The Town of St. Paul will no longer distribute door hangers to remind property owners to read their water meters.
The door hangers have become an issue in recent months after the meter of a rental property was not read in over a year. When the reading was received, it resulted in a significant amount of money outstanding which the property owner did not want to pay because they did not receive the door hanger.
Coun. Nathan Taylor made a motion to abolish the door hanger program because of the ongoing shift to water meters which can be read automatically.
According to Director of Public Works Steven Jeffery, the town has switched approximately 80 per cent of meters to the new meters. He said about 300 homes still need to be switched.
“A lot of meters that we’re putting in we are then again taking them out, and sending them away for warranty replacement,” said Jeffery, noting it’s to be expected a bit with purchasing used meters.
“But it is taking time to install them, realize there’s a problem, take them back out, ship them away and get the new ones back. So, that is an issue but we’re dealing with it,” he said.
Mayor Maureen Miller suggested going forward the priority should be to get homes the town is not getting meter readings from switched over to the new water meters.
Coun. Ron Boisvert asked if administration would still be sending the property owners notices to read their meters.
According to Heyman, administration had changed the practice to phoning people directly whenever possible because it was slightly more effective than sending letters.
Taylor’s motion to abolish the door hangers carried. A second motion by Boisvert to bring the water and sewer bylaw back to council for further review also carried.
St. Paul receives $1,500 from Co-op rebate program
The Town of St. Paul received a cheque for $1,526 from Cornerstone Co-op at the April 12 regular council meeting. The meeting was held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The money is the Town’s fuel rebate through the Rural/Urban Municipality Petroleum Rebate Program, which allows municipalities to receive a cash refund each year instead of accumulating equity shares in the Co-op through their fuel purchases.
“When you turn a certain age rate you get paid out, or if you leave the trading area, or if you pass away it goes to the estate. There’s some pretty clear, transparent ways of gaining equity. But when you’re a long-standing generational town or organization that option really isn’t there,” said Kory Kralkay, the Director of Operations for Cornerstone Co-op.
He said since the amalgamation of St. Paul and District Co-op with East Alta Co-op in 2017, they’ve been transitioning municipalities to non-members, but wanted to make sure there was still an avenue for them to receive the benefits of membership. Kralkay noted they also hope the program will act as incentive for all the municipalities in their trading area to purchase more of their fuel from the gas stations and cardlocks.
The program has tiered levels for how much of a rebate is given based on the amount of fuel a municipality purchases in a given year. According to Dwayne Odgaard, the manager of the petroleum division at Cornerstone Co-op, between the Town of St. Paul and the Town of St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department, St. Paul purchased just over 190,000 litres in 2020.
“Which does fall in to our second tier category, which is 0.75 cents per litre,” said Odgaard.
St. Paul Mayor Maureen Miller thanked Odgaard and Kralkay for the rebate and said “there is definitely a conversation of bidding local and supporting local. The co-operation we have between Cornerstone and ourselves is great.”
“We are great at stretching money, so I definitely appreciate having that bonus come back to us,” said Miller.
Town to support Chamber of Commerce with $10,000
The Town of St. Paul will be supporting the St. Paul and District Chamber of Commerce with $10,000 in 2021. Coun. Ron Boisvert made the motion and it carried with unanimous support.