Valemount mulls drastic increase in utility fees

water, tap, faucet

by LAURA KEIL

Residents and businesses will be on the hook for a significant increase on their utilities bill if Council continues with last year’s direction, according to a presentation to Valemount Council at the last regular meeting.

The presentation by Village Financial Officer Lori McNee shows a suggested increase of 9.5% a year for the next nine years and 3% more thereafter. That translates to roughly $60 more for residents and $70 for businesses for water and sewer in 2018, and $3-$4 more for garbage. Each year would see similar increases, growing slightly due to compound interest.

In her powerpoint presentation, McNee outlines the reasons for the increases, notably the replacement of costly infrastructure down the road as well as new health and safety requirements.

No date has been set yet for Council to make its decision on utility rates. Budget discussions begin in fall and are finalized in the spring.

McNee says the Village is currently in discussions with Ledcor regarding garbage and sewage disposal from the planned 500-worker camp for Kinder Morgan pipeline workers in Valemount. The company has applied for a temporary use permit, which shows sewage would be processed locally. McNee says any arrangements made with the company will ensure that Ledcor covers “any and all expenses” associated with sewage and garbage, but did not specify how this would be charged.