Tomorrow, The City of Red Deer will be closely watching the Provincial budget to find out how it will affect municipal financial sustainability and the economic recovery of the community. The City anticipates minimal fluctuation in Provincial grant funding to The City, allowing The City to move forward with the approved capital projects slated for the next couple of years.
“We have taken a responsible approach to our own municipal finances to minimize any impact that a long-term reduction in Provincial funding will have. Due to the current economic climate, we expect to see a reduction in grant funding in the medium to long term, however, we are expecting minimal fluctuations for 2021 or 2022,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “Our current capital and operating budgets are focused on core infrastructure and services. Infrastructure investment generates economic activity in our community and is an important part of our local economic recovery.
We expect there will be Provincial capital funding for municipalities to fulfil current budget requirements.”
In terms of Provincial-led and funded capital projects, The City has not been given notice of any major Provincial announcements for Red Deer. The City will be watching for any updates on previously announced projects and will continue to urge the Province to provide community updates on approved projects such as the integrated shelter, Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre and the therapeutic community.
The City of Red Deer also receives operating grants from the Province, some of which are distributed to community groups that rely on the funds to continue serving Red Deerians.
“We are currently not anticipating any reduction in operating grants from the Provincial Government. However, as these grants are used to fund local social, cultural and recreation groups, we will be closely watching for potential risks that could harm the future budgets of local community organizations who rely on provincial funding,” said Mayor Veer.
Following the release of the Provincial budget, The City will be analyzing it closely to identify any unexpected Provincial impacts to the currently approved 2021 and 2022 City budgets as well as any changes in Provincial fees and charges that could have municipal or community impacts.
“When we developed the 2021 and 2022 budgets, we were very conservative, we had to consider the overall economic climate and the impact the economy has on Provincial funding we receive,” said City Manager Allan Seabrooke. “As the Province tries to make up for lost revenue, we may also see increases in Provincial fees and charges, which could have significant impact on The City of Red Deer as well as Red Deerians. These are harder to spot but we’ll look closely to identify any that could result in increased costs for individuals and municipalities.”
The City will provide a response to the Provincial Budget on February 26.
For more information, please contact:
The City of Red Deer