By Letter to the Editor on September 5, 2020.
The Condo Owners Society of Alberta is following the recycling issue in Lethbridge with great interest.
In our experience, condominiums in the province are often expected to foot a disproportionate amount of the costs of utilities and services simply because they are permitted to do so within their powers under the Municipal Government Act. While perfectly legal, what often happens is neither equitable nor fair to city condominium taxpayers simply because they happen to live in a condominium.
Condominiums are often charged for services on a per unit basis when the service isn’t provided on a per-unit basis, and the actual costs of service are often far less than they would be for a single family dwelling.
Using Lethbridge as an example, it does not cost the City the same amount of money to pick up one bin of recycled materials at a larger condominium of 131 units on a biweekly basis as it would to pick up 131 individual homes. This would cost this condominium (131 units) $917 per month or $11,004 per year for one bin at two times per month. This is unrealistic and unfair especially if you consider that many larger condominium corporations are already recycling with private contractors at a fraction of the cost.
Condominiums are corporate entities under the Condominium Act, are governed by a board of directors and are often centrally billed as a single entity for most utilities. More than 25 per cent of persons in the province live in condominiums, they are taxpayers, often over 55 and often single individuals.
The Condo Owners Society of Alberta was created to educate owners, and to advocate for fair and equitable treatment from all levels of government and industry. To that end we applaud the local group of Lethbridge condominium owners who are asking the City only for services that are fair and allowing them to continue to operate in as economically reasonable manner as possible.
President, Condo Owners Forum Society of Alberta