City of Grande Prairie Budget 2020

Welcome to the City of Grande Prairie's 2020 budget deliberations.

City administration are finalizing a draft budget to be proposed to City Council later this fall. While this is happening, Council needs your help to determine what services provided by the City you as a resident value the most.

There are two opportunities to participate in the 2020 budget consultation:

Online: Participate in a survey from September 16 to October 9, 2019
In-Person: Attend the 'Budget Brainstorm' Public Consultation Session

The feedback collected from both formats will be reported to City Council prior to Council budget deliberations on November 13 to 15.

Welcome to the City of Grande Prairie's 2020 budget deliberations.

City administration are finalizing a draft budget to be proposed to City Council later this fall. While this is happening, Council needs your help to determine what services provided by the City you as a resident value the most.

There are two opportunities to participate in the 2020 budget consultation:

Online: Participate in a survey from September 16 to October 9, 2019
In-Person: Attend the 'Budget Brainstorm' Public Consultation Session

The feedback collected from both formats will be reported to City Council prior to Council budget deliberations on November 13 to 15.

Do you have any burning questions regarding the City's budget? Here's your place to have them answered. 

Our goal is to respond to all questions within 2 business days, however some questions may require a little longer.

** We encourage participants to questions regarding the City's budget in a productive and constructive manner. This Q&A is monitored and any questions that are abusive or contain profanity will be deleted. 

Q&A

  • I’m still trying to understand the City Fiber component of this project. I totally get why we would put down conduit if we are re-building the road anyways. But I don’t understand to what degree NOT re-doing the road and getting fiber down will impact plans. In CLT’s view: is this an important consideration? Or am I getting distracted by something that doesn’t have a huge operational impact? That’s been known to happen…

    22 days ago

    If the City was to invest in a fibre infrastructure construction project for this area outside of a larger rehab project, it would cost an estimated $200,000 for the installation of the
    conduit. Taking advantage of this phase of the Downtown Rehabilitation Project and installing conduit when the road is already open would significantly reduce the cost to less than $30,000.

    It is an optimum time to install these conduits as the trenches are open and the fibre gets laid alongside electrical lines for streetlights and secondary electrical, etc.

    Today the City pays upwards of a quarter of a million dollars a year to a third party to move data between our facilities. A business case completed a few years ago demonstrated the City would see an ROI of 10 years by operating our own fibre network. Municipalities across Alberta and all across the County are investing in fibre, many are currently running their networks on municipal- owned fibre.

    At the recent Transportation Association of Canada conference data was discussed as the future oil.  As technology leaps forward, communities that are in a position to accommodate that technology will have an advantage. So installing conduit when re-building roads makes sense.

  • Looking at the road condition in Phases 4 and 4A: if these were normal roads (ie: not downtown), where would they be in the priority list of the City’s overall Road Rehab and Overlay program?

    22 days ago

    If this road was normal it would be considered a priority in the Road Rehab. Program.  All the Phase 4 road sections fall under the Pavement Quality Index (PQI) trigger.

    However, there are multiple reasons why the downtown roads would not be considered for a normal Road Rehab Program.

    The primary reason is that in addition to the road the curb and gutter, sidewalks, major underground, trees and street lighting need to be upgraded. Large projects like this have historically been budgeted and completed outside of the Road Rehab. Program. These projects are designed and tendered separately from other projects as they can exceed the total value of the annual Road Rehab Program.

  • Looking at the sidewalk condition in Phases 4 and 4A: if these were normal sidewalks (ie: not downtown), where would it be in the priority list for the City’s overall Sidewalk Rehabilitation project?

    22 days ago

    In terms of surface quality, most sidewalk sections in Phase 4 are indicated as ‘low distress’ which would not qualify them for replacement. However, due to the design of these sidewalks with their adjoining buildings and curb and gutters, they are evaluated as part of a larger, integrated system. These “monolithic” sidewalks fall short of current engineering standards which is why their replacement is recommended as part of a full rehabilitation project.

  • Looking at Phase 4A: are there significant cost savings if it is done at the same time as Phase 4?

    22 days ago

    The potential cost savings would be fairly insignificant, likely totalling only around 1% of the entire project cost. These cost savings could be from site mobilization, as there would be only one site mobilization to the job site instead of two, and better unit rates for the work as it would be done as part of a larger project.

  • If Council went forward with Phase 4 and decided to attract Aquatera dividends by financing the part of the project Aquatera is willing to do: what is our best estimate of the annual debt service cost?

    22 days ago

    If Phase 4 and 4A are approved with the City financing $5.6 million to build the water/wastewater infrastructure, total annual dividend income would be about $835,000*.

    Annual servicing costs less annual dividends: $1,034,000 - $835,000 = ~$200,000

    Annual net debt servicing costs would be approximately $200,000.

    *Please note –estimating future dividend income from Aquatera requires assumptions. It was assumed that their retained earnings would grow in the future at the same rate it did prior to the last asset transfer from the City. This is important as the stock dividend issued at the time of any asset transfer is based on the Company’s retained earnings value at that time and is a substantial basis for share structure/ownership and consequently, the dividend income.

    Also, it was assumed that they would maintain a 2.48% discretionary dividend rate into the future.  Finally, another important note - dividend payments on asset transfers do not begin until two years after the date of transfer, therefore we will have two years of debt payments without any offsetting dividend income to ease the operational impact.

  • If Council goes ahead with Phase 4: what would be administration’s recommendation for funding sources be? Would it be all debt funded, or would we use portions of other budgets (for example, the Road Rehab Program) to fund parts of it?

    22 days ago

    Our recommendation would be to obtain debt for the project because of the dollar amount and the long useful life of the asset being constructed. We will see increased capacity for debt during the upcoming budget cycle with some existing debt being paid out.

    This project could be funded from a number of other sources;MSI funding, Federal Gas Tax,Capital Tax,Reserves, or a combination thereof. However, these funding sources are for the most part already earmarked for other projects;so if we decide to use any of it for the Downtown projects, we consequently will have to defund other planned capital projects.