Director urges water rate revamp

Changes are being sought to how Greater Vernon residents are billed for water

Changes are being sought to how Greater Vernon residents are billed for water.

Director Gyula Kiss presented an alternate rate structure to the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee Thursday.

“This is not just contrary to staff recommendations,” he said of his proposal.

Kiss is proposing to reduce the base fee to $55.59 per quarter and charge everything above the first 10 cubic metres per quarter at the rate of 2.59 cubic metres.

Residential, commercial and institutional customers would be charged the same base fee per connection and the same consumption rate.

“Everyone using water should pay the same base rate,” said Kiss.

“When you look at the current situation, every tier has a different rate.”

Kiss added that presently, residential customers using the least water are paying higher rates and subsidizing other users.

Concerns about Kiss’ plans are coming from some of his colleagues, and particularly because of the potential impact on high water users.

“Business would be picking up the extra costs —  restaurants, the brewery,” said director Akbal Mund.

No decisions were made by the committee.

“It’s all part of a broader rate setting exercise. Staff will bring back a report,” said David Sewell, Regional District of North Okanagan chief administrative officer.