This week, council will take its first official look at the fall supplemental budget adjustments, hear updates on the carbon budget and anti-racism efforts, and consider a rezoning in Boyle-McCauley.
Here are some of the key items on the agenda:
- The fall adjustments for the operating budget and capital budget will be presented to council on Nov. 7. Administration has said a 7.09% tax increase is needed in 2024 to maintain services, 2.13% above what was initially approved by council when it set the four-year budget in December 2022. Most of the discrepancy is due to salary settlements for the Edmonton Police Service as well as lower-than-expected revenues from transit fares and ATCO Gas franchise fees. The budget adjustments will be deliberated in December.
- New figures show the city is set to use up its carbon budget faster than the forecast given at budget deliberations in 2022. Both the community and corporate carbon budgets are expected to be depleted one year earlier — in 2036 and 2032, respectively. "It is important to note this shift is not caused by any of the budgetary decisions made over the past year but are primarily due to increases in energy use in buildings and the industrial and transportation sectors," administration said.
- Nearly two years after council approved an anti-racism strategy, there is still no independent anti-racism body and no high-level anti-racism office, administration said in an update on the strategy that will be presented to council on Nov. 7. A 15-person community advisory panel has been meeting every two weeks since February to propose the structure and governance for the independent anti-racism body after the dissolution of the Anti-Racism Advisory Committee. A funding package that would launch the high-level office will be presented to council during budget adjustments. One of the three pillars of the anti-racism strategy that is in motion is the disbursement of funding, with city council approving more than $1.2 million in ongoing anti-racism grants to community organizations. Other anti-racism initiatives outside the strategy include a council internship where youth from diverse backgrounds worked alongside the offices of the mayor and councillors, and an anti-Black racism action plan that was published in June 2023.
- The Mustard Seed wants to open a new shelter in Boyle-McCauley and has applied for a rezoning, which will go to public hearing on Nov. 6. The lot at 95th Street and 106th Avenue was previously a seniors' drop-in centre run by Operation Friendship Seniors Society. The Mustard Seed wants to open 60 temporary winter shelter beds on the main floor and 64 women-only beds on an upper floor.
Here are some of the other new agenda items:
- Council will hear the shortlist of candidates for the Edmonton Police Commission and for the Edmonton Regional Airports Authority in a private meeting on Nov. 10.
- Council will consider a resolution from executive committee on Nov. 7 that would allow the city to increase its short-term promissory note program limit from $100 million to $250 million, providing more flexibility for borrowing to fund operating expenditures.
- The discussion about using the downtown community revitalization levy for office-to-residential conversion incentives will continue at a council meeting on Nov. 7. The city said the downtown CRL would not be sufficient to fund an incentive program, and the councillors must ask for an unfunded service package to be included in the fall supplemental budget adjustment process if an incentive program is desired.
- Coun. Michael Janz will make a motion asking the Edmonton Police Commission to provide a memo with the number of police employees whose total compensation is more than $100,000 annually.