Day one of Grande Prairie city council’s budget deliberations kicked off with six key items identified and more than $1 million in requested funding.
As a result, administration has proposed a 6.09 percent property tax increase for residents in order to continue providing services and meet the status quo for several departments. According to Operational Services, 52 per cent of the city’s revenue stream comes from taxation, compared to similarly-sized cities Airdrie at 30 per cent, and 34 per cent in Red Deer.
Among the funding requests, the Grande Prairie Police Service made a $554,000 request for an eight-person public security unit, Sport Tourism made a $144,000 request to support a new full-time department worker, Investment Attraction made a $125,000 request for marketing costs to bring businesses to the city, $100,000 was requested for asphalt maintenance, and the Grande Prairie Public Library made an operating budget referral of three or 10 per cent.
Council heard numerous mitigation strategies totalling more than $1.26 million in potential savings for the city, with options including reduced service levels at a savings of $137,000, reduced contracted services for $915,000, and reduced hours of operations for some facilities for $205,000.
Council is scheduled to continue deliberations on November 16th, and potentially again on November 17th pending approval of the 2024 Operating Budget and the 2024 Capital Budget.