Water and wastewater rates will increase for residents in the Town of Drumheller in 2023, and residents will also see charges for solid waste and recycling services moved from their municipal tax bill to their utility bill beginning in 2023.
Director of Corporate and Community Services, Mauricio Reyes, presented the request to Town council during the regular Monday, December 5 council meeting along with the five-year utility rate model for 2023 to 2027.
He explained the previous utility rate model was presented in 2016 and it recommended an annual water utility increase of five per cent and a wastewater increase of two per cent for the 2017 to 2022 fiscal years. These increases were aimed to help the Town’s utilities to “start on a path to financial self-sustainability.”
A proposed utility rate model for the 2023 to 2027 fiscal years was recently presented to council in October.
Mr. Reyes noted the new model shows a recommended an annual increase of three per cent for water, and an annual increase of six per cent for wastewater services for 2023-2027 in order to keep up with inflation and pressures on the capital and operating expenses.
This increase would come into effect as of January 1, 2023.
It was also recommended the Town move solid waste and recycling services, which were previously funded with municipal taxes, to municipal utility accounts. This is something many municipalities across the province do to fund their solid waste and recycling.
By moving these chages, it was noted the tax funded budget would be reduced by some $260,000; these funds would then be moved to an increased expense in the utility budget.
This change would come into effect March 1, 2023 to allow time for effective communications.