News — 31 January 2012
By Chris Marchand
Residents and businesses could begin getting a preview of the city’s new metered water billing process as soon as April.
City of Dryden Director of Engineering Michael Louttit says that consulting firm BMA are in the process of developing a billing model for the city. At the moment, Lou ttit adds that BMA are currently awaiting data from the city’s financial department in order to proceed.
“From a hardware perspective, all the meters are installed and ready to go, we’ve received our reading equipment and we just need to get this information to BMA to create this billing model,” said Louttit.
Louttit says an important part of BMA’s role is to provide a ‘sensitivity analysis’.
“They’ll provide us with information that will describe what a typical residential or commercial property bill will look like,” he said. “We’ll present that before the bills are issued the first time around.”
Louttit says properties on city water and sewer services will have several months of ‘ghost billing’, where users will continue to pay the current flat rate, while their home or businesses’ water metering data will be used to calculate a total that reflects what they can expect to pay under the new billing model.
Louttit says that ghost billing could last anywhere from three to six months. While it’s difficult to project a timeline for implementation, he says he expects to see metered billing in place by autumn of 2012.
“The public has shown a lot of patience,” Louttit. “People are calling and asking when are the bills going to start and we just need a little more time to ensure we do it right the first time around. What we don’t want to do is put out a fee model that doesn’t relate to the requirements of the system.”

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Chris Marchand is a native of Dryden, Ontario. He served his first newspaper internship at The Dryden Observer in 1998 while attending journalism studies at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops B.C. He's worked desks as both reporter and editor at the Fernie Free Press as well as filled the role of sports editor at the Cranbrook Daily Townsman. Marchand was named editor of the Dryden Observer in Aug. 2009.

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