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Aquatera seeks approval from shareholders for increases to utility rates

Aquatera has a number of major infrastructure plans in the works, and are in need of some more funding to make those projects a reality.

Aquatera CEO Bernd Manz says the biggest project currently in the works is $60 Million in upgrades to their waste water treatment plant.

“That will give us 25 years of larger capacity for regional growth, as well as improving the quality of water that goes back to the Wapiti River, so it reduces the environmental impact of that. We’re also completing a landfill gas to energy project. That’s about an $8 Million project. We ‘ve also got some upgrades to our facilities at the river. The Wapiti River is migrating north and is eroding the bank where we have our intakes, raw water storage pond, and pumping facilities. That’s about a $20 Million project to do upgrades there.”

There are proposed rate increases for utility customers, but Manz says first Aquatera needs approval from it’s municipal shareholders.

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“It’s always an opportunity to discuss what our plans are and how those impact the community. There’s some good questions back in forth, like ‘Why are rates increasing?’ and ‘What are you doing with the revenues that you will achieve?’, so that’s been part of the conversation that has occurred.”

The city gave first reading to the utility bylaw last night, but will consult with the County and town of Sexsmith before moving forward full approval.

Proposed increases for residential solid waste collection work out to about 3.6 per cent for each of the next two years.

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