Extra money for community

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

McLennan residents will see their electric bills rise slightly in the New Year.
However, the extra money will be forwarded to community groups, says town council after agreeing to raise ATCO Electric’s franchise fee at its Sept. 13 meeting.
The franchise fee is paid by ATCO for the exclusive right to do business in McLennan. Any raise in the fee is passed onto customers on their electric bill.
During debate, council first examined the franchise fees charged by neighbouring communities. A chart provided by ATCO shows Falher’s rate is currently 7.00 and Girouxville’s 6.00 where- as McLennan’s is 2.75.
“I thought we were fairly low on this one,” said Councillor Sue Delaurier after examining the figures.
CAO Lorraine Willier informed council the current 2.75 rate generated $20,775 for the Town whereas a rate of 3.75 would generate $27,645 and 4.75 $35,000.
Delaurier suggested the extra money could go toward community organizations calling it a “slush fund” for council.
“That’s a good idea,” said Councillor Luc Dubrule in supporting the suggestion.
Councillor Dwayne Stout agreed but did not favour an increase to 4.75.
Delaurier and Councillor Marie-Anne Jones favoured a slight increase.
The motion to increase the franchise fee to 3.75 passed unanimously and will generate an extra $6,870 for council in 2022.
The new fee will be implemented by ATCO on Jan. 1.

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