Fees for garbage, sewer and water are increasing within the Town of Comox in 2021.
At the April 21 council meeting, council approved a motion to increase all three fees in accordance with higher rates from service providers.
In his report to council, Geoffrey Kreek, revenue manager for the town suggested water rates increase to $0.85/m3, and to decrease the flat rate from 500/m3 per year to 450/m3, while those on water meters would be increased from 14/m3 per month to 15/m3.
For flat rate users, he also suggested increasing from $401.51 to $440.40 for 450/m3 and for each cubic meter above that, the charge increase to $1.63/m3.
For meters users, he noted the first 15/m3 should be increased from $15.56 to $16.68.
Water customers paying based on metered usage and using a maximum of 15/m3 per month would see a savings of $229 per year over paying the flat rate fee.
With sewer, the Comox Valley Regional District increased their sewerage fee for collection and treatment by 6.15 per cent, resulting in an increase of $184,000 to the town. As a result, residents will see a 6.15 increase in fees.
Garbage service provider Emterra will be increasing their curbside collection fees by five per cent in 2021, and Kreek recommended an increase of $2.26 per year for single-family homes and duplexes and $1.42 per year for multi-family and other residential units.
Coun. Maureen Swift said she likes the rates, particularly those that incentivize water meters. She also inquired if the town has a budget for adding additional meters to homes.
“Money we have set aside is a drop in the bucket to go out and meter the whole community,” explained Jordan Wall, chief administrative officer for the town, and estimated it would cost about four million dollars to meter the remaining homes in the municipality.
The water, sewer and refuse rates bylaws were passed unanimously.