At Council on November 28, Red Deer County Council approved both the 2024-2026 Operating and 2024-2028 Capital Plan with a 3.5 per cent tax increase proposed for 2024.
“Reflected in this budget is the dedication of staff and all the countless hours spent compiling a detailed analysis of County’s work, this budget is accurate, transparent with initiatives based primarily from Council’s strategic priorities,” said Mayor Wood. “The budget continues to be responsive and shows us the realities of inflation.”
“The County continues to experience a reduction of Provincial Municipal Sustainability Initiative funding, as well as declining revenues from oil and gas properties,” explained Dave Dittrick, Assistant County Manager and Corporate Services Director.” “Due to revenue losses incurred over the past 10 years, we’ve relied on reserves to balance our budgets.”
“The County continues to receive less funding from the Province,” stated Councilor Huelsman. “Again, we see that due to the provincial funding formula, the big urban centers are getting more funding and rural municipalities continue to receive increasingly less every year, yet our requisitions from schools and policing are also increasing.”
Key Initiatives for 2024 include:
• Airport Drive Extension $11.3M
• Paving Program $9.16M
• Internet Broadband Infrastructure $8.6M
• Bridge Program $3.0M
• Leva & Laura Avenue Roundabout Expansion $2.1M
• Fire Apparatus/ Protective Services Vehicle Replacement $1.2M
• Springbrook Main Lift Station Replacement $0.9M
Capital spending in 2024 will increase from last year’s $ 43.14M to $45.77M. The Operating budget will also see an increase - from $59.4M to $66.5M. Administration has noted an increase in extra policing costs and a reduction of grant funding from the Government of Alberta. With assessment numbers projected to increase next year, final assessment numbers will not be fully realized until spring of next year, and Council will have the opportunity to make amendment to the proposed tax rate if necessary.