City Council started talking budget today, starting with a presentation on Calgary’s Action Plan for 2015-18 by Chief Financial Officer Eric Sawyer.
The Action Plan, released Nov. 4, shows the City has a budget of roughly $22 billion for the next four years.
“Over 50 per cent of the capital program you’re seeing here is going towards growth and new development,” said Sawyer.
Highlights of the Action Plan include:
- Calgary Transit’s launch of the LRT Green Line, as well as increase to transit and Access Calgary hours
- Advance technology to improve ebusiness for citizens
- Continued flood resiliency investments
- New fire stations, an upgraded 911 system and new fire, police and bylaw officers
- Upgrades to parks, including athletic and pools
- Advancement of the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative;
- And more
In the council session, Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart raised the question of how different the budget would’ve looked without recent environmental incidents such as June 2013 flooding and the “Snowtember” event, which wiped out a large portion of Calgary’s trees.
“No question the tree event and the flood were significant events for Calgary,” said Sawyer. “The flood has amounted some $450 million of projects identified and those numbers are moving around a bit. We are certainly counting on insurance and the DRP to help meet those requirements.”
Sawyer added with natural events such as the flood, the city does have reserve funding as well.
* Photo courtesy City of Calgary