Town of Ponoka moves forward with ATCO Gas lease renewal

Customers to see a three per cent increase to fees

Town of Ponoka CAO Albert Flootman

The Town of Ponoka has moved forward on a lease agreement with ATCO Gas that sees a three per cent increase in fees.

The decision was made during council’s regular meeting Dec. 12, which shows the lease agreement going to a 20 per cent franchise fee, up from 17. That fee goes to the Town of Ponoka. For the average customer, the monthly increase is estimated at $1.45 per household, states information from AUC.

“You can look at it as rental of the ground and under the streets,” said Flootman of the agreement.

The franchise fee is a percentage of the delivery charge that ATCO sends to the town and will be effective Feb. 1, 2018.

The previous agreement with ATCO had expired so this allows the town to have a solid time frame with the company. Towards the end of the franchise agreement it shows that the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) allows a limit of 35 per cent.

“We’re still in the mid-range,” said Flootman.

“Where there is equity in this fee is virtually every resident is a customer,” said Flootman, adding that it’s another revenue stream for the Town of Ponoka.

The AUC did receive a submission from resident Don Peterson related to the delivery charges, which is found in the same information.

“The Commission has considered the objection of Mr. Peterson, which is based on the delivery charges of ATCO. The Commission finds that concerns related to delivery charges are not within the scope of this proceeding and are not relevant for the purposes of determining whether the franchise agreement between Ponoka and ATCO should be approved,” states the AUC.

“In addition, Mr. Peterson expressed that he did not want to participate in this process,” it adds.

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