Well there are a few things on my mind. I’ve had a few more folks ask about water rates. Here is the run down.
The cost of water has not changed. Yes the water rates have gone up. Yes we now pay for every cubic metre we use. As a family of four with two almost teen kids I have a raise in my costs.
As a business owner running a restaurant, I am one of the high-water-use businesses in town.
When we explored this and the fact that we rely on MSI (Municipal Sustainability Initiative) funding most of the time to fix pipes under the ground, or tax on $20,000,000 in debt to upgrade a water plant.
Knowing that my business and any high-water user was subsidized by your base water rate of a senior living alone. That was surprising knowing the cost of utilities I paid at the restaurant. Knowing that there had been no proactive solution for the aging out of basic water and sewer infrastructure concerned me.
I was the councillor that recommended this go to the vote. I am proud that I did, because now we see the downloading of cost from the current Alberta government.
Knowing that for the following two years the Town of Claresholm will have 25 per cent less funding for projects that ensure basic services like taking your sewer waste away from your home is taken care of.
However, because of the forethought of the current administration and council, Claresholm will have directed-fund reserves to maintain water and sewer. This will also mean proper fixes. That means having better roads, less patch work and a more effective and streamlined public works.
So that being said, yes for the last 40 years the town covered half the cost of the water and sewer you were supplied. Yes, now some folks that use less will have savings. People like myself with a full family at home and a heavy water usage business will pay more.
Knowing that I am covering the cost of what I use makes me feel better. Understanding that it is an extra cost that no one wants to see I definitely understand.
Hopefully knowing the money paid for the water you use is directly set for the cost of the maintenance and operations of those systems, instead of a general tax increase that can fall into general revenue and not be allocated, I hope gives some understanding of the why.
Yes, this idea had been put out for the last number of councils but would not be put in because councillors were afraid of not being re-elected. Having a council that has the ability to see the future needs of our community and are willing to accept the short term pains of what this solution gives, means that you have a council willing to work for the betterment of our town,