Council Pulls the Plug on Rapid Rate Changes
Council has decided to pull the plug on the proposed changes to its water and sewer rate structures in time for a January 1st rate change. The proposed changes to Rossland’s water and sewer rate structure, now out for consultations, had problems Council identified even before they splashed out and asked for citizen input. The consultants’ recommendation might work in a large metropolis but looking at the specific impacts on Rossland, Council isn’t convinced that these unchartered waters were the right approach for the City.
Council had given first and second reading to new water and sewer rate bylaws in September, allowing consultations to start and revision ideas to flow as appropriate. As additional information was provided to Council from the hard working city staff and from the public, Council decided that they needed to revisit the proposed changes before they would be appropriate to meet Rossland’s needs.
Council will still work on changes, but on a more relaxed timeline that will allow them to go with the flow and craft a plan that is more equitable to all Rosslanders and also works towards properly funding our water and sewer utilities.
The major changes suggested by the consultants were aimed at solving a problem we still have: a long history of underinvestment in Rossland’s water and sewer infrastructure. Using pipe size as a major component to the new rates may not however provide the equitable solution Council was looking for. Adjusting the flat rates and focusing more on consumption will likely be a main component to the updated proposal once completed.
Council’s scheduled public meeting on November 12th (7:00 pm at the Seniors Hall at 1916 1st Ave.) will provide an opportunity to address the questions posed by the public in the Thoughtexchange online process. Those questions, and any others, are still relevant regardless of the changes proposed. Your input will help Council navigate to the best solution for dealing with our water and sewer fund needs.