Red Deer Minute: Downtown Grant, Snow Sounds, and the Overdose Prevention Site

Red Deer Minute: Downtown Grant, Snow Sounds, and the Overdose Prevention Site


Red Deer Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Red Deer politics


This Week In Red Deer:

  • On Tuesday, City Council will meet at 10:30 am. The meeting will begin with a closed session for Council to discuss labour negotiations with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, as well as a legal matter. Once the meeting opens up to the public, Council will receive the Quarterly Community Policing Report covering the time between October 1st, 2023 to December 31st, 2023. Details of the upcoming byelection will also be discussed - Administration recommends continuing to employ mail-in ballots, advanced voting, and tabulators. The byelection will take place on April 22nd, 2024, and $350,000 has been budgeted.

  • The Municipal Planning Commission will meet on Wednesday at 9:00 am. The Commission will discuss a development permit for a home in Westpark to build a new two-bedroom secondary suite.

  • Red Deer ranks sixth worst among 20 Alberta municipalities in terms of the tax rate ratio, requiring businesses to pay over twice the property taxes of residences with equivalent property values. The Property Tax Report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business for 2024 also positions Red Deer as the eighth worst in property fairness ratio. Despite comprising 25% of the City's total assessment, business properties contribute 41% of the property taxes, according to the report.


Last Week In Red Deer:

  • After a two-day public hearing, City Council approved a motion asking the Province to phase out Red Deer’s overdose prevention site (OPS) by the end of 2025. The motion also calls on the Province for increased harm reduction measures, dedicated grant funding to maintain a continuous police presence/enforcement in the immediate vicinity of the OPS and temporary shelter, and substantial increase in front-line supports for mental health and addictions within the region. The motion passed 5-2, with Councillors Cindy Jeffries and Dianne Wyntjes in opposition, and Councillor Lawrence Lee absent. Mayor Ken Johnson will now advocate to the Province for next steps.

  • The City has reintroduced the Vacant Spaces Grant program, offering entrepreneurs up to $10,000 in rental subsidies to set up businesses downtown. The program prioritizes food and beverage, entertainment, and retail concepts, aiming to revitalize the downtown area. Applicants can apply for funding to activate vacant storefronts along specific streets. In 2023, the program supported seven applicants, and a total of $36,000 is available in 2024, with a maximum of $10,000 per applicant. Application intake began on February 15th, 2024, and will continue until the end of the year or until funds are depleted.

  • A mysterious, low-pitched moaning sound heard in the city at night has generated curiosity and questions on social media, leading some to reach out to the City to ask what they’re hearing. The City says it has received more curiosity-driven calls than complaints, and that the noise is simply the result of graders and heavy-duty equipment clearing ice and snow. The new scheduled snow clearing program operates 24 hours a day, contributing to the increased nighttime activity. The City’s Parks and Public Works Manager said it’s the “sound of progress” as the program has proven successful in clearing green bus routes in six days compared with 15 to 20 days previously.




Common Sense Red Deer doesn't accept any government funding and never will. We think you should be free to choose, for yourself, which organizations to support. If you're in a position to contribute financially, you can make a donation here.



If you're not in a position to donate, we understand, but if you appreciate our work, you can help by spreading our message. Please email this post to your friends, share it on Facebook or Twitter, and help make sure every Red Deerian knows what's really going on at City Hall.

Showing 1 comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
Secured Via NationBuilder
  • Common Sense Red Deer
    published this page in News 2024-02-18 17:44:07 -0700