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Town looks to draft policy around providing utilities for public use

The Town of St. Paul will cover over $200 worth of water used at the Co-op's sani-dump station, but will also look at drafting a policy regarding providing utilities where the use is public.
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ST. PAUL - The Town of St. Paul has decided to pay for two years worth of accrued water use at the sani-dump station located at Cornerstone Co-op in St. Paul, but the municipality will now look at drafting a policy focused on providing utilities where the use is for the general public.

When a large amount of construction took place in the area a couple years ago, the sani-dump area was reconfigured, and an actual amount of water being used at the station was unknown at the time due to how water was being metered at the nearby grocery and hardware store. The Town agreed to pay for the water being used at the station while getting a better idea of consumption.

In 2019, there was minimal consumption at the station, due to construction. In 2020, there was about $123 worth of water consumed, and in 2021 there was about $150 worth of water used. 

When speaking to the issue, Town of St. Paul CAO Steven Jeffery said it didn't appear that there was an official motion on the books regarding the discussions that had previously taken place. He asked council how they would like to proceed, and if the Town was going to continue to cover water use at the sani-dump station.

While discussing the issue, councillors appeared split on how to proceed. Coun. Gary Ward made a motion to pay the outstanding amount based on previous discussions that took place, and to continue to cover the costs of the water being used up to a maximum of $200 per year.

Coun. Brad Eamon felt that covering the costs of a utility for a business would be precedent setting. He also said he believed there were people using the station to fill up with water to be used for residential purposes outside of town, not just their RVs. 

Coun. Nathan Taylor said he was not in favour of the motion put forward by Ward, and noted that he would like to see a policy drafted regarding the Town paying for utilities used by the general public. Taylor added that he felt the sani-dump was a benefit to the Co-op in that it serves their customers. 

Coun. Norm Noel pointed out that the Town already has two fill/dump stations - one at the Iron Horse Campground and one at the campground located near the RCMP detachment - and agreed with Taylor's notion that the sani-dump at the Co-op is meant to attract customers to the business, specifically.

Mayor Maureen Miller agreed that the Town should pay for the accrued costs, based on past conversations, but not necessarily cover costs moving forward. 

"We need a policy as to how we would supply free water," said the mayor.

Ward agreed that a policy should be drafted. 

As discussions wrapped up, a motion to pay for the accrued costs for 2020 and 2021 was carried. A second motion to develop a policy around utilities being used by the public was also carried.

Janice Huser

About the Author: Janice Huser

Janice Huser has been with the St. Paul Journal since 2006. She is a graduate of the SAIT print media journalism program, is originally from St. Paul and has a passion for photography.
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