Big Valley village council has determined the Evangelical Free Church within the municipality will need to begin paying for its utilities following a motion at its regular Thursday, January 12 council meeting.
Council were first presented with information sharing the church, under a previous policy, does not pay monthly utility bills during the December 8 council meeting; at the time, council directed administration to look at what other municipalities within the surrounding areado and bring this information back in the new year for consideration.
Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Elaine Macdonald looked at a total of 10 municipalities, including the County of Stettler, Town of Drumheller, and villages of Alix, Linden, Trochu, and Morrin. Of those municipalities CAO Macdonald reviewed, eight billed churches for utilities at the regular municipal rate, while two only billed for garbage collection.
It is estimated, without water consumption charges, the village was losing some $640 annually for utilities on this account.