Water rates could be going up soon in Lake Country

Council discussed the need to raise rates at a special budget meeting Thursday

Lake Country council decided to give the first three readings to a bylaw which will increase water rates in the district.

After much discussion, council decided to increase water consumption charges for its residential, multi-family residential, commercial, and seasonal irrigation customers from $0.60 dollars per cubic metre to $0.77 per cubic m, and increase agricultural water’s base rate from $100 to $120 per acre.

Lake Country currently has the cheapest water rates per acre, compared to other similar sized municipalities inclduing Oliver, Osoyoos, Summerland and Peachland.

Coun. Penny Gambell was hesitant on providing a significant water increase for farmers, as they have other costs such as labour that they have to deal with, she said.

RELATED: Water rate increases, a wildfire mitigation grant and more discussed at council

Agricultural water rates are 76 per cent subsidized, but Gambell said farmers contribute to subsidizing food costs in Canada, so she believes rates should stay low for farmers.

Chief financial officer Tanya Garost warned council that there is a garbage increase coming in the next year as there has been a significant increase to landfill costs. Sewer operations and structure upgrades also are coming down the pipes.

“Understand it may overlap with changes the district is planning as well,” she said.

Coun. Jerremy Kozub said he supports a small increase. “If we don’t do it now we’ll have to do it later,” he said.

The largest use of water in the district is the agriculture sector at 57 per cent, residential use is 17 per cent, multi‐family 3 per cent, commercial 3 per cent, seasonal irrigation 2 per cent and unaccounted usage at 17 per cent, according to a report that was presented during a special budget meeting Thursday night.

RELATED: West Kelowna begins harmonization of water rates

The report also highlighted that the primary factor driving rate increases are increasing construction prices.

“(An) increase of water rates ensures adequate funding is received (for) daily water operation, capital improvements, and capital renewal projects,” the report said. “An in‐depth study was done by staff and a 2.2 per cent increase in costs for operation is required.”

Future water related projects include an Okanagan Lake UV treatment and pump which would cost $4 million, a water treatment plant which would cost $29 million, a filtration plant at $12 million and an Oyama interconnect would cost $12 million.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Summerland cannabis shop receives approval in principle

Inspection now required before Green Gaia may sell cannabis

Retrieved body from Okanagan Lake identified as missing kayaker

Zygmunt Janiewicz had been missing since May and was recovered Aug. 10

UPDATE: Non-suspicious Peachland house fire sends two to hospital

The fire broke out early Saturday morning, two occupants were sent to hospital for smoke inhalation

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Paddleboard festival coming soon to Kalamalka Lake

Wildfire smoke got in the way of last year’s event, but conditions look better this summer

Good morning bats! Salmon Arm office receives surprise visit by winged critters

Pair of bats found huddled together on wall in the sun outside downtown office

Most Read