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Balgonie water rate changes sent for provincial approval

            Balgonie’s council has given third reading and assent to a bylaw proposing an increase in local water and sewer rates for some ratepayers and decreases for others. Those changes, as approved at the town’s Nov. 8 council meeting, will be minimal for residential customers and more significant for commercial, out-of-town or larger-scale users.

            Town administrator Karen Craigie explained in a follow-up interview that the biggest reason for the increase is that council has not adjusted these rates since 2017. A one-page overview prepared by the town details other factors as well, including an end to the town subsidizing water and sewer rates through the general tax levy, as capital projects (new building projects) will now pay for infrastructure fees.

            Following third reading of Bylaw 427/2021, council made a motion for the proposed rate changes to be sent to Saskatchewan Municipal Board (SMB) for review. If approved, rate changes would become effective January 1, 2022. The SMB has not given a timeline as to when the town will receive the board’s decision.

            The new bylaw lays out water rates and sewer charges from 2022 through 2024.

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