There is an increase to the cost of doing business with Foothills County in 2021.
County council approved its fee schedule at its Dec. 16 meeting, raising the levies on inspection visits, approach construction and road surface work security deposits as well as refundable deposits for water and wastewater connections and utility connection fees.
Council had previously granted first reading to the bylaw at its Oct. 21 organizational meeting after County staff identified a number of amendments.
The per-visit inspection fee for crossing agreements and road use agreements, approach use and work in a right-of-way are increasing from $250 to $300, said planning supervisor Samantha Payne.
“The fee proposed is reflective of the amount of staff time required to draft these agreements as well as to complete any required inspections,” she said.
In addition, the new fee bylaw divides the approach construction deposit amount into four sections based on approach type, she said.
Standard or common approaches will be subject to a $5,000 deposit, while paved standard approaches will require a deposit of $6,000, commercial approaches $7,500 and paved commercial approaches $8,500.
“The deposit amounts proposed are reflective of the actual construction costs for each type of approach,” Payne said.
Similarly, the security deposits for road surface work have been amended to reflect the cost of construction, increasing by $5,000 per surface type.
A dust-controlled gravel surface now requires a security deposit of $10,000 per kilometre, while maintainable road oil (MRO) surfaces cost $30,000 per kilometre and chip seal work is subject to a $40,000 deposit per kilometre.
On the utility side, the fee schedule includes the addition of a $136 bimonthly flat rate for water in Priddis Greens, said Payne.
“This rate will only apply until such time as meters are installed,” she said.
There is also a significant increase in the refundable deposits required for those looking to connect to adjacent water and wastewater services, with the amount rising from $1,000 to $2,500.
Connection fees for residential connections to water utilities have increased from $50 to $150 and commercial and industrial water and wastewater connections from $100 to $300, said Payne.
To achieve cost-recovery on the Millarville waterline, a $15,000 residential water service connection fee was added to the bylaw, she said.
Council also approved adding its two per cent late-payment penalty back into the utility rate section of the bylaw.
“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this penalty was approved by council to be removed from Schedule G on March 25,” said Payne. “The intent at that time was to include this penalty back in the fee schedule bylaw for Jan. 1, 2021.”
The new fee schedule came into effect Jan. 1.