City of Chestermere News

Posted on: November 25, 2016

City Council moves forward with new Utilities Mandate and Rate Regulatory Framework

The City of Chestermere has begun implementing the new Chestermere Utilities Inc. (CUI) Mandate and Rate Regulatory Framework. This work is based on City Administration’s Implementation Plan for Stack’d Consulting’s Final Report, which was presented at the November 21 Council Meeting.

“The recommendations represent the culmination of several months of work to strengthen our processes with CUI,” says Mayor Patricia Matthews. “We are eager to move forward with the actions, which help create a more transparent environment, and are aligned with Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) principles.”

Matthews says Stack’d used a thorough and robust process to prepare their recommendations, including soliciting input and expertise from other communities, industry organizations, and experts. “We wanted to make sure we were adopting best practices in the industry, to address the concerns expressed by residents earlier this year,” she says.

While work has begun to implement all of the recommendations, Council will implement an Interim Rate Setting Process now to prepare for 2017 utility rates. “The full set of recommendations will take some time to put into effect. In the meantime, we don’t want to miss the opportunity to immediately bolster our processes for how the City governs its utilities,” says Dr. Randy Patrick, CAO.

These interim measures will make the Rate Setting Process stronger by aligning with AUC principles, clarifying accountabilities for both CUI and the City, and soliciting third party expertise on CUI’s upcoming 2017 rate request. “We will use our learnings from the Interim Rate Setting Process to help guide next year’s activities, along with implementing all of the recommendations in 2017,” says Patrick.

The next steps for the 2017 Interim Rate Setting Process are:
  • November 23-24: The City will engage an external rate review expert(s) to assist in the rate request review.
  • December 1: CUI will publish its 2017 rate request on its website. Interested residents may submit questions in writing to CUI by emailing 2017rates@cuinc.ca.
  • December 5: CUI will present its rate request to Council.
  • December 8: Resident questions are due to CUI by noon.
  • December 15: CUI will respond to public questions and submit a package to Council. City Administration will report back to Council with information from the external consultant.
  • December 19: Council makes final rate decision.

After the Interim Process is complete, work in 2017 will focus on implementing the recommended processes in full, including:
  • Revising overarching policy documents to align with Stack’d Consulting’s recommendations.
  • Setting up communication and reporting protocols between CUI and the City, and Chestermere residents.
  • Reviewing and updating key administrative procedures to reflect the new processes.
  • Enhancing the process for setting 2018 rates using the consultant’s recommendations and learnings from the Interim Process used to set 2017 rates.
Stack’d Consulting’s Final Report can be found on the City of Chestermere’s website. A copy of the Report and the City’s actions have been sent to the Minister of Municipal Affairs in response to the resident petition earlier this year. The City will update residents on the results of the Province’s review and any further actions that are required as soon as it is available.
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