Taps turned on water bills

A dry run for mock water bills in the City of Armstrong is ending.

A dry run for mock water bills in Armstrong is ending.

Since installing water meters, the city has conducted a mock billing period to have its residents get used to the new system.

The last round of mock bills are being finalized.

“The time period is from April 1, 2015 to Sept. 30, 2015,” wrote chief financial officer Terry Martens in a report to council. “The first actual billing period will be Oct. 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016 with bills being mailed in late April.”

In Martens’ report, he states that the current billing rate structure for each six-month billing period includes a fixed minimum charge of $19.30 per house.

There are incremental consumption charges based on usage. If a family uses 0-180 cubic meters, they’re charged 31 cents per cubic meter. From 181-250 cubic meters used, the rate is 62 cents and it’s 78 cents if you use more than 250 cubic meters.

The current period (April to September 2015) shows an average consumption of 148 cubic meters, with mock bills showing $65.27.

In the previous period (October 2014 to March 2015), the average water consumption was 87 cubic meters and bills averaged at $45.64.

For a full year, average consumption in Armstrong was 235 cubic meters for a bill of $110.91.

“With the current rate structure, consumption is between 181 and 250 cubic meters for each six-month period is billed at a higher rate,” said Martens. “Any consumption over 250 triggers the third-rate tier.”

For the current billing period, approximately 26 per cent of homes consumed more than 180 cubic meters and 17 per cent used more than 250 cubic meters.

Martens said staff will look at possibly readjusting the tier structure as there is more usage in spring/summer during growing season than there is in fall/winter.