Proposed $500 utility rate would hurt Netook Crossing
We are concerned by the article in last week’s Gazette discussing MVC administration’s suggestion that wastewater bills for Netook Crossing businesses could reach $500 a month (“Monthly utility rate for Netook Crossing estimated at $500” by John Gleeson, March 6).
Our first concern is that this will send a message to prospective businesses that Netook Crossing is not an affordable place to do business. In fact, what needs to be reiterated is that the intent is for wastewater/water services to be provided to Netook through a piped system and that capital costs for this system will be covered by the developer.
The process of transporting wastewater/water via truck is an interim solution. We are concerned that the recommendation put forward by administration seems extreme. If a business in Netook Crossing must pay $500 a month for comparable services to a business in East Rocky View in Rocky View County that pays $65 a month, this becomes a significant impediment to economic development.
As developers we have worked to put in place an interim servicing strategy. We would like to see MVC put their support behind the Netook development rather than adding to the marketing challenge in an already competitive regional marketplace.
We would encourage administration and council to dig deeper and explore various operational scenarios to deliver this service to Netook on an interim basis. For the sake of its residential and commercial taxpayers, administration and council need to apply creative solutions to ensure its services are cost-effective and utility rates are reasonable. This will continue to be important as Netook Crossing moves towards a piped system in the near future.
To help inform the utility rate bylaw process and support the go forward plans for Netook Crossing, our team is currently in the process of completing a servicing strategy, which will detail projected volume and costs associated with current and anticipated development in the area. Although this report is not yet complete, we have offered to provide interim results to MVC. We believe these findings will help MVC make informed decisions with respect to the utility rate bylaw process.
We further believe the key to finding the right solutions to move this development forward lies in working together. As major stakeholders in this area, MVC needs to engage us in the process before any significant decisions are made.
Herb Styles and Terry Johnston
Netook Developers and MVC taxpayers