RDCK approves water rate changes

Users of nine of the Regional District of Central Kootenay’s 20 water systems will see changes to their bills this year.

Some water users in the Regional District of Central Kootenay will pay more this year and others will pay less.

Users of nine of the Regional District of Central Kootenay’s 20 water systems will see changes to their bills this year, but not everyone will pay more.

• The sharpest increase, percentage-wise, will be to the Taghum subdivision of Woodland Heights, where after two straight years of user fee reductions, operations were complicated with ongoing water quality issues, according to regional district staff.

“These issues require a slate of investigations and improvements for the system, potentially including treatment of the well water, that require a 45 per cent increase in user fees,” environmental services manager Uli Wolf wrote. “This increase will bring user fees back to the level of the first year of operation under RDCK ownership.”

• South Slocan will see a 10 per cent user fee increase based on capital needs to connect the last remaining properties to the treated water supply and complete all requirements under an Interior Health order for the system.

• Duhamel Creek residents will see a five per cent increase, which Wolf says will “continue the path towards a long-term sustainable fee structure” for the system with the lowest user fees and overall cost within the regional district. However, the local management commission did not support the increase.

• The Grandview subdivision just west of Balfour will see a five per cent increase in user fees to allow increased contributions to reserves that have been drawn down for capital projects over the last two years.

• Sanca will see a capital charge of $100 for all lots in the water system to make up for lost revenue from customers disconnecting from the system. However, for connected customers the overall charge will remain unchanged because user fees will be reduced $100.

• For Lister, the board approved a 10 per cent rate increase based on “significant capital investments” that will allow a boil water notice to be removed. The local management commission supported the changes. The adjustment also includes the introduction of a bulk rate for agricultural customers.

• In Edgewood, rates will be increased five per cent based on ongoing water quality issues that require extended monitoring and will likely require treatment facilities.

• Fauquier users may see a ten per cent decrease in fees based on savings from a delay in construction of the new treatment plant.

• West Robson user fees are being reduced 30 per cent after three years of incident-free operations, requiring “significantly less than anticipated staff efforts.”

Regional district staff also recommended budget increases to the Arrow Creek water system for “urgent capital projects” but the projects have been deferred until next year.

This story will appear in the West Kootenay Advertiser

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