Friday, October 22, 2021
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“Rider” being added to Lethbridge utility bills to collect deferred COVID payments

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LETHBRIDGE, AB – You’re going to have to pay a little bit more on your city electricity bills and you can thank the province for that.

City Council passed a bylaw this week to allow for the collection of deferred utility bills.

The Alberta Government created a utility deferral program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to help customers who had trouble paying their electric bills.

The problem is, not all people on that deferral program paid back what they owed and now the outstanding amount has to be collected by having everyone across the province pay a tad more, regardless of whether you deferred payments or not.

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A so-called “rider” is being added to all Lethbridge utility bills until June 2022 which will add roughly 30 cents a month to your power bill on average.

It was noted the city doesn’t have any other options regarding this, but to comply with the province.

Back in July the province’s Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity, Dale Nally issued a statement saying this fall, Alberta utility rate payers would see a small and temporary ‘Utility Deferral Adjustment’ rate rider on their electricity and natural gas bills. “Average household consumers are expected to be charged a fraction of a dollar on electricity and natural gas bills for a few months”.

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Patrick Siedlecki

Pat has been a mainstay in the CJOC News department from the time the station launched in 2007. He’s been in the position of News Director since then and has been anchoring daily news casts as well as reporting and working behind the scenes.

Community is important to him and keeping CJOC listeners and readers informed about what’s happening across southern Alberta and beyond.

Pat has been in radio broadcasting for the past 24 years, starting in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in 1997 and then moving up island to Nanaimo for another few years before heading to Lethbridge in 2007.

Pat grew up in the small Saskatchewan farming town of Foam Lake. After high school, he went to Western Academy Broadcasting College (WABC) in Saskatoon prior to moving to the island.

Pat also spent several years broadcasting hockey in the BCHL as well as seven years as the radio voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.

Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and Funeral Assistant since 2016.

News and sports have always been Pat’s passion from the time he was a teenager and he’s always been grateful to have had the opportunity to make that part of what’s been a fun and long radio career!

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