City council is proposing to raise water rates by two per cent and sewer rates by 1.5 per cent for 2018.
According to materials presented to council on Monday, this would mean an annual increase for a single family dwelling of $10.80 for water and $7.20 for sewer, for a total of $18.00 per year or $1.50 per month. The annual payment for the owner of a single family dwelling will be $610.
These are considered inflationary increases. Water and sewer services are taxed separately from regular property taxes, as a fee for service, and the revenue is expected to pay for the operation of those utilities.
The materials report that since the city’s 2006 water plan was adopted, all leaking galvanized water lines have been replaced and pressure reduction valve stations have been upgraded, and that the annual increases since 2006 have paid for this.
“The City was successful in replacing 1.3 km in water lines in 2017 with the plan in 2018 to replace 1.2 km. From 2005 to 2017 the City has replaced 24.4 km of the 71 km or 34 per cent of city water lines,” the materials state.
“This significant water line infrastructure upgrade is one of the main reasons why the city’s water usage has dropped significantly even in the face of increased development and population.”
In addition, the city reports it was able to replace or reline 3.8 km of sewer mains in 2017 with the plan to replace or reline 3.2 km in 2018.
Other plans for 2018 include:
• Development of a plan for additional water sources for the city.
• Continuing with the 75 per cent rate discount for conforming suites that are rented long term.
• Phase two of the utility upgrades for Hall Street received the necessary grant funding to proceed, to be completed in 2018.
• Infrastructure work to create the ability to use the lake as an emergency water source.
The proposed fee increases passed third reading on Monday and have yet to be formally adopted as part of the city’s 2018 budget process that will continue into the new year.
The materials presented to council, including the rationale for the increases and maps of upgrades done to water and sewer systems since 2006, are attached below.