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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - February 6, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta EASTER IN LAS VEGAS Depart Calgary April 19 - Return April 24 RETURN AIRFARE, ACCOMODATIONS (Union Plaza) Transfers, Tips and Gratuities Many extras Priced at only $198.00 return Per person based on double occup. ART WILLIAMS TRAVEL CENTRE VILLAGE MALL PHONE 328-3201 The Lethbridge Herald SECOND SECTION Lethbridge, Alberta, Tuesday, February 6, 1973 PAGES 11 TO 20 LETHBRIDGE OFFICE FURNITURE LTD. Lower Level 7th Street Shopping Mall Lethbridge, Alberta Phone (403) 328-7411 FILING CABINETS 1969 power contract has city in bind By JIM MAYBIE Herald Staff Writer A contract signed in 19(19 between the city and Calgary Power has the city in a bind. The contract has made it uneconomical for the city to continue operating its power plant. Two major reasons for this development are that the city's energy demand has grown at a rate considerably higher than anticipated in 1969, and that Calgary Power has applied for a rate increase. Studies prior to signing the 1969 contract were based on an annual 7.5 per cent growth in power demand. The actual growth rate was 17 per cent in 1970; 14.5 per cent in 1971; 9.5 per cent in 1972; and an estimated 12 per cent in 1973. From 1969 the demand has grown 60.18 per cent compared with the 1969 forecast of 33.75 per cent by 1973. In other words, the city's demand reached in 1972 the level that wasn't supposed to be reached until 1975. Rate increase Calgary Power's application for a rate increase has further backed the city into a comer. An interim rate increase, equal to the proposed rate increase, has been approved by the Public Utilities Board. If the city could buy all its energy requirements from Calgary Power, based on the 1972 demand and rate costs, which is the same for Red Deer, it would cost the city $1,810,463 to meet that demand. However, if Calgary Power were to buy the city plant, Lethbridge would be put on the same wholesale rate as Red Deer, and would pay $1,999,831 for its energy requirements, an increase of 10.5 per cent over 1972 costs, almost four per cent less than the proposed rate increase for Lethbridge. The 1969 contract, coupled with the greater than anticipated growth rate, has put Lethbridge in an unfavorable position. Calgary Power can apply for a greater increase for Lethbridge than for other purchasers. However, if the city were to sell its plant to Calgary Power, the J.969 contract would be mutually dissolved and Lethbridge would receive the same rate as Red Deer. As things now stand, the city cannot get out of its contract with Calgary Power until 1981, by giving notice in 1976. If the city wire to expand its generating capacity by 1981, it would have to pay the penalty of operating an uneconomic plant under the present contract, it would have to do a $25,000 feasibility study, it would have to spend .$150,000 for a new plant design and then it would have to apply for permission to expand. After spending all that money for study and design, plus the annual penalty for operating an uneconomic plant, there is no guarantee approval would be given to expand, says Oli Erdos, utilities director. There would be objections to the expansion and authorities might feel expansion at Lethbridge by the city would not be in the best interests of the province as a whole, Mr. Erdos indicated. Prior, to the signing of the 1969 contract, some not unfounded apprehension was expressed by council members and city administration over the decision of the Public Utilities Board to allow Canadian Utilities an 18 per cent increase in its existing power rates. It was said at the time that a similar increase for Calgary Power could cost the city $1.5 million more for its power. Despite the concern, which is being borne out today, the contract was signed. Advantages At the contract signing, the city said onp of the main advantages of the scheme over the city purchasing additional generating equipment was the security obtained through having two separate sources of power. Another advantage listed was that the city would retain the right to extend its own generating facilities during the contract period and to purchase the amount of power it required to certain mini mums. The third advantags was maintenance of the city's bargaining position in the future. Tile fourth advantage was avoiding the necessity of borrowing for additional power generating equipment at a time when money was tight and interest rates were high. The fifth advantage stated by the city was that its electric load growth was dif-cult to forecast at the time due to the university and other major developments. The contract "would give time for the load growth to settle and give the city a more accurate forecast." At the time the city estimated its net cost to retain the plant and purchase addi-. tional power lor .1970-81 .at $21.3 million, compared with $21.2 million for installing gas and steam turbines with heat recovery facilities and $21.8 million for the sale of the power plant and purchase of all power requirements. ^;>tc^w  . *----- For sale? plant In river valley, city in background WALTER KERBER' photo Why is Calgary Power interested in Lethbridge pkint? If the city finds its. power plant uneconomical to operate, why would Calgary Power be interested in buying it? The answer lies in the terms of the 1969 contract signed between the city and Calgary Power. Calgary Power can operate the plant more economically outside the contract than the city can inside the contract. Under the present contract, says Oli Erdos, city utilities director, the city's most economic operation of the plant is as a provider of peak energy. Calgary Power supplies the base load requirements and the city plant