Red Deer Minute: Parking Feedback, Airport Rebrand, and Empty Spaces Grants

Red Deer Minute: Parking Feedback, Airport Rebrand, and Empty Spaces Grants


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


This Week In Red Deer:

  • This morning, at 9:00 am, there will be a Special Meeting of City Council. The purpose of the meeting is for Councillor-Elect Chad Krahn to take the Oath of Office. A little later, at 10:30 am, City Council will proceed with a regular meeting. The first two-and-a-half hours of the meeting will be spent in a closed session for Council to discuss two agenda items - “Utilities Governance” and a “Westerner Advocacy Update”. When the meeting opens up to the public, Council will discuss asking the Province to proceed with an Expression of Interest to seek an operator for the permanent shelter. Also on the agenda is a discussion about a new middle school. Red Deer Public Schools (RDPS) has chosen the Timber Ridge site in northeast Red Deer for a new middle school, necessitating Council approval for capital funding and deviations from standard development practices to construct necessary infrastructure. While alternative sites on the city’s east side are ready for development, Administration is recommending that Council approve RDPS's request to prioritize the preferred site. To close out the meeting, there will be a Public Hearing to discuss several zoning amendments.

  • The Municipal Planning Commission will meet on Wednesday at 9:00 am. The Commission will consider a proposal for 27342 Twp Rd 391 to divide a piece of land into two parts, one with a farmyard and the other for future urban development. Administration is suggesting that the application be rejected to avoid breaking up the land until there's a clear plan for how the area should develop, which isn't in place yet.

  • Also on Wednesday, at 1:00 pm, there will be a meeting of the Audit Committee. Several reports are on the agenda for discussion, including the 2023 Reserve Report, the March 2024 Variance Report, and the 2023 Financial Indicators Report. The latter report shows that in 2023, 8.24% of City revenues were required to repay existing debt, a decrease from last year due to increases in revenues and a decrease in long term debt. The Committee will end the meeting in a closed session to discuss External Auditor Evaluations.


Last Week In Red Deer:

  • The City of Red Deer's Empty Spaces grant program, designed to boost downtown business by subsidizing rent for new entrepreneurs, received an overwhelming response this year. Applications requesting a total of $112,000 poured in, far exceeding the available $36,000 in the fund. The City is looking at increasing the program's funding for 2025 to accommodate more businesses. The grant, which covers up to $10,000 or half the rent for the first six months, has already been fully allocated for 2024. Additional support for downtown revitalization is also being provided through the Downtown Four Seasons Activation Grant, which has $24,000 available this year for various community initiatives. Who knew giving away free money would be popular, eh? But is it really fair to make some businesses subsidize the rent of their competitors?

  • Over 4,000 residents have provided feedback on the City’s newly implemented downtown pay parking system - a larger-than-usual community response. Issues have largely centered around difficulties with the HotSpot app and the pay stations, particularly with Wi-Fi connectivity and payment card rejections. In response, the City has upgraded the modems and installed new antennas in the pay stations to improve their functionality. Additionally, the City has updated its website to advise residents using ShawOpen internet to disable Wi-Fi on their devices when setting up parking sessions to avoid connectivity issues. Complaints also include scams related to QR code payments, with the City recommending that residents use their phone cameras to scan QR codes directly to ensure they are directed to the official HotSpot site. The City plans to review all survey feedback and release findings by June 1st.

  • Red Deer Regional Airport introduced a new logo, sporting the Royal Canadian Air Force's blue to honour its historical role, and a refreshed look to signal its future as a regional hub. This update was part of an annual meeting where airport officials highlighted a successful 2023 with a 35% rise in operating revenues and a 25% increase in net income, largely thanks to a profitable airshow. The airport is undergoing a significant expansion, including a $3.5 million terminal to accommodate larger passenger loads and the extension of Airport Drive to boost access and development. Construction will soon begin on a 20-megawatt solar facility expected to start generating power by spring 2025, enhancing the airport's revenue. Plans for the next airshow are pending as the airport continues to develop, including efforts to attract a low-cost carrier and establish a customs office.




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  • Common Sense Red Deer
    published this page in News 2024-05-12 20:31:06 -0600