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Regional District of North Okanagan hikes utility fees

Residents in three North Okanagan communities will be digging deeper to pay the water bill.

On Wednesday, the Regional District of North Okanagan adopted new water utility fees for Grindrod, Mabel Lake and Whitevale.

“I haven’t heard from one person about this,” said director Jackie Pearase of Grindrod and Mabel Lake.

“I think they were expecting it. They know the infrastructure needs work.”

In Grindrod, rates will climb two per cent, resulting in $11 a year more for the average domestic user ($463 total for the year) and $110 more a year for Sure Crop Feeds.

Mabel Lake will see domestic rates climb 2.4 per cent to a total 2012 bill of $288.50, while there will be a $10 increase to RV sites at campgrounds. Rates for apartments and the golf course will also go up 2.4 per cent.

In Whitevale, there will be a four per cent increase, or $6 more per quarter for residential customers. The total residential bill will be $588 a year.

“The majority of the underground facilities were built in 1974 and future expenditures for operations and maintenance will be required to sustain the utility,” said Zee Marcolin, RDNO utilities engineer, in a report.

“Currently, the operational reserves are underfunded and the users of the Whitevale utility are still vulnerable to significant rate increases if significant emergency expenditures are required. Adequate reserves are advisable to avoid rate shock when larger sustaining expenditures are required.”

 

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