Utility charges jump in Bashaw in response to late payments

Late payment penalty increases, connection fees rise significantly as well

Higher fees and penalties will soon be attached to water bills in Bashaw.

On Oct. 12 at the town’s final council meeting a rise in the interest charged on an outstanding amount was approved, as was a jump in the fee charged for connecting or disconnecting water for a property.

Council approved a new interest rate of six per cent on overdue accounts, up from two per cent, with that amount compounded with each billing cycle. In addition, the connection/disconnection fee will triple to $75 from $25.

CAO Theresa Fuller explained council determined these figures would better accomplish the intention of offsetting the various costs associated in dealing with late payments, changing accounts or even physically turning on or shutting off the water.

“It isn’t always as simple as a few keystrokes, there is a lot of paperwork involved even if public works doesn’t have to actually go and turn it on or off,” Fuller stated.

Council opted against having long overdue accounts have their water cut-off, choosing instead to leave the present procedure of rolling overdue accounts onto the property’s tax roll if it comes to that.

“Overall, council determined any concerns about non-payment of an account would eventually be dealt with within a year or so because of the current practice of being able to put those amounts onto the property’s municipal taxes,” she said.

Other business

Council also approved a number of other recommendations from administration including passing the requested budget for the Parkland Regional Library which is an increase of about $70 for the town over last year, an amended substance usage policy for employees to better reflect the realities of today’s society and lowering the insurance on the water tower to declared value of $200,000 to cover repair or demolition costs.

The regional fire coordinator contract with Camrose County was also extended for another five years and motions were passed to pay for replacement of the sound system at the community hall as well as have a detailed land appraisal done on a property within the town.

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