Water rates for 2017 for Greater Vernon

Water rates for 2017 for Greater Vernon

Proposed water rate increases stalled

No decision made yet for Greater Vernon, Grindrod, Whitevale, Mabel Lake and Gunter Ellison

Residents in a number of North Okanagan communities aren’t sure if their water bills will climb.

The Regional District of North Okanagan was supposed to approve water rates for Greater Vernon, Grindrod, Whitevale, Mabel Lake and Gunter Ellison Wednesday, but instead, it was decided that further discussions are needed.

“We haven’t resolved all of the issues,” said director Doug Dirk of the Greater Vernon water utility.

It was proposed that a Greater Vernon water rates bylaw be established for three years, and that rates be increased annually over three years based on a 1.7 per cent consumer price index and two per cent for capital improvements.

“We have some concerns,” said Dirk of issues arising from his home jurisdiction of Coldstream.

“We’re not comfortable with entrenching a three-year rate into the process. There’s not an agreement on a 11.5 per cent increase (combined over three years).”

In terms of the other water utility, more information is being sought before water rates can be confirmed for 2017.

“I have had some inquiries from a business that they believe they have paid more than their share,” said Herman Halvorson, rural Enderby director.

“We will look to see if we are comparable with rates.”

For the Grindrod utility, the proposed rate is to climb from $580 to $597, while it could go from $686 to $700 for Gunter Ellison. The Mabel Lake water rate could increase from $383 to $404, and it may go from $788 to $828 for the Whitevale utility.

RDNO directors, though, have adopted the 2017 water fees for Silver Star.

Rates will vary at Silver Star, but for a residential property using 80 cubic metres of water, it will go from $465 to $437, while a commercial property with 200 pillows and a consumption of 2,000 cubic metres will see water go from $7,742 to $8,120.