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Posted: March 14, 2012

DOI homeowners getting small water rate increase

The District of Invermere intends to raise its water utility user rates for 2012.

District council March 13 unanimously approved the first three readings of Water Utility User Rates Amendment Bylaw No. 1443, 2012, which came from an Audit and Budget Committee recommendation that “the flat metered rate be increased by $10 per year ($5 for the bi-annual flat rate) and that an ‘across-the-board’ five cent increase be applied to the metered rate,” stated Karen Cote, district director of finance in her report to council.

The reason for the increase is the district’s “water fund is in a little bit of dire needs,” Cote told council.

“Our current revenue is $540,000 in user fees (budgeting $550,000 in 2012) and $24,000 in other revenue.  2012 budgeted expenditures are projected at $519,000. With only $53,000 in capital projects budgeted for in 2012, this only leaves less than $1,000 budgeted to go into reserves,” Cote said.

“The proposed bylaw has an effective date of April 1, (2012) which means it wouldn’t affect the ratepayer until the 2012 fall billing. The estimated increase in revenue for the nine months would be approximately $35,000 and the estimated annual increase to the ratepayer would be $20,” she added.

Mayor Gerry Taft pointed out the increase in rates still means Invermere property owners still pay “substantially less” for their water system than other municipalities in the valley.

He also noted that the proposed increase to the metered rate amounts to people paying five cents for 1,000 litres of water.

“It’s not a drastic increase,” Taft said.

Coun. Greg Anderson agreed. “It made sense – it’s not an unacceptable increase,” he said.

The district’s sewer rates will remain the same for 2012.

Ian Cobb/e-KNOW

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