Neepawa to reapply for rate changes


By Eoin Devereux

The Neepawa Banner

Neepawa hopes that the third time’s the charm when it comes to getting approval on a revised water and sewer utility rate.

The town has decided to withdraw its most recent application to the Public Utilities Board for a rate change and will reapply within the next few weeks. This will be the third time in just over three years that Neepawa has submitted a request to PUB for the revision.

The first request, made in Dec. 2011, was withdrawn based on several deficiencies linked to the changing demographics of the Town and the implications for Hy-Life as the major user.

A second application was then submitted in July 2013 and proposed a collapse of the rates from a four-step system with different levels for residential, business and industrial users to a one-step system for all consumption. This current application posed concern for the Public Utilities Board, most notably the immediate collapse of the rates and has not yet been brought forward for consideration.

Staff with the Town office recently attended a utility rate training session and took the opportunity to discuss what would be required to move the application forward in a more timely manner. Based on that discussion, the application will be reconfigured to include long-term planning identifying gradual reductions in the rates and support both the Town and the users.