Red Deer County council gives approval to 2015 budget

Red Deer County’s 2015 operating and capital budgets were given council’s approval Dec. 9, with capital spending down significantly

Red Deer County’s 2015 operating and capital budgets were given council’s approval Dec. 9, with capital spending down significantly from this year.

The 2015 capital budget is set at $20,530,588 — a decrease of more than $6 million from 27,437,553 in 2014. The 2015 operating budget of $46,425,598 is up from $45,441,289 in 2014.

Much of the significant decrease in capital spending is the result of a number of major one-off projects now being complete.

More than $3 million of the operating budget is being set aside for potential outside funding requests.

Special levies will remain unchanged in 2015: environmental at 0.1590, protective services at 0.5000 and community services at 0.4000.

Heather Gray, the county’s director of corporate services, feels the county is fiscally healthy due to the lowered capital spending and strong reserves.

Mayor Jim Wood said the county will still be able to carry out major construction projects that will benefit ratepayers.

Council voted unanimously in favour of approving the budget. Administration said all public input received over a two-week period was taken into account.

Budget highlights include $1.5 million for a landfill reclamation project, $4.1 million for bridge repairs, $6 million for a road paving program, $1.7 million for an airport expansion request and $1.1 million over two years for the Sylvan Lake Multiplex Redevelopment Project.