City introduces monthly utility bills
By: Matt Durnan
| Posted: Thursday, Mar 06, 2014 11:08 am
Rocky View Publishing
Airdrie City staff have announced the municipality will be changing to monthly utility billing starting this month.
The decision to change from bi-monthly billing was made after an online poll posted on the City’s website showed that 72 per cent of respondents would prefer monthly billing to bi-monthly billing.
Payment methods will not change with the switch, and residents can still opt for any of the City’s payment options including automatic withdrawal or paper billing.
“This switch will help residents get a better handle on their monthly utility usage,” said Lynda Phelan, corporate communications team leader.
Utilities included on the monthly bill are, water and sewer usage, garbage pick-up, recycle depot fees and the newly implemented organics pick-up.
All of the utilities are fixed rates, with the exception of water and sewer, which can fluctuate from month to month for residents who don’t opt for pre-authorized water use. Pre-authorized use is where residents are allowed a fixed amount of water and sewer use for the year and equal payments are withdrawn monthly, with any difference being made up at the end of the year.
Phelan says having a monthly bill will allow residents to better monitor their water use, as well as avoid getting too far behind on payments.
“For one, monthly bills means smaller payments and will allow for people to better manage finances,” said Phelan.
“With bills coming in monthly as opposed to bi-monthly it’s less likely that you’ll get far behind on payments, where as with bi-monthly if you missed one payment, once the next bill came you’re essentially three months behind.”
Pre-authorized utility bills will be withdrawn on the due date of each bill, and monthly budget plans will be withdrawn on the last day of each month under the new structure.
Due dates for utility bills will vary for each resident, depending on what day their water meters are read.
City apologizes for error
The City of Airdrie issued a public apology via Twitter, after a blunder on their curbside organics survey exposed the email addresses of more than 300 residents.
The error was first realized on Feb. 24 after the City got some blowback from residents over Twitter.
“It came to our attention from a few of our Twitter followers,” said Phelan.
Residents were asked to provide their email addresses after filling out the organics survey, in order for the City to keep open correspondence with those who participated.
At the bottom of the survey where the results were posted, was a list of everyone’s email address who had provided one.
“The error was corrected within 24 hours,” said Phelan. “We caught it on Monday the 24th and had it fixed by the next day.”
Phelan says that there was no major fallout from the blunder and that it wasn’t much more than an annoyance to some.
“If anyone still has concerns about it we are asking that they contact us,” she said.
Lynda Phelan can be reached at 403-948-8800 ext. 8722.