Red Deer Minute: Rodeo Financials, Railyards Strategy, and Budget Review Postponed

Red Deer Minute: Rodeo Financials, Railyards Strategy, and Budget Review Postponed


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


This Week In Red Deer:

  • As a result of budget adjustments being rescheduled (see below for more information), there are no Council or Committee meetings this week.

  • Rather than having a single big “light up” event, the City opted for many smaller events throughout the holiday season. The huge light display at City Hall was turned on last week without much fanfare, and there are events scheduled throughout November and December. You can view the full schedule online.

  • The Red Deer Food Bank is facing critical shortages of essential items like rice, noodles, and canned soup, just as the demand for food hampers rises for the holiday season. The warehouse shelves are nearly empty and the Food Bank is in need of donations to meet increased demand. The food bank, serving 950 to 1,150 households monthly, has seen a significant spike in community need over the past year, with a doubling of clients compared to the previous 10-year average. Cash donations are encouraged to allow the food bank to purchase needed items, but a warning was issued about a scam targeting area residents for donations. Be aware that the Red Deer Food Bank never relies on telemarketers for fundraising.


Last Week In Red Deer:

  • The 2024 budget review, initially slated for November 20th to 23rd, has been rescheduled to take place from January 23rd to 26th, 2024. According to the City, this uncommon decision to postpone will provide more time to gather accurate and comprehensive financial information from 2023 before finalizing plans for the upcoming year. Further details, including draft budgets, will be made available to the public at least three weeks before Council deliberation. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this one!

  • Council received an update from Westerner Park. In addition to the $19 million loan the City had given Westerner Park, the City also approved a $1 million contingency fund, which functions similarly to a line of credit. Westerner Park used $500,000 from that fund to pay for hosting the Canadian Finals Rodeo. The financial performance of the event will be assessed in January, while the Westerner Park Master Plan's update is postponed to 2024 to allow the new CEO to settle into her role. Westerner Park also repaid $235,309 of their loan ahead of schedule in June as their fiscal year was stronger than anticipated.

  • Council has decided to create a formal neighbourhood development strategy for the Railyards neighbourhood after a discussion about the area’s major issues, which include a rise in encampments. Council received a report highlighting the shift in encampments from parks to urban streets, especially in the public trail between Cannery Row, nearby businesses, and the CPR Bridge. The City is on track to exceed 800 encampment clean-ups by year-end - last year, there were just under 600 clean-ups.




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