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Edmonton city council to study savings strategies as budget debate ramps up

Budget deliberations at Edmonton City Hall.
Budget deliberations at Edmonton City Hall. Vinesh Pratap/ Global News

Can millions of dollars in savings be found while still maintaining services people in Edmonton see as essential?

On Friday, a list of more than two dozen strategies was released, outlining how to lessen the tax increases proposed for the 2019 to 2022 operating budget.

“We need to spend the weekend digging into those recommendations, really understanding them,” Councillor Andrew Knack said.

READ MORE: Edmonton’s 4-year operating budget proposes 3.3% tax hike next year

Suggestions include everything from implementing scheduling changes related to snow removal to cut down on overtime, reducing recreation pass discounts for city employees, to cutting back on services other levels of government provide.

“It doesn’t look like that that has to have a dramatic impact to our service standards as a city,” said Knack, after an initial review of the suggestions.

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But the councillor adds implementing all the cost savings changes might not be feasible.

“There are other ones that might fall in what I flagged as that ‘maybe’ category.”

READ MORE: City audit reveals contract bidding problems that are costing Edmonton millions

Tallied all together, the outlined strategies could achieve up to four per cent in overall savings for the city.

Budget deliberations resume Monday.