Utility tie-ins to be more flexible

The City of Red Deer is trying to be more flexible with recently annexed rural residents so they don’t have to tie into municipal services by a deadline.

The City of Red Deer is trying to be more flexible with recently annexed rural residents so they don’t have to tie into municipal services by a deadline.

Red Deer city council passed new wording within the existing utility bylaw so that property owners don’t have to connect within a year.

The director of development services now has discretion to extend the period within which the connection to the water main and wastewater sewer must be made. It’s subject to review every five years or less. Part of the director’s decision will be based on making sure that the health or safety of the occupants are not in jeopardy; that the delay won’t adversely affect the integrity or operation of those utilities; and it will not present an undue risk of damage to property or the environment.

Council also gave first reading to a new utility bylaw that would replace the existing one, which hasn’t seen an extensive review since in 1998.

The bylaw hasn’t had a good workover over the last dozen years, said Environmental Services manager Tom Warder. “The whole bylaw has been reworded, but the intent is the same.”

A general re-organization of the bylaw was done.

Second and final readings will come to council on Jan. 9.