Irrigation rates rolled back for courses

City council voted Monday to roll back the 2014 reclaimed water rates to 2013 levels

Vernon’s golf courses are getting a break.

City council voted Monday to roll back the 2014 reclaimed water rates to 2013 levels, and Predator Ridge and the Rise will be reinvoiced for the 2014 season using 2013 rates.

“We’re encouraged,” said Bob Evans, Predator Ridge’s director of development.

“It’s obvious that our rates are out of sync with the rest of the industry.”

Council has also directed staff to work directly with the golf industry to establish a rate schedule for reclaimed irrigation water. Reclaimed irrigation water rates will be fixed at the 2013 level until council directs otherwise.

According to the city, Predator Ridge irrigation rates climbed from $86,057 to $143,352 between 2013 and 2014 while rates at the Rise increased from $16,305 to $31,103.

Officials say rolling back rates will not have significant implications for the city as 2013 actual revenue was $161,000 while the 2014 budget called for revenue of $150,000.

The Vernon Golf and Country Club also receives reclaimed water but it’s not been charged to date. The course had expected to be billed $141,000 in 2015.

The golf courses expressed concerns about the rate structure two weeks ago and Coun. Brian Quiring insists it was critical for the city to act quickly.

“They are great corporate citizens and we need to do everything possible to keep them in business,” he said.