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Proposed 2019 Operating Budget focuses on community safety and sustainability for the future

December 12, 2018 11:31 AM
(Red Deer, Alberta)

With a focus on community safety for our community, the recommended 2019 Operating Budget considers the current state of growth, economy, and maintaining quality of life for Red Deerians.

Red Deer City Council will begin reviewing The City’s 2019 Operating Budget on Tuesday, January 8, as the next step in the 2019 budget process. The $121 million 2019 Capital Budget was approved on November 20.

“We are focusing our investments towards projects and infrastructure that ensure our sustainability while also being proactive in planning for growth. The proposed 2019 Operating Budget aims to balance the need to maintain core City services, invest in community safety and use resources effectively and responsibly,” said City Manager Craig Curtis.

The proposed budget is based on Council’s Strategic Plan, guidelines established by City Council, initiatives in City department service plans and feedback from citizens regarding community safety.

“The capital and operating budgets are the primary way administration puts Council’s strategy into action for the community,” said Curtis. “The reality is the economy continues to recover more slowly than anticipated, and recognizing this, we are recommending a budget that respects Council’s direction, vision for the community and budget guidelines surrounding debt limit and minimal tax increases.”

The 2019 Operating Budget being recommended by administration considers City Council’s direction that the property tax increase does not exceed 2.5 per cent in 2019, which must include a one per cent capital contribution for amenity and growth.

“Our recommended operating budget reflects the economy, while sustaining City services,” said Chief Financial Officer Dean Krejci. “The budget being recommended to Council has an increase of $3.33 million or the equivalent of a 2.5 per cent tax increase in the municipal portion of a property tax bill. This includes one per cent for capital for amenities and growth,” said Krejci. “However, this figure is only a starting point and will be impacted by Council debate.” 

Based on the submitted budget, a home valued at $325,000, which experienced an average assessment value change for the 2019 tax year, may see an approximately $54 increase per year in the municipal portion of their taxes. This does not include any changes to the education portion of property taxes as these won’t be known until the spring of 2019 when the province releases its budget.

Administration will present the recommended Operating Budget to City Council for consideration starting on January 8 and debate will continue on January 9 through 11. Dates are also held for January 14 through 18 if required. 

As part of the 2019 Operating Budget process, citizens have the opportunity to review the budget and provide feedback to Council before it is considered. Feedback can be provided by email to feedback@reddeer.ca or in writing at City Hall, Collicutt Centre, Red Deer Public Library Downtown Branch, Timberlands Branch and G.H. Dawe Community Centre Branch. Copies of the budget are available at those locations, and will be online at www.reddeer.ca/budget starting December 13. The deadline to submit feedback is 4:30 p.m. on Friday, December 21. 

See attached Q&A Backgrounder (pdf) for more details.

For more information, please contact:

Craig Curtis
City Manager
The City of Red Deer
403-342-8156                             

Dean Krejci
Chief Financial Officer
The City of Red Deer
403-342-8204 

Communications & Strategic Planning
The City of Red Deer
403-342-8147

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