August 11, 2017

High Utility Rates

I have spoken with many of you about the high cost of utilities here in Chestermere. We have the highest utility rates in the region. I have some ideas about how we can bring our utility rates more in line with the utility bills of our neighbours in surrounding communities.

Fold CUI: Is it practical to fold CUI and bring the services back into the Municipality? If so, what does that look like? This process would be quite involved and would take some time, but it may be an option.

Cut administration costs: I would like to see a compensation review to make sure we are getting the best dollar value with CUI staff salaries and paid Board positions. The CUI Board of Directors has approved the salary of the current CEO of Chestermere Utilities, who makes approximately the same salary as the CAO or City Manager for all of Calgary. We have some very knowledgeable people working for Chestermere and CUI, but we need to identify ways to decrease administration costs.

Make reasonable utility rates a priority: If elected I would ask the board to bring forward a plan to lower the utility rates to be closer to those of other communities in the region. This needs to be a priority for the board and CEO of CUI.

We have to solve this problem sooner than later as the City of Chestermere and CUI combined carry a debt that is approaching the maximum debt the province allows for municipalities. We don’t have a lot of leeway. We have to get this right and soon.