UTILITIES Summerland is planning some infrastructure improvements and upgrades for the municipality’s utilities. (Black Press file photo)

Summerland planning asset management work

Improvements needed to infrastructure for utilities

The municipality of Summerland has plans for some asset management work within the community over the coming year.

For the coming year, some of the utility capital projects include replacing the water main on Quinpool Avenue between Victoria Road and Washington Avenue, replacing the water main onDale Meadows Road between Walton Crescent and Haddrell Avenue, implementing the Solar + Battery Storage project, converting the voltage of the power system, moving power lines underground, assessing and replacing street lights and power poles and expanding the community’s fibre optic network.

To cover these costs, the municipality is raising its utility rates. Water rates will increase by five per cent and sewer will increase by 3.5 per cent each year for the next five years.

READ ALSO: Summerland utility rates to increase

READ ALSO: FortisBC to move to flat electricity rate by 20203

In addition, an electrical rate increase of 4.4 per cent has been approved.

In 2017, the municipality began an infrastructure assessment, planning and maintenance project.

This work included an asset inventory, which also includes data on the performance, risks and expenditures over the life of each component.

Because of this work, the municipality’s infrastructure deficit for its water, sewer and electrical utilities was estimated at more than $85 million.

This means that roughly 24 per cent of the infrastructure in these utilities has exceeded its anticipated service life, yet remains in operation.

“Along with proposed utility rate increases for 2020, council is committed to increasing capital reserves to better meet the district’s estimated replacement cost of all utility infrastructure,” said Anthony Haddad, chief administrative officer for Summerland.

“Methodically building capital reserves lowers the deficit and helps to prevent sharp rate increases when District assets need to be replaced,” said Mayor Toni Boot.

The municipality held two public utility budget meetings and an open house on Nov. 26, and invited community members to review and comment on the proposed five-year capital plans, the asset management investment strategy, and the proposed 2020 utility rate increases.

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