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City prepares for provincial budget release

October 17, 2019 8:11 AM
(Red Deer, Alberta)

Ahead of the Provincial budget release next week, The City is preparing to, once again, tighten municipal investment, while working to maintain the programs and services citizens expect. City of Red Deer administration will release their proposed Capital Budget on Friday, October 18, with the Provincial budget expected to be released less than a week later.

“While we recognize we are in an era of economic austerity, we hope the Province will take measures to minimize impacts on Albertans. The City will still look for funding and infrastructure investment in the areas that support local efforts to reduce crime and improve community safety. We will be watching specifically for the Province’s intention regarding support for the hospital, a shelter and additional crown prosecutors,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “Over the last few years, our province has been in a recession, which is felt by every Albertan, including us as a municipality. We will continue to advocate on behalf of our citizens to ensure we receive the investment and support our community needs to serve our citizens.”

Every year, The City receives funding through the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) grant, which is a key source of revenue to fund annual capital projects and plan for future upgrades and new infrastructure. The amount received over the past few years has fluctuated slightly, and this year The City is preparing for a continued downward trend.

“It is clear we are shifting into an era of provincial austerity. It is more important than ever to ensure we find ways to minimize local spending to align with our economic reality while still preparing for future growth in the long term,” said Mayor Veer. “We rely on provincial funding for the maintenance, upgrades and replacement of infrastructure that serves our citizens.”

“When it comes to essential services that are not solely municipally managed, there is an expectation from several levels of government to provide the necessary funding to continue services,” said Allan Seabrooke, City Manager. “When funding is minimized or cut off at the provincial or federal level, there is often downloading to the municipality, and when we’re already minimizing our budget in every area, we can’t afford to fund the shortfall.”

On Friday, October 18, City of Red Deer administration will be releasing the proposed 2020 Capital Budget and 10-Year capital plan. The Provincial Government is expected to release its budget on October 24.

For more information, please contact:   

Communications & Strategic Planning
The City of Red Deer

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