By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – Council gave unanimous second and third reading Dec. 11 to a bylaw that authorizes next year’s water, sewer, waste and recycling rates.
By passing the bylaw, Council has approved a roughly 2 per cent increase to both water and sewer rates, amounts that would see the average resident’s water and sewer bills increasing by approximately $1.68 per month.
It is anticipated the average Morinville homeowner’s water bill will rise from $50.88 to approximately $51.84, a 1.9 per cent increase over current rates. On the sewer side of the bill, Public Works is anticipating an increase in the average homeowner’s bill from $35.53 to $36.25, an increase of 2.01 per cent over 2012 rates. The anticipated combined increase of $1.68 per month on sewer and water represents a 1.94 per cent increase for ratepayers.
Council also gave second and third reading to the 2013 waste collection rates. Homeowners will see a nickel-a-month increase in their waste collection rates, but apartment and condominium dwellers will see their rates increase by $1.25 per month.
Morinville’s Chief Financial Officer, Andy Isbister, has said the difference between residential and condominium / apartment rates is due to a decrease in the costs of yard waste pickup for homeowners.
Roseridge, the landfill used by Morinville, will continue to charge $32 per tonne for waste and the Town estimates 2,370 tonnes will be processed next year, an 18.5 per cent increase over 2012.
Residents should also see an additional .50 per month charge on their utilities bill, monies being considered to fund an annual pickup around the time of the community’s Town Wide Garage Sale.
Councillor David Pattison questioned whether the annual pickup would be at a central location or curb pickup. Director of Public Works, Claude Valcourt, said a centralized point would be cheaper but said the proposed plan would be a combination of central location and curb pickup.
Pattison went on to ask if the costs double if popularity of the program increases. “I’m kind of wondering what we are getting ourselves into,” he said, adding he was in support of the concept.
Chief Financial Officer Andy Isbister said the continuation of the program would be determined based on the results of the inaugural offering of the annual pickup.
Councillor Lisa Holmes said she sees far more green garbage containers than blue recycling containers and called on Administration actively promote more recycling in 2013 through its advertising.