provides power requirements above the base load. As provider of peak energy, the city plant has generators stopping a n d going and operating at times at less than capacity. Because of the contract, the city plant now generates about one-third of the kilowatt-hours that it is capable of generating. At the time of the contract signing, based cn anticipated demand growth rate and Calgary Power's rates, it was felt it would be to the city's advantage to provide peak energy instead of the base load. In order to get the most efficiency from a plant, it should be operated continuously, says Mr. Erdos. If a plant is operating at only one - tliird of capacity, the overhead remains the same as if it were operating continuously. Maintena nee and fuel costs are increased but not by three times. Therefore, for the city plant to operate continuously, generating tlu'ee times as many kilowatt - hours, overhead would be spread over three times as many kilowatt - hours, considerably re- Cost per Purchases from Cost per KWH Citv- Calgary Power Calgary generated generated in KWH Power KWH by city KWH in purchased plant cents in cents 1969 156,530,825 0.60 43,050 2.22 1970 125,297,600 0.72 41,878,810 0.65 1971 136,925,720 0.74 60,191,980 0.74 1972 125,697,550 0.81 101,883,000 0.72 *These cost figures provided by the city do.not include debenture payments. ducing the cost per kilowatt-hour. As fuel and maintenance costs do not also increase by three times, the cost of fuel and maintenance per kilowatt-hour would also be less. If Calgary Power owned the plant, it couid be operated as a base load plant instead of a peaking plant as economics now dictate under the contract. It could supply Lethbridge with its base load and during off-periods, when the city's requirements fall below the base, supply the excess energy to other Southern Alberta users. In tins way, operating the plant continuously, the most efficient use of the plant could be realized, Mr. Erdos said. The city plant can produce about 30,000 kilowatts in winter, considerably less in summer. Calgary Power supplies the city's base requirement of 20,000 kilowatts and the city power plant supplies requirements above that. A peak demand of almost 47,000 kilowatts was hit in December with Calgary Power supplying 20,000 and the city plant the remaining 27,000. If the city was not tied to the contract, and could economically produce the base load requirements, it could operate the plant almost as efficiently as Calgary Power except for disposing of the excess energy. The city's requirements sometimes drop to 20,003 kilowatts or less, especially in summer, resulting in a near shut-down of the plant. If the city sells its plant to Calgary Power, based on i'972 demand and Calgary Power's wholesale rate, the cost per kilowatt - hour would be 0.88 cents, equal to what it cost the city to generate part of its own requirements in 1972. As the power demand increases, the cost per kilowatt-hour from Calgary Power will decrease, said Mr. Erdos. The city now is not making any money by generating energy, he said. Only the employment of the men at the plant makes it worthwhile to keep operating. The city realizes its surpluses from the distribution of the energy. If the city sells the power plant to Calgary Power, it will retain the distribution system. Surplus from generation and distribution declined sharply in 1972. In 1969 the surplus was $821,532, climbing to $848,171 in 1970 and $851,373 in 1971 dropping to $741,826 in 1972. If the city sells the plant, it will no longer have to pay Calgary Power $6,750 a month for reserve power. Facts of Life TREES DOF OLD ME ? GtNERMLY SPEAKINC.NO (fcRALUl MlflS BETWEEN TREES AND THE ANIMAL WORLD IN REGARD TO IT 0?PENSSOtt DISEASE,FIRE,BU6$ETC SOME TREES SLOW DOWN WITH AGE. CALIFORNIA REDWOODS ARE STILL LIVING AT THE RIPE OLD AGE Of lots Here's another fact you should know . . . Southern Stationers have trimming boards in sizes from 10" to 24" square. Ideal for the hobby photographer, schools, office, painting departments, etc. SOUTHERN STATIONERS LTD. 316 7th Street S. Phone 328-2301 ART DIETRICH DENTURE CLINIC DENTAL MECHANIC Schwartz Bldg. 222 5th St. S. Phone 328-4095 r AUCTION WAREHOUSE 2508 - 2nd Ave. North COME VIEW AND PURCHASE NEW AND USED GOODS Open 8:30 to 5 p.m. Daily] FREE PICKUP For Consigned Goods Phone 327-1222 NEXT SALE TUESDAY, FEB. 13th $100 baby fee Doctors fbill extra? in larger cities Servicing costs could increase by 17 per cent By RICHARD BURKE Herald Staff Writer The cost to service a lot in the city will likely go up about 17 per cent in the near future, a source at city hall says. The spokesman said the cost to put in sewers, water mains, electricity, sidewalks, curbs and gutters, boulevards, street lights and paved streets has been between $60 and $65 per front foot, or about $3,000 for a 50 front-foot lot. The cost of the raw land is not included. Recent estimates, however, indicate that the cost to the city and thus to the developer is likely to increase to between $70 and $75 per front foot, the spokesman said. That will add about $500 to the cost of servicing that 50 front-foot lot. The cost projections are based on the assumption that the city will remain in the servicing business. Mayor Andy Anderson says a proposal that the city discontinue land servicing in new subdivisions, and leave it up to private developers, will probably be shelved indefinitely. The proposal is not practical, Mayor Anderson said in an in? -terviewf-aad-wsuld lead to several problems. The numbers of different land owners in most subdliviEions would make lot servicing difficult if not impossible if more than one contractor was involved in the servicing, the mayor said. The only way the scheme could work is if one developer took over an entire subdivision and provided the services, the