Utility rates to increase

Summerlanders will need to shell out another $6 a month for electricity, water and sewer service in the new year.

Summerlanders will need to shell out another $6 a month for electricity, water and sewer service in the new year.

At the municipal council meeting on Monday evening, council reluctantly passed a set of bylaws to increase the utility rates.

The electrical rate increase of four per cent is to pass along the cost of an increase passed to the municipality by Fortis B.C.

The increase means an average home in Summerland will now pay an additional $3.60 a month.

Because of a restructuring of rates at Fortis B.C., commercial customers will see a decrease in their electrical rates.

The water rate increase, at a total of five per cent, will add another $1.75 to the monthly water bill for an average house.

The five per cent increase includes an increase of three per cent for increasing water operations costs and two per cent for water reserves.

The increase will work out to around $110,000 for the water department.

“We’re not putting very much away, but at least we are putting something away,” said Coun. Bruce Hallquist.

The sewer rate increase, at three per cent, works out to another 57¢ a month for a single family home.

Mayor Janice Perrino said while the individual increases appear small, they add up to $6 a month.

“All these increases, small or large, are tough on a community,” said Coun. Bruce Hallquist.

Coun. Peter Waterman agreed. He said he had earlier spoken with one resident on a fixed income, wondering how she would be able pay for the higher utility rates.

Mayor Janice Perrino said the increases will be felt throughout Summerland.

“Our senior community is really affected, but so are our young families,” she said.

The three rate increase bylaws were given first three readings on Monday evening. They are scheduled for adoption when council meets in January.


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