Friday, October 9, 2015

Dunnottar Ratepayers Association



 Welcome to the Dunnottar Ratepayers Association website


President's Update - May 22, 2015

          NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING         
BOARD ORDER Nos. 32/15 and 35/15

As a result of an application to review the decision in Board Order Nos. 32/15 and 35/15, the Public Utilities Board will convene a Public Hearing.

A Public Hearing will be held:
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Matlock Recreation Club
77 Matlock Road, Matlock, MB
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Meeting to begin at 7:00 p.m.


May 14,2015

Ms. Janice Thevenot
Chief Administrative Officer
Village of Dunnottar
44 Whytewold Road
Box 321
Mattock, MB ROC 2B0

Dear Ms. Thevenot

Re: Village of Dunnottar - Sewer Utility

The Public Utilities Board (Board) has received an application to review and vary Board Order Nos. 32/15 and 35/15. Based on the above, the Board has decided to proceed by way of a Public Hearing. This will provide stakeholders an opportunity to voice their concerns to the Board and the Village in an open public process.

Board staff will contact you to confirm a date and time for the Public Hearing that is agreeable to all parties. The Board requires you to provide a venue. A Board Notice of Application and Public Hearing (Notice) will be provided by the Board. The Notice will advise the public of the time and location of the hearing along with proposed rates. The Notice will need to be published to inform the public as to the hearing.

The Board also requires an Affidavit be filed upon circulation of the Notice. The Board thanks you for your collaboration in this matter.

Yours Truly,
Jennifer Dubois, CMA
Assistant Associate Secretary



Public Utilities Board Act Section 82(1) Discriminatory Rates
1.  no owner of a public utility shall make impose or exact any unjust or unreasonable, unjustly discriminatory, or unduly preferential individual or joint rate.....

By now, Dunnottar ratepayers  are becoming aware of the impact that PUB order 35/15 has had on property taxes. There are disproportionate savings for a few but much higher taxes for the vast majority of property owners. 
Because of this discrepancy, we are encouraging concerned ratepayers to appeal PUB order 35/15 and ask for a full public hearing on the matter.

Since metering of pump outs has been rejected in this order, and no provisions have been made for the seasonal nature of most of the community, we feel there are grounds to have this order changed.  The following are some of the questions you might want to ask the PUB and Dunnottar council. 

1.  Why the shift from 100% assessment based sewage fees to a $494.00 flat rate sewage fee without considering the option of a 50/50 split of these taxes as allowed under the Manitoba Municipal Act?

2.  Why were Dunnottar taxpayers not notified by letter of the PUB order by Dunnottar council since they knew of this order and its implications since March 12, 2015?  In fact, it has come to light that the PUB deadline for appealing 35/15 was April 12, 2015.

3.  How were Dunnottar taxpayers supposed to appeal a PUB order that only came to light on about May 5, 2015 when tax bills started arriving?   It would seem there was a deliberateness of purpose by not informing taxpayers by mail before the appeal eadline.

4.  Why dd the PUB not call for a public hearing when the issue of sewer rate taxation effects every property in the village?

5.  Was there due diligence by the PUB in exploring all payment options or was the PUB in a rush to make a decision so Dunnottar administration could put the new sewer rate structure on the June 30th, 2015 tax bills as is indicated by the PUB order?

There are many questions on how a petition by 39 highly assessed property owners could result in a PUB decision without hearing from the rest of the people in Dunnottar. We encourage concerned ratepayers to appeal decision 35/15 and ask for a full public hearing on this issue. Subsequent inquiries by the Dunnottar Ratepayers Association to the Public Utilities Board have resulted in the PUB stating they will consider all requests for appeal and public hearing, even though the April 12, 2015 appeal deadline has passed.

The Public Utilities Board
400-330 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3C 0C4

(204) 945-2638

Appeals and concerns must be in writing and must identify PUB order 35/15.  They must contain relevant information such as your home and cottage address along with your contact information.
Be sure to address how this order affects you, your concerns, and your proposed suggestions to better the PUB order 35/15.


Ed Strauman, President
Dunnottar Ratepayers Association



On February 10, 2015, the Dunnottar Ratepayers Association Executive met with the Assistant Deputy Minister of Municipal Government regarding concerns our organization has with some of the resolutions passed at your November 2014 annual general meeting.

In particular:
- resolution 4-2014 ... "revise the current resolution to develop a higher threshold of objections"
- resolution 5-2014 ... "develop a screening / review process to consider the merit of objections"
- "consider that objections on certain applications be limited to property owners and citizens of the municipality and / or within a defined distance of the project! proposal"

The Dunnottar Ratepayers Association feels the AMM proposals to limit, screen and increase the threshold of letters of objection is a clear attempt to stifle public opposition to controversial borrowing by-laws.
One only has to review Dunnottar Council's mishandling of the 2012 sewer issue to reinforce why the tax paying public needs more access to Municipal Board hearings not less, as you are proposing.
At a time when groups like the Dunnottar Ratepayers Association lobby for more open and transparent government at the municipal level, it would appear the AMM is advocating blocking behaviors which could result in less transparency and the erosion of the democratic process.
After our meeting with Provincial Municipal Government officials, it was clearly stated that the province is in no rush to restrict public inputs to the municipal borrowing process. This does raise the question as to why the AMM is so interested in doing so.  

Village of Dunnottar Minutes - August 2014
Article 15.7 - Municipal Planning Commission Appointees
Resolution # 184-14
Council appoints the following residents to the municipal planning commission as per
by-law 841-07 for the terms indicated:
George Thompson To January 2016
Cary Storey            To January 2016
Doreen Rosassen  To January 2015
David Lobban         To January 2015

It would seem that these appointments by council favor those who are in support of a sewer system for Dunnottar.  The DRA would like to see a more balanced series of appointments, including cottagers, considering the results of the July 2012 sewer referendum.

President Edward Strauman                                            
Dunnottar Ratepayers Association

Referendum Results - July 2012

 Referendum Question   Yes  No
"Do you support the installation of a low pressure
sewer system as proposed by the Village of
Dunnottar Borrowing By-Law No. 891/12"
  377   901
 29.5%  70.5%

With the conclusion of the by-election and referendum, the Dunnottar Ratepayers Association kindly requests residents remove the red and white signs from their property.  Removal of signs will help restore community harmony and enable everyone to enjoy a well deserved summer. 



June 2, 2012 - The Public Hearing that Never Was 

 2012-06-02-CancellationNotice_01_Thmb.jpg On May 25, 2012 Mayor and Council held a 'Special Meeting' to postpone the public hearing scheduled to occur on June 2nd. 

Approximately 150 residents arrived on June 2nd expecting to meet with Mayor and Council to discuss their concerns. 

Residents arriving were disgusted with the lack of respect for their time, effort and money spent to attend the meeting.  Click here to read more.  


May 9, 2012  Are You Uncertain About the Low Pressure Sewer?


Village Council is again pursuing a costly, unnecessary and environmentally unfriendly low pressure sewer system.

If you are uncertain or confused by documents and information Council has provided, we strongly encourage you to spend 25 minutes and watch our informative and objective video.

To watch the video
click here or click anywhere on the image to the left.

Ratepayers Express Their Concerns
Are On-Lot Cost Estimates Optimistic?
Concerned Ratepayers Ask Mayor and Council Questions

© Dunnottar Ratepayers Association 2012