City manager offers response to questions on budget

In the Jan. 6 edition of the Red Deer Advocate questions were asked about the city’s operating budget, and I want to provide a response to those questions.

Re: Editorial in the Jan. 6, 2012, edition of the Red Deer Advocate: Questions on the numbers

In the Jan. 6 edition of the Red Deer Advocate questions were asked about the city’s operating budget, and I want to provide a response to those questions.

Project charters

When council adopted the 2012-2014 Strategic Direction on Aug. 8, 2011, administration was directed to develop implementation plans which have taken the form of charters. This information was also included in a media release at the time. These draft charters were developed to ensure a “reasonable interpretation” of council’s Strategic Direction, including the six themes.

Since August, the charters were mentioned in open council meetings on numerous occasions by both administration and council. The draft charters are coming to council at this time to request the funds needed before we can start implementing council’s Strategic Direction for the community.

Once all of the project charters are approved in principle by council at the Governance and Policy Committee, they will be brought to an open council meeting for information. Depending on the charter, individual initiatives of each charter will be brought forward to council for approval to ensure council’s continued involvement in implementing the Strategic Direction for the community.

Proposed 4.5 per cent tax increase

The operating budget contains both tax and utility supported funds — tax supported being revenue taken in by the city through property taxes and utility funds being revenue generated by the utilities.

Here is where the recommended 4.55 per cent increase comes from:

l $600,000 increase from budget adjustments between 2011 and 2012

l $1.8 million in carry forwards from 2011

l $2.1 million transferred from the operating budget to fund future capital projects.

When the 2012 operating budget binder was printed, carry forwards were not finalized, and the additional $1.8 million in carry forward funds are recommended for council approval in the 2012 budget. These carry forward funds are for initiatives started in 2011 and not completed in 2011. This brings the proposed total 2012 operating budget to approximately $271.6 million.

Of the total proposed budget, there is a transfer of $2.1 million from the operating budget to fund capital projects in future budgets. This transfer is recommended so the city can better budget for capital projects in the coming years and is a component of the financial sustainability model being developed by the city.

Utility rates

It is acknowledged there are high increases in water and wastewater rates. These rate increases are needed because of the major expansions at both the water and wastewater treatment plants to comply with federal and provincial guidelines and regulations as well as growth of the city and the region. Actual operating costs have remained fairly constant at the water and wastewater plants. Increases in utility rates are necessary to fund the major capital expansions.

Craig Curtis

City Manager

City of Red Deer

Just Posted

Witnesses describe scene of fatal 2016 collision

Delburne man on trial for manslaughter after being accused of causing collision

31 fentanyl deaths so far this year in Red Deer

23 fentanyl-related deaths in 2017

New housing for seniors under construction in Innisfail

60 lodge units and 30 self-contained apartments

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Dumba scores twice, Wild rout Canadiens 7-1

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Reeling and banged up, the Minnesota Wild were… Continue reading

Coach Hunter wants up-tempo Team Canada as world junior squad hits ice

COLWOOD, B.C. — Team Canada coach Tim Hunter says the team that… Continue reading

Study finds female-led films outperform male ones

NEW YORK — A study organized by Time’s Up, the organization formed… Continue reading

Price Is Right contestant wins winter trip to Winnipeg, Churchill

WINNIPEG — Who wants to visit Winnipeg in the dead of winter?… Continue reading

CBC Gem streaming service to launch exclusive content, partners with Wattpad

TORONTO — The CBC has launched a new streaming service featuring live… Continue reading

‘Part of the solution:’ Alberta seeks proposals to build new refinery

EDMONTON — Alberta is looking for someone to build a new oil… Continue reading

Online ads spoil Christmas surprises, raising privacy concerns: experts

Lisa Clyburn knew she had found the perfect gift for her nine-year-old… Continue reading

Most Read