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RFD- 3870 Bylaws   Item #   10. a.    
Regular Council Meeting Agenda
Meeting Date: 02/24/2020  
Title:    C-1107-20 - Municipal Utility Services Bylaw Amendment - First Reading - Levasseur
Department: Planning & Infrastructure  
Strategic Vision Element: This topic relates to all three of the City’s strategic vision elements contained in Council’s Strategic Plan Related Goal:

Information
Request for Decision Summary

This request for decision will provide first reading to the Municipal Utility Services Bylaw Amendment. This bylaw will be amended to include a section dedicated to Stormwater Utilities and a reference to the Fees and Charges Bylaw.


Proposed Motion
That first reading be given to Bylaw C-1107-20 Municipal Utility Services Bylaw Amendment.
Background/Analysis

The City of Spruce Grove currently provides stormwater services to residents, businesses and other organizations within the City boundaries. The City’s stormwater network includes infrastructure and assets such as: stormwater management facilities (Ponds – dry and wet), culverts, open ditches, underground stormwater pipes, catch basins, manholes, etc. As with all assets (infrastructure) a planned lifecycle program is necessary to ensure the network is working correctly, being inspected and having regular maintenance and upgrades completed in a timely manner.  The City currently funds this work through the general property taxes rather than a dedicated utility charge. Using the general property taxes as a source of funding means that the stormwater network competes with all other maintenance and funding needs of the City. As a result, the work that should be going into maintenance and lifecycle programs is not always completed and may be delayed. This is a risk to the City as a non-functioning stormwater network could result in flooding and as a result may cause damage to public and private properties and pose a threat to the safety of the public. This is amplified with the intensity of storms the region has witnessed in the last number of years.

In the spring of 2019, the City engaged CORVUS Business Advisors to research and provide a recommendation on how the City can ensure our stormwater network is funded so that stormwater issues are dealt with now and in the future. As a result a Stormwater Utility fee was proposed by CORVUS for the City of Spruce Grove. The Storm water Utility fee would ensure dedicated funding for the stormwater network hence ensuring that maintenance, upgrades and associated lifecycle work could be funded when needed (this is not currently being done within the City). Stormwater utility fees are currently being used by other municipalities within the region.

To implement a new Stormwater Utility fee an amendment to the Municipal Utility Services Bylaw was required. The amendment included adding a section in the Municipal Utility Services Bylaw that dealt with stormwater and a reference to C-1108-20 – 2020 Fees and Charges Bylaw was required. The section added to the Municipal Utility Services Bylaw now has all stormwater related issues located in one section rather than spread throughout different sections of the bylaw. It also provides more details on the stormwater network.

Options/Alternatives

Council may chose not to approve this amending bylaw. This would mean stormwater utility fees would not be charged and costs would continue to be recovered from the general property taxation rather than a dedicated stormwater utility fee. This would leave the stormwater network competing with other initiatives in the corporate planning process. Maintenance for the stormwater network would be left as reactive with some scheduled maintenance being completed when funding allows.

If Council does not approve this amending bylaw then C-1108-20 - 2020 Fees and Charges Bylaw Amendment would not be required.

Consultation/Engagement

The work to amend this bylaw was a cooperative effort that included representatives from: Finance, Public Works, Engineering, City Clerk’s Office and Communications.

Council may choose to conduct a non-statutory public hearing on this matter prior to second reading of the bylaw. This action would allow for Council to further understand the impact to and the concerns of the public prior to giving further consideration to the implementation of a stormwater utility fee. A council resolution is required for this action, and a report has been included in the business items section of agenda package for this meeting. 

Implementation/Communication

If first reading is passed, C-1107-20 Municipal Utility Services Bylaw Amendment will be brought to Council for a non-statutory public hearing and for second reading on March 9, 2020. 

If C-1107-20 Municipal Utility Bylaw Amendment is approved, the stormwater utility fee will be implemented in the 2nd quarter of 2020, and the City’s webpage will include a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in regards to the Stormwater Network and the Stormwater Utility fee.

Impacts
The Municipal Utility Services Bylaw Amendment will establish a fee that will be identified in the 2020 Fees and Charges Bylaw Amendment. This will be a new fee that is proposed to be implemented in the 2nd quarter of 2020. The establishment of this fee will represent a more dedicated, sustainable funding mechanism for the future sustainability of the stormwater network. The Municipal Utility Services Bylaw amendment will contain a consolidated section that deals strictly with stormwater.
Attachments
C-1107-20 Municipal Utility Services Bylaw Amendment
C-1107-20 Municipal Utility Services Bylaw Amendment - Redline

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