Comox residents to pay more for utility services in 2016

Slight increase to water, sewer and waste collection and disposal fees

  • Nov. 2, 2015 7:00 a.m.

Erin Haluschak

Record staff

Comox council approved a motion to a slight increase to 2016 water, sewer and waste collection and disposal fees.

Don Jacquest, director of finance for the town, said beginning Jan. 1, 2016, the Comox Valley Regional District is planning to increase bulk water rates by 0.02 per cubic metre, plus a 10 per cent increase in its sewer requisition, and another $10/tonne increase at the landfill.

The town purchases water and uses utility services through the regional district.

He added in his report the town’s 2015-2019 financial plan anticipated for the rises and projected increases in the 2016 utility fees to pay for them: $6 more for water (from $327 to $333 per residence); $27 more in sewer (from $348 to $375) and $12 more for garbage (from $198 to $210).

Jacquest added there is good news – to Sept. 30 the town’s bulk water purchases are down eight per cent and the sewer flows are down more than two per cent.

He credits that mostly to the Stage Three water restrictions throughout the summer, but added he hopes some of the efficiencies will persist. Despite the regional district’s rate increase, he proposed no increase to flat rate fees for water and proposed less of an increase to the flat rate for residential sewer ($21 instead of $27).

For the town’s metered customers, Jacquest recommended to increase volume-based rates to continue the program of annual increases which has gradually been rising to match the full cost recovery of delivering a cubic metre of water to customers.

Coun. Barbara Price inquired why the costs would rise for metered users if the town is trying to encourage more households to be water efficient.

“Six or eight years ago, we were charging our customers less than we were paying the RD for water. We were losing money per cubic feet,” noted Jacquest.

“We want to recover the full cost of delivering water. Most of our metered customers are commercial and so several years ago, council indicated to staff it was fine moving to full cost recovery but rather involving sharp costs to business sector, we’ve slowly been marching up three cents per year … and our target is a little over $1.20.”

Jacquest added close to half the town is now using water meters.

The motion was unanimously approved.

 

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Glacier View residents take a ride on the river

Ground Search and Rescue guides floaters on Puntledge

Brewing up some community engagement

Insp. Tim Walton says goodbye to the Comox Valley

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights can be misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Vancouver Whitecaps give up late goal in 2-2 draw with New York Red Bulls

Four of Vancouver’s next five games are at home

RCMP looking for missing Duncan teen

Dallas Macleod, 18, was last seen on Aug. 10

Evacuation order issued in Island village due to “risk of falling debris”

Fire continues to threaten town’s only access road

Most Read