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The Town has two utility projects scheduled for completion in 2019 which will require loans. These two projects are projects where our investment will benefit our grandchildren and maybe even beyond. The difficulty is that we can’t spread the payments over that lifetime and so the generations of today will share that financial burden. Our investment in a new Raw Water Line and changes to legislation that require a massive investment in our sewer treatment plant are these two projects. The cost of these loans must be covered by the utility users.
A new raw water line is required for a secure source of good quality water for the water treatment plant. It is an $18.6-million project for which the Town is required to pay $3.2-million after successfully getting $15.4-million in grants. This project will result in a $7.70 per month increase to the utility bills for an average user (20m3).
The sewage treatment plant requires upgrading to meet current effluent (treated discharge) regulations. This is a $14.1-million project for which the Town must pay approx. $8-million after obtaining a $6-million grant.
This project will result in $21.30 per month increase on each resident’s utility bill for an average user(20m3).
Town Council is looking at ways to reduce this net impact by examining other costs included in utility bills. The rest of our utility charges come from garbage and recycling collection and so we are examining those service levels to decide if a change is warranted to help reduce the financial impact to users.
Council feels that there is little to be gained from removing garbage collection, but we currently have an extremely high service level when it comes to recycling.
So Council is seeking input from the public for consideration on whether or not changes should be made.
Currently we offer recycling services at the landfill, as well as the recycle center in Town near the airport and curbside pick-up for Town residential customers outside of apartments.
Getting rid of any service, will likely increase costs in other areas as the impact of those volumes shift. It should also be noted some of these options are tied up in contracts and so the financial effect of their removal will still need to be investigated. We anticipate if we eliminated the recycle center in town we may save approx. $5.00 per month per household
We anticipate if we eliminated curb side pickup we may save approx. $3.29 per month per household.
By eliminating either of these services the cost of them will offset the increase you would see on your utility bills for the Sewage Lagoon upgrade and the Raw Water Line projects.
As this is a big decision we are again seeking public input to better understand how many of our residents use these services and what are the expected service levels from the public.
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