Starland County showed its support for two resolutions passed by the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA).
Members of Starland County Council attended the RMA conference in Calgary last week. One resolution they supported was to address the disparity in electricity distributions and transmission rates. It was sponsored by the County of Grande Prairie and reads, “Be it resolved that the Rural Municipalities of Alberta advocate for the Government of Alberta to adopt a new electricity pricing model for transmission and distribution that eliminates the disparity in pricing across Alberta.”
It notes transmission charges are typically between 14 per cent and 20 per cent of a customer’s total bill, and distribution costs are often between 22 per cent and 47 per cent of a bill, which make up nearly 70 per cent of the bill.
“Business and residential customers endure economic penalties based on geographical and population density disadvantages in large areas of the province. This advantage can be as high as three to one…” read the resolution.
“As the electrical grid for Alberta operates as a single entity, it would be reasonable to distribute costs equally across the province. Alberta’s model disadvantages communities at the border between service providers. In doing so, it minimizes competitiveness to attract businesses in Alberta outside of urban centers. Continual increases in transmission and distribution rates, in areas already experiencing a disparity, result in increased energy poverty for many Albertans.”
The resolution had 91 per cent support.
The second resolution that Starland showed support for was on the Financial Burden of Emergency Service Response on Crown Lands. This resolution was sponsored by the MD of Big Horn and seconded by Starland County.
It reads, “Be it resolved that the Rural Municipalities of Alberta request that the Government of Alberta develop a fee for service/compensation schedule for emergency services dispatched to respond to calls on Crown Land.”
“Emergency responders go to these Crown Lands and they are not able to bill the province for their time. The County eats the fuel and everything else and wants to be compensated for it,” said Starland County Reeve Steve Wannstrom.
He notes this has happened when the Emergency services have been dispatched to incidents at the Rumsey Natural Area.
“There was a fire out there one year, and they told us too bad, and we weren’t compensated for fighting that fire,” said Wannstrom.