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Aquatera proposes rate changes for garbage collection, water services

People in Grande Prairie may soon see some changes to their utility bills. Aquatera has proposed a 6.5 per cent decrease or a $1.27 per month in costs for services like garbage collection in 2019 and a 2.5 per cent increase for water and wastewater collection over the next two years.

Grande Prairie Energy Management & Environmental Services Manager Michelle Gairdner says the changes will allow the company to perform service upgrades to the banks of the Wapiti River.

“It’s about capital cost increases. They’re having to do upgrades to the system which as we grow we’re going to need to have a bigger intake. They’re looking at upgrades to the bank; so they’re shoring up the bank making it more stable… because that’s where the water intake is and we don’t want to see that bank deteriorating there.”

According to Gairdner, the rates are looked at every two years and adjusted as needed. As it stands now, solid waste disposal is $19.48 per household proposed to decrease to $18.21 on March 1st.

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When it comes to water and wastewater, for example, people who pay $8.90 for wastewater services will pay $9.12 March 1st and $9.35 January 1st, 2020 and for water services, $11.33 will become $11.61 on March 1st and $11.90 on January 1st, 2020.

Mayor Bill Given says the changes would put the city in the middle of the pack compared to other Alberta cities when it comes to utility rates.

“If we compared Grande Prairie’s utility bills for water, wastewater and solid waste, or garbage collection, we would find that they are exactly in the middle of all of the bills from comparable municipalities across the province.”

The changes will still need to be approved at the next council meeting before they are official. Aquatera says it will not comment on the changes until then.

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