On July 20, council members approved the development of a more equitable utility rate bylaw.
Administration asked council not to approve the finalization of utility roles but for council to give confirmation that they are in agreement that the three components listed are appropriate for the structure of rates.
At the last committee of the whole meeting, members asked administration to develop some concepts of what rates built on the three categories might look like.
Coun. Paul Butler was in favour with moving forward but felt that council should have a number of important discussions before adopting a new utility rates bylaw.
“Do we accept the need to raise an additional $1.3 million through the utility billing process through user fees?” he asked.
Another question he asked was, “How much should be raised through user fees or should some be raised through the tax system?”
Coun. Rico Damota said he understood that they need change and feels moving toward this new system would be beneficial for everyone and would provide some equity for the community.
What he would like to see is that when the shift eventually is made that it does not impact residents and business immediately.
A motion was then made that council approve a development of a utility rate model for future consideration with the following component changes: base system access, tiered consumption and infrastructure replacement.
All were in favour, so the motion was carried.
Mayor Richard Ireland received a letter from minister of Indigenous relations with whom he met in mid-June.
While preparing for that meeting, the minister’s office indicated that they would like to do a gift exchange.
The ministers received a painting of a caribou done by a local artist, and Jasper received from the minister a book titled the Indigenous history of Canada, which was donated to the museum and will be available to the public in an effort to increase awareness and aid reconciliation by making Indigenous history available to more people.
Ali Howat, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Jasper Fitzhugh