By Sam Donnelly
For Sylvan Lake News
At Sylvan Lake’s regular meeting of council on Jan. 10, council was presented with two proposed changes to waste and water management and the release of the 2022-2024 budget.
The first was a proposed replacement to the old waste management bylaw.
According to Monique Johnson, environmental services manager, the new bylaw provides greater ease of use than the old law, as well as fixing some minor errors.
However, the main reason for the new bylaw is to keep up with the inflating cost of waste management.
According to Johnson, the rate increases will also help fund maintenance of waste management sites as well as the purchasing of a new waste management vehicle.
The remainder will be put towards the waste management subsidy for further use.
ouncil spent very little time deliberating the proposed bylaw before they voted to repeal the old waste management bylaw and move forward with a third reading of the new one.
The pay increases to waste management are as follows:
– The 240 litre black carts will go up from $19 dollars to $19.50, while the 360 litre can will rise from $28.50 to $29 dollars per month.
– Commercial recycling will see its monthly cost raise from $7 dollars to $7.25.
In addition to helping cover the rising cost of waste disposal, the new bylaw would create $56,550 in solid waste revenue. The projected balance of the subsidy is $839,000.
Water ssage rate increases
The second motion put in front of council was an amending bylaw to the water management bylaw to adjust water consumption and sewage rates in Sylvan Lake.
The bylaw was deliberated on much longer than the other amendments. The prime concern was that the rise in the price of water would be too much for the people of Sylvan Lake.
“It just seems like a lot on top of everything else,” said coun. Kjeryn Dakin.
Johnson said that the rate increases are necessary now, in order to get out of the 2.4 million dollar deficit in terms of water usage.
The deficit occurred back in 2015, after $5.5 million dollars was spent on lagoon reclamation.
She went on to say that Sylvan Lake does not want to be in a deficit for very long. That could mean less funding from provincial and federal sources as well as less funding for an ageing water system.
The new bylaw would have Sylvan Lake’s water out of a deficit by 2025.
According to Johnson, it’s better to increase the cost now slowly, rather than being forced to charge much more as the deficit starts to rise.
Council voted to continue moving forward to a third reading and a public hearing for the new bylaw.
Rate increases for water and sewer increases are as follows:
-Water consumption cost will go from 80 cents to 85 cents per metre cubed.
– Sewage services will go from $24.33 to $24.82 per month.
– Sewer services collection rate will go from $2.50 to $2.75 per cubic metre consumed. According to Johnson, this will add an average of $7.25 to account holders’ monthly bill.
Budget public viewing
Council had concerns that the open house at the Nexsource will have a low turnout. In response, they’ve vowed to make seeing this new budget as easy as possible.
Currently, Sylvan Lake city council is releasing their 2022-2024 budget/financial plan, which can be found on the Sylvan Lake website.
There will also be an open house at the Nexsource Centre on Jan. 19 from 4 to 6 p.m. A postcard with more information will also be sent out.