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City mulls contracting Aquatera for new stormwater utility billing

City council will soon vote on whether or not to contract Aquatera to handle utility bill processing and delivery on its new stormwater payment plans. Approved back in January, the changes will see the utility cost recovered through payment for total use rather than through overall taxation, regardless of use.

Councillor Dylan Bressey says the change won’t impact city coffers, and it will remain revenue neutral.

“It’s really just how we are going to get the physical bills to people, and does it make sense to do that yourself or use Aquatera, which is already well practiced at handing out regular utility bills,” he says.

“It’s important to note that it’s only asking Aquatera just about billing; it will still be city staff and city equipment that takes full responsibility for maintaining the system,” Bressey adds.

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Bressey suggest that it isn’t about the city collecting more money than it already does, as council has given a clear direction that this has to be revenue neutral. He adds it’s about more fairly allocating the cost of the stormwater system so the people who use it are the people who pay for it.

“It’s a place that most other cities have already gone, so it’s not us doing anything new; it’s us doing something which has become accepted practice everywhere else, because it’s a more fair way to allocate cost,” he adds.

The cost to contract Aquatera to deliver and process billing is approximately $544,000, with the vote expected to happen during council’s June 12th meeting.

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