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Westside water rates climb

North Westside Road residents will face skyrocketing water rates.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan board is expected to adopt a new rate structure today for three community water utilities. If approved, there will be a 190 per cent increase to fees.

“We’ve had a pretty low rate up until now but we haven’t been keeping up,” said director Jim Edgson of the need for reserves to maintain infrastructure long-term.

There will be a consumption based residential rate (35 cents per cubic metre for all water used in excess of 235 cubic metres during a three-month billing period) for the utilities for Killiney Beach, Westshore and Upper Fintry/Shalal Road/Valley of the Sun.

There will also be a user fee and an asset renewal fee.

For Westshore Estates, the user and asset fees will amount to $632 per property, while it will be $682 for Killiney Beach and $600 for Upper Fintry/Shalal Road/Valley of the Sun residents.

RDCO started looking at the condition of infrastructure when residents began raising concerns four years ago.

“I warned people it would cost,” said Edgson, adding that it’s more cost-effective to deal with the situation now.

“If we didn’t start moving on this quickly, we were going to get an ugly surprise.”

Edgson also points out that a long-term plan, including funding, is necessary if the area is to be eligible for senior government grants.

“I don’t want to see something where we’re just limping along because that’s what we’ve been doing and we’re falling behind,” he said of the need for the new fees.

“We have to look at the facts of life and these are older water systems and we need to build up reserves.”

 

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