Friday, November 15, 2013

Budget 2014: The Aftermath

The 2014 Budget has been set.

We had to make a lot of hard choices today, but I am pleased with the overall outcome of our budget. 

Here is a list of the funding we approved:

  • Crystal Centre Truss & Rigging upgrades - $2.66 million
  • Leisure Centre upgrades - $2 million (brings total amount to $6 million)
  • Northern Alberta Youth Entrepreneur Camp - $10,000
  • 100th Anniversary Funding - $250,000
  • Grande Prairie Boys Choir - $11,000
  • Grande Prairie Sports Council -$75,000
  • New Off Leash Dog Areas -$68,000
  • Hillside Social Housing demolition project - $300,000
  • Eastlink/Gymniks parking - $2.03 million
  • Football field beside new high school - $2.74 million
  • Odyssey House Second stage shelter - $700,000 (over two years)
  • GP and Area Safe Communities - $10,000
  • 101 Ave Extension (98st to 97 a St.) & Lights - $850,000
  • 124 St. Paving - $2.5 million
  • Intersection upgrades $300,000
  • Manhole & Catch basin replacement - $100,000
  • Replacement of old bridge on Muskoseepi Trails - $300,000
  • 92 St. Twinning design - $200,000
  • Pedestrian trail along 108th St.. (between 68th and 76th ave.) - $300,000
So what does this mean for taxpayers?  I went into budget deliberations looking to have our tax increase come in under 2% and voted on projects with this in mind.  You can see which way each Councillor voted once the minutes of the meeting are released.

After the dust settled, we were looking at a 2.4% tax increase.  Not ideal in my mind, but less than the 3.3% increase that was originally budgeted for and a far cry from the 7-10% increases we saw a few years ago.

I am very pleased with the projects that have gone ahead.  I believe they will have a very positive impact on the future of our city and will help ensure our residents thrive!


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  2. Just surprised at cost of football field. Was there any discussion on how the traffic issues around the CKC are going to be addressed given that the CKC sports plan has been given the green light?

    1. I was a little surprised at the cost of the field as well and so I asked a number of questions at the committee meeting to find out a few things. First, part of the $2.7 million is going to fund the rough grade of the speed skating oval.

      As for the field, it is going to be synthetic (artificial turf). This means that we can expect a 10-15 year lifespan on the field. It also means that we can extend our playing season as snow is much more easily removed.

      One of the biggest advantages of artificial turf for us is that it will be installed next summer and be ready for use in the Fall (when the high school will be open). Grass fields take a few years to develop so the new high school and other organizations would be without a field for a couple years. Grass fields are also torn up pretty easy and require a lot of yearly maintenance (just look at Legion field). With these facts in mind, I was comfortable with the higher price tag associated with the synthetic turf.

      As for traffic issues, we approved the CKC parking plan this morning which in addition to adding new parking lots, will address the reshaping of Knowledge Way to provide for better traffic flow.

      Thanks for the questions! Let me know if anything else comes up.