mayor said. The proposal does not account for about 200 city employees and $1 million worth of equipment used in land servicing. t "We're not going to just layoff 200 men," Mayor Anderson said. The subject came up in a resolution at the last city council meeting by Aid. Vera Ferguson, who was concerned about recent disputes between the city and local developers. The developers maintained the city should abide by the terms stated in letters sent to them in which the servicing costs were suggested. The city countered the letters were not formal agreements and that the cost estimates were too low. Mayor Anderson said, "The developers are going to pay the higher servicing costs which the city is now paying." He added the developers will simply tack the increased costs for servicing onto the price of the land. Until'now, he said, the city has been losing money in that the amount charged developers has been less than the city's actual costs. Native son to Vietnam A former Lethbridge man is on special assignment in Vietnam with the executive group of the International Control Commission's p e a c ekeeping force. Douglas McCue, 31, son of Mr. and Mrs. R. C. McCue, 537 27th St. S., left Canada with the first group for Vietnam more than a week ago. He is employed by the department of external affairs. He expects to be in Vietnam about 60 days, his father told The Herald. Douglas McCue was born in Lethbridge, attended Galbraith and LCI schools here, and received his bachelors degree at Brigham Young University in Utah. He joined the department of external affairs six years ago and his duties have taken him around the world. He was in charge of the evacuation of Pakistan a year ago and is now on special assignment in Vietnam. Mr. McCue is married to the former Glenda Pratt of Lethbridge. They have two children. Touted film hy local man opens Feb. 16 An award winning feature film written and produced by a former Lethbridge man will be shown in the city starting Feb. 16, says a local theatre manager. The film, called "Wedding in White," won the Canadian Film Board Award for the best feature-length film produced in this country in 1972. Doug Shacldeford also said he had received information from the Canadian Film Board that film producer Bill Fruet wili be visiting in the city for a week before the official opening of the film. "He will be in the city starting this Friday and I am awaiting confirmation for a special showing of the film while Mr. Fruet is here," said Mr. Shackleford. Mr. Fruet, 39, the son of William and Jenny Fruet of 1508 15th Ave. A N., also won a Canadian Film Board award for the best motion picture script "Going Down the Road" in 1970. By GREG McINTYRE Herald Staff Writer It can cost $50 to $100 more to have a baby in Calgary or Edmonton than Lethbridge. Alberta Medical Association president Dr. James Oshiro of Coaldale said Calgary and Edmonton doctors justify "extra billing" on the grounds th*t it E. S. P. FOX Certified Dental Mechanic FOX (Leth.) DENTAL LAB LTD. 204 Medical Dental Bids* Phone 327-6565 costs more to operate a medical practice in the larger cities. Although it is up to the doctor whether or not to charge this extra fee, doctors in places like Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Red Deer tend not to charge, he said in an interview. Normal childbirth doctor's fees are covered by the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan according to a fee scheduled agreed to by the medical association and the government medical plan. However, doctors in Edmon- ton and Calgary for a number of years have charged more than the government schedule for a few services, usually of a specialist mature, said Dr. Oshiro. It seems to cost more to run an office and pay salaries to secretarial and paramedical staff in the larger cities, he said. "Salaries tend to be higher in Edmonton and Calgary because of competition in a different labor market," said the Coaldale physician. A figure often quoted for extra billing in Calgary and Ed- monton for obstetric (childbirth) and gynecology (female medicine) services in "$50 to $100," a spokesman for the medical association office in Edmonton said in a telephone interview. Dr. Harold Harper, assistant executive director of the association, said "I don't have any figures but I think the charge in Calgary tends to be a bit higher than in Edmonton." Doctors are required by ethics and by law to inform patients of the extra charge before rendering service, he said. Bids asked for library construction Tenders for the new $1 million library, to be built on 5th Ave. S. between 8th and 9th St., will close at 2 p.m. Feb. 23. Tender documents and designs are available from the architects, Robins, Mitchell, Watson and will be received at the city hall purchasing department, 280 5th St. N. George Watson, who designed the library, said construction should start in early spring and be completed by spring, 1974. CLIFF BLACK, Certified Dental Mechanic BLACK DENTAL LABI MEDICAL DENTAL BLDG. lower Level PHONE 327-2S22 Church man suggests care in investing Investors are taking - and should take - more care in studying the corporate morality behind any stocks they invest in, the Lethbridge Rotary Club was told Monday. Doug Borgal of Toronto, treasurer of the United Church of Canada, said his own church, in investing its pension funds, rules out tobacco and liquor companies. It also rules out any companies known to be selling armaments, companies exploiting minority grcups, companies active in the white-supremacy countries of Africa, and companies lax in pollution controls. GENERAL ELECTRIC HCD2 HAIRSETTER Light indicates when unit is ready to use. Complete with 12 tangle-free rollers (2 sizes). Compact circular case. Convenient for storage or travel. Blue color. SPECIAL Reg. 14.98 12M DOWNTOWN PHONE 327-5767 ;