Drumheller Town Council held a special council meeting Monday night at Town Hall to approve the utility rate bylaw.
 
Effective January 1, 2017 residents will see a five per cent increase to the water bill and a two per cent increase on waste water.
 
"What they're looking at is a cost recovery," explained Mayor Terry Yemen. The government has already told us that in the future the municipalities will be required to take care of their own water and waste water, so we are in arrears with this and we have been going through a program of full cost recovery and with the increases that had been projected we're looking at having full cost recovery by the year 2020."
 
With a proposed three per cent increase in water rates, Yemen says it would take another two years to become cost recovery.
 
Water and waste water aren't the only rates going up in 2017. Council approved a two per cent increase to fees at the Aquaplex, Badlands Community Facility and the arena. For example, an annual adult membership to the Badlands Community Facility will jump from $479 to $485.50. A family membership will go from $896.50 to $914.50. The fee assistance program will continue in 2017. 
 
Fees for ball diamonds will also go up two per cent and it will cost more to be buried at the Drumheller cemetery with plot, columbarium and memorial wall prices going up two per cent.
 
The cost to store an airplane at the municipal airport has increased from $175 per year to $225 to help cover the cost of maintenance and repairs. It will also cost two per cent more for development permits and compliance certificates in 2017.
 
Not everything is going up next year. The cost of a business license as described in Schedule A of the Business Bylaw remains unchanged and so does the cost of owning a pet in Drumheller. 
 
Administration costs, development information and electronic information are also unchanged. 

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