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RFD- 3129 Bylaws   Item #   9. c.    
Regular Council Meeting Agenda
Meeting Date: 10/10/2017  
Title:    C-1020-17 - First Reading - 2018 Fees and Charges Bylaw - Goodwin
Department: Corporate Services  
Strategic Vision Element: This topic relates to all three of the City’s strategic vision elements contained in Council’s Strategic Plan Related Goal: Spruce Grove has a robust, growing economic base that generates balanced revenues to support the City’s high standards for services and programs.

Request for Decision Summary
This is a report to authorize the 2018 fees for utility rates, fines and penalties, assessment complaints,  as well as administrative, cemetery and other general services.

Proposed Motion
That first reading be given to Bylaw C-1020-17 - 2018 Fees and Charges Bylaw.

The Fees and Charges Bylaw is scheduled for consideration in October and November. The extended period is intended to provide time for public awareness and Council consideration. Second reading is scheduled for November 14th, 2017. Third reading is scheduled to take place at the same meeting that the corporate plan is to be adopted.

The recommended 2018 - 2020 Corporate Plan proposes a utility rate increase of 3.95 per cent in 2018 to meet the utility operating and capital costs. The impact on a household with an average monthly consumption of 14 cubic meters is $2.91 per month.

Utility rates are partially driven by the cost of purchasing water and processing wastewater. Water purchased from the Capital Region Parkland Water Services Commission is forecasted to be $1.91 per cubic meter in 2018 (11.6 per cent increase from 2017). Wastewater treatment by the Alberta Capital Region Wastewater Commission is proposed to be $1.11 per cubic meter in 2018 (4.7 per cent increase from 2017).

In addition to water and wastewater costs, the utility rate increase reflects infrastructure maintenance and replacement, market cost of construction and maintenance of a surplus balance.

Other fees that have been revised are:
  • Supply of water only to Parkland County increases from $3.033 to $3.153 per cubic meter.
  • Supply of water and wastewater service for the purpose of new land development increases from $809 to $841 per hectare.
  • Supply of wastewater service only increases from $22.23 to $23.11 per unit, per month.
  • Eco Centre - selective increases are based on a graduated approach to cost recovery.
  • Snow dumping - existing fee incorporated into bylaw
New fees for 2018 support:
  • Requests for assessment information under Sections 299 and 300 of the MGA. These are intended as discretionary fees for the purpose of managing ambiguous requests and to achieve cost recovery.
  • Cemetery operations in accordance with proposed Bylaw C-998-17
  • Tribute Program fees in accordance with Policy 2,028

No changes are proposed for the monthly waste management fees.
For utility rates to take effect on January 1, 2018, the bylaw will need to receive third reading by December 11, 2017.
Utility rates will be discussed in detail as part of the Committee of the Whole and Council corporate plan deliberations. The Cemetery Bylaw is scheduled for consideration at the October 10th Council meeting and would need to receive 3rd reading prior to passing the annual Fees and Charge Bylaw. 
A communication plan will be in place to advise utility customers of the rate increases. This plan will include advertisements in the Examiner, the City website, social media outlets and on the December utility bill which customers will receive prior to the end of 2017. The City will continue to work with utility customers by providing water conservation initiatives to assist with the rising costs.

Changes to bulk water rates will take effect January 1st, 2018.

In accordance with the agreement between the City and Parkland County, written notice of the rate increase was submitted 90 days prior to the effective date.

Not applicable

Fiscal Impact
Financial Implications:
Utility revenue is used only for utility operations and utility capital work. Neither grants nor taxes are used to subsidize rates.

New revenue sources are intended for cost recovery of service delivery.
2018 Fees and Charges Bylaw

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