Council debates implementation of electrical utility discount program
Grand Forks City Hall (MyGrandForksNow.com staff)
Could an electrical utility discount program for low-income seniors and persons with disabilities work in Grand Forks? That’s the question city council faced this morning when it’s time on the agenda came, and results varied.
Councillor Zak-Eburne-Stoodley says as financial situations can vary for seniors, he’d prefer that financial thresholds define eligibility:
“I think if the goal of this is to help low-income then that’s exactly what I’d like to see it presented as: low-income….”
Varying electricity suppliers was another one of council’s concerns.
Councillor Neil Krog says that despite South Ruckle being supplied by Fortis BC, he believes the program could still be fair:
“We’re on a different electrical grid, so if Fortis wanted to do it and give us a break that would be awesome, but I wouldn’t shut it down because it doesn’t cover everybody….”
Councillor Christine Thompson had this to say:
“….It’s admirable that we want to even think about this, but quite frankly I don’t think I could support that.”
City Staff says the idea for the program came from them, and furthermore they estimate that if 50% of those eligible took part in the program, cost could range from 50 to 60-thousand-dollars per year. Staff recommended the program’s implementation, and that the Utility Billing Bylaw attached to said program be forwarded to September 16th. Council only passed the motion that forwards the Utility Billing Bylaw, and did not vote on the program.