With public consultation ongoing, one Grande Prairie city councillor is hoping the public is doing their due diligence when it comes to looking potential changes to the city’s storm water utilities’.
If signed into bylaw, the stormwater systems would use a funding model that allocates costs to a property owner based on how much a property impacts the stormwater system overall. At the moment, the annual cost to taxpayers in Grande Prairie is between $7.5 and $8 million.
Councillor Dylan Bressey says a lot of the cost uptake comes from commercial building use, which at one point was paid for by the provincial government. He says it was something that was usually accounted for by the province through annual funding, which he believes isn’t covering the costs anymore.
“We’re getting more rain than usual, and we’ve seen the province decide to stop paying the amount property grants it used to pay, so we have provincial properties that used to contribute a lot more to the municipal services they consume, and they don’t anymore,” he says.
“This is one way to make sure the province is paying for the services it uses in the City of Grande Prairie, like it does in other mid-sized city.”
Bressey says despite this process going on since the spring, he is happy to see the city take a step back and let the process happen over a five or six month period, so they can be sure as many people could take part in the conversation as possible.
“It’ll probably be coming to us sometime in the fall, but we really are taking our time to have good public consultation and make sure people have time to have their say before council contemplates any changes.”
You can learn more about the potential changes to utility rates, and take an online survey here.