Red Deer County has tabled the 2021-23 Operating Expenditures and 2021-2025 Capital Projects at their regular council meeting on Dec. 1.
County council is now seeking public input on the budget, which holds service levels steady with a negligible change to tax levels.
Reeve Jim Wood commented, “2020 has been a year like no other. Council realizes that this year has been extremely stressful on residents and business owners. Therefore, we have instructed staff to draft a conservative budget with as minimal an impact on ratepayers as possible.
“We are fully aware that Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the financial health and well-being of those who live and work in the County.
Director of Corporate Services Heather Surkan added, “Red Deer County administration has worked very hard to create a draft budget that accomplishes significant work in both scope and scale.
“We have made every effort to find partnerships with other levels of government to ease the burden on Red Deer County finances.
“Despite the challenges that 2020 has posed, we remain committed to effective and transparent financial management and reporting,” said Surkan.
Capital spending in 2021 will increase to $42.4M from last year’s $32.3M.
This is mainly due to a large-scale construction project at McKenzie Road on the south end of Gasoline Alley.
The Operating budget will also see a slight increase from $54.4M to $56.8M.
Thanks to partnerships with other levels of government, the County is undertaking significant public works projects while not creating unnecessary tax increases to the public.
Members of the public now have two weeks to comment on the information presented.
Once comments are received, the budget will go before council on Tues. Dec. 15 for approval.