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Posted: November 10, 2021

City water user fees rising $4 per month

City of Cranbrook utility users will be paying $48 more a year for water.

City council Nov. 8 adopted a Waterworks Amendment Bylaw increasing the Water Utility Rate $4 per month.

Charlene Courtney of the city’s finance department noted in a report to council regarding Waterworks Amendment Bylaw No. 4063, 2021: “Staff reviewed the utility funds’ forecasted budgets and have determined that it is necessary to increase water user fees. The operating costs to run the water utility have continued to increase significantly.

As such, city staff proposed a $4/month increase to the water utility rate from $22.50 to $26.50. This increase results in the total monthly combined utility fee increasing from $59.50 to $63.50; the combined rate has not seen any increases since 2015.

“Costs for materials have increased substantially since 2019 with a jump of 30-40% on certain components, including repair clamps and pipe. Year-over-year, there has been a steady increase to infrastructure repair needs which has caused the maintenance of the water system to fall behind,” the staff report outlined.

“In order to address the backlog, stay on top of new repair needs, and effectively handle the day-to-day operations of the system, staff has requested the creation of three new full-time utility operators. The three positions will be funded evenly by water and sewer utility fees.

“Looking forward the next five to seven years, staff is anticipating extra costs if and when the treatment of drinking water is required. UV disinfection along with either bulk hypo-chlorination or onsite generation of sodium hypochlorite, instead of chlorine gas, will further raise the cost of operations for the water system. “

Read the city staff report to council.

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