Utility Bylaw changed to streamline payments and accountability

Lacombe City council recently approved Bylaw 393, the Utility Bylaw, which brings together and subsequently rescinds two previous bylaws.

  • Jan. 5, 2017 6:00 p.m.

Lacombe City council recently approved Bylaw 393, the Utility Bylaw, which brings together and subsequently rescinds two bylaws regarding water, wastewater and solid waste.

This was done to streamline the processes for payment and ordering for these services.

As well, the new bylaw also includes an increase for the utility account deposits, from $135 to $350 to help deter delinquent and noncollectable accounts.

“The Utilities and Finance departments have found it troublesome in recent years to administer the separated solid waste and water and wastewater bylaws, as they are currently billed under one utility bill and there is a different administration function under each bylaw,” said Finance Manager Justin de Bresser.

“The new Utility Bylaw replaces both older bylaws and streamlines the process for future updates, as well as the yearly rate changes during budget deliberations.”

The City may waive the utility account deposit if pre-authorized payments are set up. However, if an account holder receives a non-sufficient funds (NSF) notice, they will be taken off the pre-authorized plan and the deposit will be added to the account.

The proposed monthly water rate for 2017 will not increase.

The fixed rate and consumption rates for 2016 will remain at a fixed rate of $26.77 per month and a consumption rate of $2.47 per cubic metre.

With the new regional wastewater line development, citizens will see a slight increase in costs due to the new, upgraded and long-term sustainable service.

For wastewater, both the monthly and consumption rates will increase. The fixed rate will rise to $19.78, an increase of $3.49 per customer per month and this will help to cover administration operations regarding the wastewater line, including the debt to cover the line’s construction and operation.

The consumption rate for 2017 will increase to $1.47 per cubic metre of effluent and this increase in cost will help to cover electricity, chemicals and reserves.

In 2017, the transfer to reserves will increase to allow for the accumulation of funds for the North Red Deer Regional Wastewater Transmission System.

For residential solid waste there will also be a slight increase in 2017. Residential fees will increase by $0.88 per month, from $26.63 to $27.86. Multi-residential rates will increase to $16.24 per unit per month.

Commercial solid waste rates will increase to $99.98 per month per customer per bin. Additional unscheduled pick-ups will remain at $48.80 per pick-up.

The combined utility bill increase for the year for an average household will be $142.24, or $11.85 per month. An average commercial customer will see an overall increase of $1,769.24 or $101.20 per month.

Many of these changes will be utilized by the City to cover costs of construction, maintenance and any additional work on the North Red Deer Regional Wastewater Treatment Line.