needs to invest more in infrastructure.

“Red Deer has always had the same issues. But I get that the city has grown so quickly that there’s lots of challenges with infrastructure.

“For the third largest city in Alberta, we’re really far behind. We don’t have a professional theatre, our Museum and Art Gallery was built in 1978 and it’s long-overdue for a major expansion,” said Johnson.

At the open house there was a board where Red Deerians could write what council’s biggest priorities should be moving forward.

Johnson said many valid concerns were listed on the board.

“The drug crisis has really caught people’s attention – that’s certainly an important issue. Homelessness has been an issue for a long time too and continues to be an issue,” she said.

Having this open house every year is a great thing for the city, Johnson added.

“It’s really great council makes themselves open to talk to people about the budget,” she said.

Red Deer’s Stephen Merredew said he would like to see the city invest more money into parks, culture and recreation amenities.

“Those are selling features that will grow our community in the long term. If you cheap out on those, then we’re doing a disservice to future generations who end up here,” said Merredew.

Merredew said he would like the city to “lead the pack” in things such as alternative transportation and green living.

“Incorporating that into planning of new neighbourhoods is an exciting possibility,” said Merredew.

Craig Curtis, Red Deer city manager, said it’s important to get the community’s input on the 2019 budget.

“Every year we take stock … on what we should be doing or how we should prioritize our capital plan. Every year it makes a difference,” said Curtis.

At last year’s open house, members from the pickleball club approached councillors about building a new facility for the sport. A 20-court pickleball facility is now planned in the city.

“There’s always an opportunity to influence your council one-on-one at this kind of meeting,” Curtis said.

An online survey for the 2019 budget will be available at www.reddeer.ca/budget starting Monday.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Lisa Tough looks through material on display at the City of Red Deer’s 2019 Budget Open House Wednesday at Festival Hall. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

Red Deer Coun. Lawrence Lee speaks with residents at the 2019 Budget Open House Wednesday at Festival Hall. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

The City of Red Deer held a 2019 Budget Open House Wednesday at Festival Hall. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

Just Posted

Red Deer property taxes to go up 2.15 per cent in 2019

City council approves $369.8 million budget

Sylvan Lake council approves concept plan for new park

Pogadl Park will eventally be home to numerous ball diamonds and sports fields

One person dead after collision on Highway 2A

Pickup truck and grain truck collided on Highway 2A south of Carstairs

Updated: Trial stalls for man accused in fatal Canada Day 2016 crash

Defence lawyer argued relevant information received only hours before trial to begin

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Shooter pleads guilty to manslaughter in Stettler

A Stettler man charged with second-degree murder has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.… Continue reading

Kentucky canoe outfit borrows photo of Trudeau family to market business

They are in a red canoe, all clad in life jackets, and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and Ella-Grace are waving

Police chief confirms all three Ottawa bus victims were on board when it crashed

OTTAWA — All three people killed in last week’s deadly bus accident… Continue reading

Theresa May wins no-confidence vote after Brexit deal rejection

UK PM can keep her job, after House of Commons voted 325-306

Alberta doctor accused of sexual assault asked to voluntarily give up practice

College says Dr. Barry Wollach should discontinue his practice, given the seriousness of the allegation against him

Speedy acceptance of Saudi shows refugee system’s flaws

Who would not wish Rahaf Mohammed well? The 18-year-old Saudi wants to… Continue reading

Most Read