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User rates for some municipal services changing, while still remaining below provincial averages

(Fort McMurray, AB – October 22, 2019) – At the Oct. 22 Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) Council meeting, Council approved Administration’s recommendation to create a new Fees, Rates and Charges Bylaw, which includes adjustments to user rates for some municipal services. 

The rate change, which begins January 1, 2020 and affects municipal services like utilities, transit, landfill disposal, permits and recreation activities, are on average 17% higher than the current rates but will remain below provincial averages. To avoid any impact on the current and upcoming fall and winter sport seasons, updated rates for municipal services for these programs will take effect July 1, 2020.

“The Municipality has been offering services at highly discounted rates that are no longer sustainable,” said Linda Ollivier, Director, Financial Services. “The current user rates are far below what our operational costs are and on average 25% lower than other Alberta municipalities. Adjustments are needed to ensure the direct user is paying the appropriate fee for services, while reducing the subsidy from the municipal tax base.” 

With the exception of a utility rate increase in 2017, this is the first-time in over 10 years user rates for municipal services have been adjusted. Adjustments to rates vary depending on the municipal service, with some user rates staying the same. A full list of updated rates is available here.  

User fees, rates and charges are paid by residents who directly use and benefit from municipal services that are not fully supported by tax dollars. Charging these fees to the individual user helps the municipality recover some or all of the direct costs associated with providing the service.

The adjustments to user fees, rates and charges are aligned with the municipality’s commitment to fiscal responsibility in the 2018-2021 RMWB Strategic Plan.

Learn More

For more information on user fees, rates and charges, visit rmwb.ca/userfees 
Residents and businesses can expect to see adjustments on their 2020 utility bill once the new user rates take effect January 1, 2020. To learn more about utility bills and to register for pre-authorized payments, visit rmwb.ca/utility 
For tips to conserve water, help protect the environment and save money on utility bills, visit rmwb.ca/waterconservation 
Questions about your utility bill or user rates? Contact Pulse at 780-743-7000, toll free at 1-800-973-9663 or online at mwb.ca/pulse 


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