Proposed utility rate bylaw suggests modest increases | DrumhellerMail
Last updateFri, 24 May 2024 12pm

Proposed utility rate bylaw suggests modest increases


    Drumheller Town Council gave first reading to a new utility rate bylaw that would see a very modest increase in water  residential bills for the next year.

    At the Drumheller Town Council meeting on Monday night, council was given two options for billing for water and wastewater for 2011. Both charged a flat rate of $10 for water, and $11 for wastewater. Both plans proposed a water rate of $1.32 per cubic metre. This is down from the 2010 rate of $1.5411.
    One option proposed was a wastewater rate billed at $1.8009 per cubic meter, calculated at 80 per cent consumption, and the other option charged $1.5545 per cubic metre, however is calculated at 80 per cent of consumption during the summer months and 100 per cent of consumption during the winter.
    This would roughly mirror residential and garden usage in the summer when water is used for irrigation.
     Council opted for the first option to continue to bill wastewater and 80 per cent consumption for the whole year.
    “We cannot operate at a deficit,” said Mayor Terry Yemen. “Council has a responsibility to ensure that water and wastewater rates reflect full cost recovery.”
    Based on 15 cubic metres consumption per month, the rate council opted for would cost about 11 cents more for the same amount based on last year’s rates. Compared to the alternative of billing where summer and winter rates would change, the rate council opted for is about 15 cents cheaper per month.
    Part of the new utility bylaw also categorizes rate groups based on meter size to deal with commercial, industrial and institutional properties.
    A typical residential meter with a less than one-inch diameter connection would be charged $10 for water and $11 for wastewater. A meter with an up to two inch connection would be charged $35 for water and $75 for wastewater, a three to four inch connection would cost $475 each for water and wastewater, and a connection from six to eight inches would cost $895 for water and $900 for wastewater.
    A press release said the meter charge introduces a more balanced allocation of costs.
    While for most customers the rate change is modest, Yemen said the increase stems from the modern wastewater treatment plant and the higher standards for wastewater.
    “With the new waste treatment plant, we had to put some more processing in, and it takes up a lot of electricity” said Yemen.
    Second and third reading of the bylaw is scheduled for January 31.
    “We won’t proceed with second and third reading for 14 days, and the public is encouraged to offer their comments and input on this new bylaw,” said Yemen.
    A copy of the proposed bylaw is available for the public to review at Town Hall, and at

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