The County of Wetaskiwin is raising rates for contractors who haul gravel for the municipality after a detailed staff presentation at their Nov. 13 Public Works meeting.
Director of Public Works Neil Powell summarized the issue for council in his memo. “At the July 17, 2018 Council for Public Works meeting, Council heard concerns from Delegation Dale Franklin, a private party hauler whom has worked with the County for numerous years,” stated Powell.
“With the increase of fuel prices, wages and equipment, Mr. Franklin is of the opinion that the rate paid to contract haulers should be increased. At that time, Council directed Administration to investigate the current rates being paid by neighboring municipalities.”
Powell gave a rundown on increase to rates dating back about 10 years. “From November 1, 2005 to December 31, 2008, the County of Wetaskiwin contract hauler rates were $0.80 (Eighty Cents) per tonne loading factor and $0.20 (Twenty Cents) per tonne mile hauling factor,” stated Powell.
“This was based on fuel costs of $0.99 per litre which includes the federal and provincial taxes but not GST.
“At the August 5, 2008 Council General meeting Council approved a rate increase of $0.90 (Ninety Cents) per tonne loading factor and $0.24 (Twenty-four Cents) per tonne mile hauling factor effective January 1, 2009. The increase was based on fuel costs of $1.08 per litre for diesel which includes the federal and provincial taxes but not GST.
“At the August 8, 2013 Council for Public Works meeting Council reviewed the information provided by Administration regarding current fuel pricing and neighboring municipality contract hauler rates. At that time, Council resolved that the contract hauler rates remain status quo.”
Powell said Public Works consulted sources like the consumer price index and neighbouring municipalities to see what other rates were being paid. “The County’s current haul rate of $0.90 per tonne loading factor is approximately 4.4 per cent below the average of the County and its neighbours,” stated Powell. “The County’s current haul rate of $0.14 per tonne kilometer is approximately 28.9 per cent below the average of the County and its neighbours.”
Powell noted “Administration recommends the following: Increase the loading rate from $0.90 to $1.00 per tonne; a 11.1 per cent increase overall, increase the haul rate from $0.149 to $0.186 per tonne km; a 25 per cent increase overall.”
Councilor Josh Bishop said contractors operate in a world of supply and demand, and wanted to know if contractors were turning down work with the county because of below-average rates.
County CAO Rod Hawken confirmed there are contractors turning down work from the county.
Councilor Kathy Rooyakkers said the 25 per cent increase sounds bigger than it is because the county’s rates are 10 years old.
Councilor Bill Krahn said the county’s rates should be competitive and he doesn’t blame contractors for turning down the county because of the lower rates.
Reeve Terry Van de Kraats said he agreed with Krahn.
Councilors approved Powell’s recommendation by vote. The new rates will be effective Jan. 1, 2019.