City reducing sewer rates

A long-term sewer debt paid off in 2014 freed up $71,000 in annual debt-servicing costs for the sewer fund

Sewer fees are coming down in Armstrong.

A long-term sewer debt paid off in 2014 freed up $71,000 in annual debt-servicing costs for the sewer fund.

At around the same time, the Armstrong Spallumcheen Fire Hall renovation project funding was being analyzed with an estimated annual debt servicing of $47,700. Council at the time agreed with staff to reduce sewer fees by the amount of the fire hall debt costs in order to nullify the effect of the new debt for most taxpayers, with the remainder of the sewer fund savings being transferred to reserves.

The full effect of the debt servicing costs for the fire hall renovation will be recognized starting this year at an annual total of $44,000. As a result, sewer fee reductions will need to be implemented this year and can be applied retroactive to Jan. 1.

“There will be a net effect of zero on taxes,” said Coun. Shirley Fowler, chairperson of the finance committee.

“One gets paid off, the other comes on line.”

The fee reductions will be applied proportionately to residential, commercial and industrial users based on the total actual revenue in each user class in 2015.

The $44,000 reduction amounts to 6.67 per cent.

For residential users the reduction will be $15.07 per house (based on annual flat rate of $226 in effect in 2015).

Commercial users will see a metered sewer rate decrease from 95 cents per cubic meter of water consumed to 88 cents.

For the city’s lone industrial user, the reduction will automatically be captured in the annual rate setting process as dictated in an agreement between the user and the city.

A bylaw on the change will be introduced for consideration March 14.