Saving water creates shortfall in Armstrong

Saving water creates shortfall in Armstrong

The city has released results from its first full year of residential metered water actual billing

Armstrong residents are conserving water which is creating a revenue shortfall.

The city has released results from its first full year of residential metered water actual billing.

Chief financial officer Terry Martens’ report shows the average house in Armstrong consumed 104 cubic meters of water in the period of fall/winter 2015/2016, with the average house billing being $51 which produced total residential revenue of $96,000.

In the spring/summer of 2016, consumption was 150 cubic meters, with an average billing of $67 for $144,000 in revenue.

In total, there were 254 cubic meters of water consumed, with a billing of $118 for $240,000 in revenue.

Under a flat rate, the average house billing would have been $155, so a drop of $36, and total revenue of $318,000, resulting in a shortfall of $78,000.

“The flat rate amounts reflect what would have been the annual per-house user fee and total residential revenue if the city continued under a flat-rate, unmetered structure in 2016,” said Martens.

“Metered rates were determined based on the information available at the time.”

One of the things council will consider in its 2017 budget deliberations is ways to make up the shortfall.

The city’s current five-year budget contains a provision for a four per cent rate increase each year for 2017 and 2018, and a three per cent hike each in 2019 and 2020.

“We do appreciate people are conserving water and want them to continue to feel they have some control over the price they pay by using less, which is ironic as that means it costs more,” said Coun. Shirley Fowler.

Martens said the residential revenue shortfall, planned future expenditures and inflationary effects will all be taken into consideration in developing proposed rates.