At City Hall
| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 27, 2013 06:00 am
Residents and business owners who prefer getting their utility bills online will be able to start receiving electronic bills from the city starting today.
The city announced Friday morning that it would start providing access to utility bills online, a change it has been studying since 2011.
All customers will receive a private access code on their next utility bills that will allow them to register for e-billing.
“It gives residents and business owners the opportunity to go paperless, be more environmentally friendly and enjoy the ease and convenience of e-billing, said Ed Kaemingh, the city’s manager of financial operations and reporting, in a news release.
The city started looking at offering paperless bills in 2011 when the threat of a postal strike raised concerns of a cash crunch at city hall if bills couldn’t be delivered to customers. The city is hoping 20 per cent of customers sign up for the paperless service.
The online system will also allow customers to look at up to five years in billing and payments for waste, water and sewer, as well as look at a graph that plots average utility consumption over a 13-month period.
Customers with an access code can register starting today at www.stalbert.ca/online-services. Anyone receiving a bill in March can call the St. Albert Utilities Department at 780-459-1520 (select option two) to get their access code early.
Any discussion on implementing zero-based budgeting won’t take place until either late this year or early next year.
Council approved a motion by Coun. Cam MacKay asking that his proposed debate on such a policy take place in November or December of this year or January of 2014.
Zero-based budgeting requires all managers to build an annual budget by starting from zero and justifying every expense instead of using the previous year’s budget as a starting point.
MacKay originally called for such a debate in December of last year, but has delayed it a few times since.
He called for this most recent delay over concerns about timing. The next municipal election takes place in October, which will be followed almost immediately by the 2014 budget process.
“It’s very difficult to implement something like that right now,” MacKay said.
The city is again looking for residents to nominate a few good neighbours for community recognition.
The pilot program, which honours residents who help make the city a better place through their “selfless acts of kindness,” launched last September. Since that time the city has honoured 28 residents as good neighbours.
The deadline for the spring round of awards is Feb. 28. Anyone who wants to can fill out a nomination form and submit a description about the person they want recognized. All nominees receive a certificate and personal letter of recognition from the mayor, and will be entered into a draw for a piece of artwork from a local artist.
Residents can also simply thank their neighbours by printing a thank-you card off of the city’s website and giving it to any neighbour they wish.
For more information, visit www.stalbert.ca/goodneighbour