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Bylaws   Item #
Regular Council Meeting Agenda
C-1108-20 - 2020 Fees and Charges Bylaw Amendment - Third Reading - Boje
Strategic Vision Element:
This topic relates to all three of the City’s strategic vision elements contained in Council’s Strategic Plan
Request for Decision Summary
Third reading of Bylaw C-1108-20 - 2020 Fees and Charges Bylaw Amendment is being brought forward for Council's consideration. The proposed amendment to the 2020 Fees and Charges Bylaw will set stormwater utility fees for 2020.
That third reading be given to Bylaw C-1108-20 - 2020 Fees and Charges Bylaw Amendment.
The growth of Spruce Grove has included the addition of many stormwater facilities and networks. The City currently operates over 50 stormwater management facilities (SWMF), 129 km of pipe, and 2160 catch basins all assisting with the stormwater drainage within the City. The total value of our assets is roughly $79 million and planned capital work required to support our stormwater network is estimated at $37 million over the next ten years.
To address funding shortfalls, a stormwater utility rate model was proposed that would identify rates that would be used to fund the required work associated with the stormwater facilities and networks. In the 2019 – 2021 Corporate Plan, Council approved a stormwater utility rate study and the inclusion of stormwater utility revenue in the 2019 and 2020 budgets and going forward. The study was completed by Corvus Business Advisors in 2019, and rates have been proposed in this amending bylaw.
Monthly rates are proposed to be $7.30 for small customers and $37.20 for large customers. The stormwater utility fee is proposed to take effect April 1, 2020 and would first appear on the utility bill issued at the beginning of May, 2020. The City shall bill property owners a stormwater utility fee using a utility bill that includes the billing for stormwater utility fees with the charges for other utilities supplied to the property owner. Where a property is tenant occupied, the property owner will receive a separate utility bill for the stormwater utility fee.
This bylaw is dependent upon the approval of Bylaw C-1107-20 - Municipal Utility Services Bylaw Amendment. If Council chooses not to proceed with third reading of Bylaw C-1107-20 - Municipal Utility Services Bylaw Amendment, there is no need to proceed with third reading of this Bylaw. This would mean stormwater utility fees would not be charged and costs would continue to be recovered from property taxation rather than a dedicated stormwater utility fee. Property taxes are levied based on assessed property value. The cost of stormwater service to individual properties bears no relationship to the assessed value of the property. Therefore, this method of recovering storm water
management costs might not be equitable.
This bylaw was amended in consultation with the following departments: Finance, Public Works, Engineering, Communications and the City Clerk's Office.
This bylaw amendment is only required if third reading of Bylaw C-1107-20 - Municipal Utility Services Bylaw Amendment is passed by Council. A non-statutory public hearing for Bylaw C-1107-20 - Municipal Utility Services Bylaw Amendment was held on March 9, 2020. The purpose of the public hearing was to provide input for Council's consideration of Bylaw C-1107-20 - Municipal Utility Services Bylaw Amendment. The timing of the public hearing allows time for third reading of Bylaw C-1107-20 - Municipal Utility Services Bylaw Amendment and Bylaw C-1108-20 - 2020 Fees and Charges Bylaw Amendment, allowing for an April 1, 2020 implementation. The City's webpage will include a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) in regards to the stormwater network and the stormwater utility fee.
If approved, stormwater utility fees for 2020 will be establish and identified in C-1108-20 - 2020 Fees and Charges Bylaw Amendment, for implementation April 1, 2020. A stormwater utility fee represents a more dedicated, sustainable funding mechanism than property taxes, since rates are assessed to each parcel of land based on how much storm water runoff they contribute rather than on property value. All properties with a utility account will contribute. This will include those tax exempt properties (non-profits, institutional facilities) which can impose significant demands on storm water systems but were not contributing financially to storm water management under the general property tax system.
If the City continues to fund its stormwater management program via property taxes it is estimated that an infrastructure deficit of approximately $40 million will be created over the next 10 years.