Thursday April 17, 2014

Water rates rise again

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While an increase to water and sewer rates were outlined in budget discussions by Yorkton Council earlier this year, the new fee structure for 2014 was officially passed at Monday’s meeting of Council.

During 2014 budget deliberations, it was identified that the waterworks budget required a 4.3 per cent increase in operational funding, outlined a report circulated to Council.

“The majority of the increase is due to escalating costs of PVC materials such as pipe and fleet rentals. With extra revenue generated from growth, the utility can remain self sufficient with a 3.09 per cent rate increase,” added Michael Buchholzer, Director of Environmental; Services with the City.

The department budget includes placing approximately “$900,000.00 in reserves for future capital works,” said Buchholzer, adding “The next major upgrade could be Broadway reconstruction or the waste water treatment plant.”

Buchholzer said the monthly increase for an average household is relatively modest.

“With the proposed rates, a family of three using 5,500 gallons per month of consumption, will have a monthly bill increase to $74.95/month from $72.72/month or $2.23/month increase,” he said.

The increase was also needed to meet policy within the city.

“The utility is required to be self sufficient and future expenditures will focus on replacing and expanding water/sewer line infrastructure,” offered Buchholzer.

Buchholzer also stated, “The Environmental Committee has reviewed and supports the recommended 3.09 per cent rate increase.”

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