No change for utility franchise fee rates

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INNISFAIL – The town is holding the line on franchise fee rates for electricity and gas.

At council’s regular meeting on Nov. 14, council approved an administration recommendation to not change the 2018 franchise fee rate of nine per cent for FortisAlberta, which supplies electrical power to the community, and 23 per cent for ATCO Gas.

Heather Whymark, the town’s director of corporate services, told council the current FortisAlberta franchise fee, which is shown on all consumer utility bills and ultimately comes back to the town, is expected to generate $728,654 in revenue in 2017.

Although there is no change to the franchise fee there will be an increase in revenues due to assessment growth. The forecasted franchise fee revenue for 2018 is about $20,000 higher at $747,653.

As for ATCO Gas, the 2017 franchise fee of 23 per cent is forecasted to generate $477,788, with an estimated increase to $496,351 in 2018.

As for an increased cost in 2018 for the consumer, Whymark said while the town is holding the line it could still happen.

“There is a cost to the consumer no matter what,” she said. “Because we didn’t increase the cost, the only cost they (consumer) would incur is if they use more gigabytes or kilowatts or if those companies increase their rates.”

Heather Whymark, the town’s director of corporate services

“Because we didn’t increase the cost, the only cost they (consumer) would incur is if they use more gigabytes or kilowatts or if those companies increase their rates.”

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Johnnie Bachusky

Johnnie Bachusky joined the Innisfail Province as editor in 2013. He covers Innisfail and Red Deer County news, police, crime and municipal politics. He is also a photographer and columnist.