Published on August 20, 2019
The Legal Foundation for Public Utilities: Municipal Public Utilities Bylaw
The residents and businesses of St. Albert will benefit from the Municipal Public Utilities (MPU) Bylaw.
- Bylaw 24/2019 Municipal Public Utilities (MPU) protects the right of the City of St. Albert to provide utility services within our borders.
- The Bylaw protects the City in two ways:
- Protects the City’s right to deliver traditional utilities like wastewater, storm water and solid waste services (respecting the contractual rights of existing providers that supply and distribute these services).
- Protects the City’s right to deliver non-traditional alternative services that have the potential to reduce costs and generate revenue. This is the main benefit of the MPU Bylaw.
- The Bylaw does not prevent service providers from partnering with the City in the delivery of utility services.
- The Bylaw applies to utility services provided to residents and businesses within St. Albert.
- On July 8, 2019, City Council heard first reading of Bylaw 24/2019 Municipal Public Utilities.
- On August 12, Council’s Governance, Priorities and Finance Committee (GPFC) discussed the potential Bylaw, heard presentations on the subject, and recommended the Bylaw go to Council for second and third readings.
- On August 19, Council heard second and third readings and passed the Bylaw.
- The City of St. Albert faces several challenges that the MPU Bylaw will help address:
- Residents carry a bigger share of the tax burden (80 per cent) compared to businesses (20 per cent), even though businesses pay a higher mill rate than residents.
- The City faces a shortfall in funding for new capital projects. As of July 30, 2019, the shortfall for the items on the Capital Plan is $244,833,593.
- There is also a shortfall in funding for repairs, maintenance and replacement (RMR) of existing infrastructure. To start addressing this gap, Council has approved 1.5 per cent tax increases devoted solely to RMR for the next three years.
- We have the highest offsite levies in the region at $319,000 per hectare. These are the fees the City charges developers to prepare areas of land on which other companies will construct homes or commercial buildings.
- There are limited ways the City can generate revenue:
- Property Taxes
- Sales and User Fees
- Fines and Penalties
- Franchise Fees
- Utility Rate Charges
Last edited: October 18, 2019