3:30 p.m., April 17)
City to consider alternative water rate options
By Fred Sherwin
city review of the municipal water and sewer rate structure
is expexted to be delayed at least a month while staff
explore other options aimed at addressing rural concerns.
review contains three options aimed at separating the
cost of consumption from the cost of providing and maintaining
water, waste water and storm-water infrastructure.
three options would establish a separate water rate and
sewer surcharge for residents on municipal water that
wiuld multiplied by the actual water they use.
residents would then pay a single flat rate to cover the
infrastructure costs. The amount paid by urban and suburban
residents would be used to pay for water and sewer infrastructure
and the amount be rural residents would used to cover
the maintainance costs of culverts, as well as stormwater
drainage ditches and management ponds.
the flat rate might be applied is covered in the three
options. Option one is based on property value. Option
two is based on the size of the ratepayers property.
And the third option, which is the one being recommended
by staff, is a single flat rate with everyone paying the
a series of public consultations held over the past month,
only a handful of urban residents objected tothe single
stands in stark contrast to the reaction of the citys
rural residents who have showed up in large numbers to
voice their opposition to any new charge appearing on
their tax bill, despite the fact that they were paying
for stormwater infrastructure prior to amalgamation as
part of their municipal taxes.
charge was dropped and the cost of rural stormwater infrastructure
was transferred to urban and suburban ratepayers when
the city was amalgamated in 2001, saving rural residents
$75-$100 a year depending on where they lived in.
proposed flat rate would cost all residents about $72
a year. The two other options would cost rural residents
hard to imagine how staff will be able to come up with
another option that would reduce the impact on rural residents
without bringing in a dual flat rate a cheaper
one for rural residents and a higher one for urban ratepayers,
or eliminating the rural rate altogether.
alternatives would draw the ire of urban ratepayers and
the opposition of urban and suburban city councillors.
job of finding a workable solution that also takes into
account the objective of fairness is up to staff who have
been given an extra month to find an alternative option.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
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