The City of Armstrong is looking to make water and sewer fee increases fair for all residents.
Council received a summary of the public input, obtained over the course of two open houses May 30 and June 23, at the July 9 meeting and will take that feedback into consideration.
“We’re definitely looking at the public input because of the impact on strata owners,” Mayor Chris Pieper said. “That’s been on the forefront the last couple of months.”
At the two information sessions, city staff and council answered questions from the public regarding the implications of the water and sewer master plans and the need and impact on base fees for the two utilities.
A commanding theme, Pieper said, was the implications of the charge to owners of Armstrong’s 500-plus strata units, who sought a phase-in of the base fees citing that the increase was too sudden. According to the City, however, that could not happen without a deferral of the increase for all Armstrong residents.
Under the parcel tax model, Pieper said, strata owners divided the parcel tax between the fractional ownership in each strata, meaning strata owners paid an estimated $1.46 parcel tax compared to $200 for non-strata owners.
Base fees would act to mitigate that difference between strata and non-strata properties.
“We’re going to even it out for Armstrong,” Pieper said.
Council will take the information into consideration and create a new rate structure in the fall.
Crime Stoppers supported
The North Okanagan Crime Stoppers are increasing their awareness in Armstrong.
Council supported the organization’s request to place three signs within the city to increase awareness.
“I believe they’re trying to resurrect interest in our community,” Pieper said. “We definitely approved it and support Crime Stoppers.”
Warren Smith, community services manager, said there is no set timeline but intends for the signs to be placed over the next two to three weeks.
Signs will be placed at Smith Drive in front of McDonald’s, Pleasant Valley Road in front of Pleasant Valley Secondary School and Wood Ave at Salmon River Road.
According to North Okanagan Crime Stoppers’ June 2018 statistical report, the organization has received 166 tips this year within their jurisdiction, which reaches from Vernon to Falkland, Armstrong to Sicamous and Revelstoke to Cherryville.