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RFD- 3174 Bylaws   Item #   9. a.    
Regular Council Meeting Agenda
Meeting Date: 11/27/2017  
Title:    C-1020-17 - Third 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 third reading be given to Bylaw C-1020-17 - 2018 Fees and Charges Bylaw, as amended.
The annual Fees and Charges Bylaw has been scheduled for consideration over three Council meetings for the intention of providing extended time for public awareness and Council consideration. The bylaw has been amended since second reading only to provide clarity within the categories of utility fees which would allow the City to explore privatization of bulk water sales.

The recommended 2018 - 2020 Corporate Plan proposes a utility rate increase of 6.42 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 per month is $4.73.

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 service only to Parkland County increases from $3.033 to $3.228 per cubic meter.
  • Supply of water and wastewater service for the purpose of new land development increases from $809 to $861 per hectare.
  • Supply of wastewater service only increases from $22.23 to $23.66 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 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 have been discussed in detail as part of the Committee of the Whole and Council corporate plan deliberations.
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.

The agreement between the City and Parkland County to supply water only to Parkland Village requires the City to issue written notice of the rate increase 90 days prior to the effective date. As the recommended rate had been amended after the 90 days, a new notice was issued to Parkland County with no dispute.

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.

City Council and Committee of the Whole agendas and minutes are posted on the City of Spruce Grove website for information purposes only. These agendas may be changed at the discretion of Council by the addition or deletion of items. Anyone reviewing the draft agenda should do so on the understanding that it is subject to change by Council.

All attachments are in PDF format, and require the Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in for viewing.

Audio from the most recent City Council and Committee of the Whole meetings are available via podcast on the City of Spruce Grove website.

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