Director wants taxes to cover water works

A shift in paying for upgrades to Greater Vernon’s water utility has been put forward.

A shift in paying for upgrades to Greater Vernon’s water utility has been put forward.

Director Gyula Kiss has suggested the utility’s infrastructure financing be covered by general taxation instead of the current system of user fees.

“When we build other infrastructure, we put it on taxes,” said Kiss of Wesbild Centre and the Performing Arts Centre.

Kiss says rates should only reflect the cost of treatment and delivery.

“In the case of water infrastructure, we lump infrastructure financing into water rates blurring the distinction between commodity costs and infrastructure costs. It is time to rectify this problem,” he said.

Kiss says standardizing financing policies would guarantee revenue and spread the costs of infrastructure over years.

He is also opposed to establishing reserves for future capital works, saying the funds for those projects should be determined by going to referendum.

Kiss’ proposal will be considered by the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee.

“A change will depend on how much people want to support it,” he said.

“Administration has a certain idea.”