Other capital budget highlights

Other items that Red Deer city council debated Thursday night included:

• Allowing people to receive utility bills electronically and pay them online (budget of $28,000).

• An upgrade to the City of Red Deer website, including planning and development (budget of $408,000 instead of earlier forecast cost of $995,000). A study, including implementation details, will come in three or four months.

• $4.7 million on Gaetz Avenue revitalization, final three blocks.

• $5.4-million project to give a major upgrade along 32nd Street from 40th Avenue to Spruce Drive and include construction of right-turn bays, upgrading of existing signals and left-turn bays at 40th Avenue.

• $168,000 on three or four traffic lights at controlled intersections that change immediately to green so that drivers don’t wait at a red light when no one else is around. This is a pilot project and if successful, will roll out at many more intersections in following years.

• $980,000 in snow and ice equipment, versus $2 million first recommended. How the city will handle operation of snow removal will be discussed in January.

• $1.775 million for downtown street furniture; may involve patio clusterings of furniture, plus seasonal furniture.

• $314,000 for Great Chief Park facility improvements, including upgrades to electrical, irrigation, facilities, signs, roads and parking.

• $464,000 to replace aging Kin Kanyon Park washrooms.

• $210,000 for detailed planning towards a Museum and Archives offsite storage area. Savings would be realized on the operating side when a storage site is built because currently space is leased. The plan is to allocate $5 million in 2014 and again in 2015 for the storage space.

• $1.3 million to expand the city vehicle fleet and another $4 million to replace existing vehicles.

• Crown paving at $7.5 million and roadway construction at $263,000.

• Intersection improvements at Taylor Drive and Alexander Way for $331,000 in 2012. A cost of $3.28 million has been projected for 2014. Curtis said these upgrades are necessary as the city looks to see Riverlands redeveloped west of Taylor Drive. Council approved just over $14 million for this multi-year project, including $551,000 for 2012, $6,615,000 in 2013 and $7,033,000 in 2014.

— copyright Red Deer Advocate

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