The septage rate will be increasing in Swift Current, but the fact of it doesn't stink as bad as you might think.
The septage rate is the price set for the septic trucks that drop off their cargo at the City of Swift Current's treatment site, just behind the landfill.
The septage rate in Swift Current hasn't seen an increase since 2001, at $0.86.
The rate will be increased by 249 per cent to $3.00 as of January 1, 2023. Another big increase is planned for 2024, with an additional $0.50 being added to the rate, bringing it to $3.50. From there, it will increase annually every year by a matter of cents to accommodate growth and cost.
Presenting the new rate to City council last night was Mitch Minken, general manager of infrastructure and operations for the City of Swift Current.
"The revenue from the septic disposal will be used to cover the cost of operations including road and pad maintenance, gate and fence maintenance, general site clean-up, dredging and site improvements, and administration costs of supervising, account maintenance and billing," said Minken.
As to why this rate increase is only happening now, after over 20 years of it never changing, it seems to be something that was overlooked by various previous city councils.
"It's just one of those things that's just carried on and was never looked into that closely," admitted Minken. "It just sort of fell through the cracks."
The new rate is certainly a steep increase but will bring the City more in line with the provincial average. It's actually slightly ahead of the average for the time being, but that's because they want to build a float for any costs they run into down the road.
In fact, the only reason they noticed the deficiency in the rate, was because of illegal dumping that took place at the lagoon. While cleaning the materials out of the area, they had trouble finding the additional funding they needed to make it happen. That's when it became apparent that they were generating the bare minimum through the septage rate, which helps fund these sorts of incidents and clean-ups.