Some time ago council asked administration to provide an economic forecast for us so we could have some idea of how the global economic downturn might impact us locally. On Monday the 2nd they presented it to council for review at an open public meeting before our regularly scheduled meeting. There weren't many people there, aside from council and city staff, to see it so I thought I'd share the presentation from the report here:
**a couple of charts didn't come through the conversion to the post here - sorry.**
All in all, yes; we have to be aware that things have changed... Development isn't booming like it was and revenue will be down because of that (by about $900,000) but at the same time Grande Prairie is pretty well diversified and in a much better position than many other cities.
I understand that admin already has some measures to deal with the reductions in revenue they forecasted so hopefully our budget session will be pretty straight forward. One thing that is uncertain, and that we won't know until the spring, is how much MSI grant money we will get from the province. Last year the province reduced this grant by about $2.5 million and it did impact taxes - because we had already committed it to the construction of the Multiplex.
At the AUMA convention last week Premier Stelmach assured delegates that we would (eventually) get all the MSI money the province had committed to so hopefully we can deal with any reductions in the short term.