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Lumby taps into rate increase

There’s no avoiding higher utility rates in Lumby.

On Monday, council unanimously adopted bylaws that increase the cost of water and sewer.

“We don’t have much choice,” said Coun. Janet Green.

“This provides us with the financial reserve to replace aging equipment.”

The water rates bylaw includes a flat rate fee of $12 and then 64 cents per cubic metre of water used.

The annual cost for the average home will go from $240 to $310 depending on how much water they use.

The village has operated on a flat rate system for water for years, but a consumption-based rate has been implemented because of the installation of meters.

With the sanitary sewer rates bylaw, there will be a flat rate of $12 for sewer and then a cost of 40 cents per cubic metre.

For the average residence, the annual sewer bill will go from $171 to $247 a year.

Coun. Lori Mindnich insists the village must ensure that infrastructure is maintained.

“Crews service fire hydrants and the bolts break off, and on Park Avenue, there is a water main break every couple of years,” she said.

Mindnich says council didn’t take the increases lightly and she realizes higher utility costs may negatively impact some residents.

“We sat there for six months paring things down while adding replacement reserves for equipment,” she said.

Also on Monday, council adopted a bylaw that sets the fees for the collection and disposal of garbage.

Under the bylaw, each household will pay $11 in 2011 for garbage pickup and $1.50 per refuse container over the container limit.

Each residence will also pay $1.75 a month for the collection of recyclables.

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