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City of Red Deer

Red Deer City Council looking to keep tax increase just below 1%

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From The City of Red Deer

2020 Operating Budget approved with direction for further reductions

After five days of deliberations, City Council approved a $389 million Operating Budget, reducing the proposed 2.49 per cent tax increase to 1.26 per cent with direction to identify further savings to reduce to 0.97 per cent.

To achieve the reduced tax rate, Council directed administration to identify an additional $400,000 in cost savings by the end of February.

“Our goal is to always keep the budget and cost of living in Red Deer as affordable as possible withoutcompromising our ability to provide quality services to our citizens,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “Administration met Council’s guidelines set in the spring, but with the continued economic recession, we need to find further savings which will result in a significantly reduced budget than we were originally expecting.”

To make the initial reductions to the proposed tax rate during deliberations, Council approved approximately $2.1 million in corporate cost savings, revenues, and efficiencies. These savings included eliminating a $500,000 transfer from operating to the operating reserve tax supported fund, as well as reducing the proposed 2020 capital contribution from one per cent to 0.5 per cent at a value of $682,000.

“In response to the economy, we have frozen staffing levels in 2020, with the exception of policing to address community safety challenges,” said Mayor Veer.

“Much like the Capital Budget, the Operating Budget is focused on maintaining current service levels. Cost savings were achieved where possible and we are able to honour previous commitments focusing on community safety by maintaining the added member complement in the RCMP,” said Allan Seabrooke, City Manager. “Council provided direction to administration to find an additional reduction of $400,000, and we’ll take the next six weeks to comb through the budget to identify further cost savings while minimizing impacts on our citizens and staff.”

Administration will bring a report back to Council at the end of February outlining the additional cost savings, giving time for the Tax Rate Bylaw to be adopted in April. The municipal tax rate will then be combined with the provincial education tax requisition and the requisition for the Piper Creek Foundation to determine how much property tax residents will pay.

For a home valued at $325,000, a homeowner will pay $2,338.09 in the municipal portion of their taxes based on a 0.97 per cent increase. This works out to an increase of $22.46 per year or $1.87 per month.

Residents can find out more about the 2020 Operating Budget by visiting The City’s website atwww.reddeer.ca/budget.City

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City not mandating masks in Red Deer yet

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City Hall

Statement from Mayor Tara Veer, on behalf of City Council, on mask usage in Red Deer

“The mandatory use of masks continues to be a topic of conversation in communities across Alberta and around Canada as we all respond to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The Government of Alberta has indicated that they do not have province wide plans for mandatory masking and have left the decision to municipalities to make decisions based on their local situation.

The City continues to follow the number of cases in Red Deer and the Central Zone health region very closely. The recent uptick in cases in the region is concerning and serves as a reminder of the importance of following all public health orders to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community. At this time, given current case numbers within the city, The City of Red Deer is not considering implementing mandatory masking in Red Deer, however this may be revisited at any time given fluctuating case numbers in the city and region along with direction from the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

We are asking our citizens and businesses to follow health and safety protocols on a voluntary basis and for the safety of others. Mask use continues to be strongly recommended, particularly indoors, when physical distancing of two metres from people outside your cohort group is not possible. The Province has made masks available in a number of places across Alberta, free of charge, and The City of Red Deer received masks to hand out for free to transit users. There are also masks available at City recreation facilities for scheduled users to help elevate voluntary public participation in City amenities.

Implementing a mandatory masking policy in public spaces needs to be considered with other health orders and in context with the overall local severity of the pandemic. The caseload in the region is absolutely critical to The City’s consideration of implementing a mandatory mask policy. As such, we continue to have discussions with other local leaders within the Central Zone health region to ensure our decisions are cohesive as we all access the same healthcare services.”

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City of Red Deer

Swimming pools and Field House / Gym open in Red Deer – Users have to reserve in advance

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From the City of Red Deer

Recreation amenities to open Monday

Additional City recreation amenities will open in Red Deer Monday, July 20.

All users must reserve a spot in advance for the following activities, either online or via phone; drop-ins are not permitted.

  • Aquatic fitness classes at Michener Aquatic Centre (shallow water only at this time)
  • Public swimming at Collicutt Centre and G.H. Dawe Community Centre
  • Indoor fitness and running track at Collicutt Centre
  • Field house and gymnasium at Collicutt Centre and G.H. Dawe Community Centre

    In addition to general safety procedures for all recreation facilities, activity-specific guidelines are in place and can be found at reddeer.ca/reserve.

    Prior to reserving activities, it is recommended that everyone login to Look ‘n Book to ensure your accounts are ready to go and that your password is working. Account support can take up to three business days so this is an important step before booking recreation activities. Customers without online access can call 403-309-8411 to register.

    As recreation and culture amenities open, The City strongly encourages users to remain vigilant and continue exercising caution to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including washing/sanitizing hands often and staying home when feeling ill. Facility users will be required to follow all Alberta Health guidelines and public health orders including maintaining physical distancing when possible.

    For more information about activity modifications and reserving recreation activities, visit reddeer.ca/reserve.

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august, 2020

fri07augAll Daymon17WALK TO BREATHE from Calgary to Edmonton(All Day)

thu27aug(aug 27)12:00 amsun30(aug 30)11:59 pmHUGE Garage Sale for Crime Prevention12:00 am - 11:59 pm (30) PIDHERNEY CURLING CENTRE, RED DEER, AB, 4725 43 St, Red Deer, AB T4N 6Z3 Event Organized By: The Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre

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