Water rates rising at McLennan

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

McLennan residents will have to dig a bit deeper into their pockets to pay for water and sewer in the New Year.
Council unanimously agreed to increase the rates at its Nov. 14 meeting after passing its Utility Rate Bylaw.
The changes take effect Jan. 1. CAO Lorraine Willier says the current rate scale council uses is customers pay $40 for up to nine cubic meters of water used. Rates are then charged as follows: from 10-85 cubic metres the fee is $3.50 per cubic meter while for usage over 86 cubic meters, the fee is $4 per cubic metre.
The new fees are simpler.
“In January we will have a basic charge of $20 and you will be charged $4 per cubic meter of water you use,” says Willier.
“The only rate that will remain the same is our truck fill at $8 per cubic meter,” she adds.
Council has estimated the impact on residents.
“For most, they will see a slight increase in their monthly utility bill ranging from $10-30 depending on how much water they use,” says Willier.
“Our water is cost recovery so with everything increasing: utilities, chemicals, parts, etc. we had to increase our rates.”
Other changes are also coming after council also updated and passed its Water and Wastewater Bylaw. Changes come into effect Jan. 1 and are as follows:

  • The utility deposit for all new accounts will increase to $200 from $150;
  • If council finds anyone who has damaged or tampered with their water meter, they will estimate their water consumption based on previous usage and they “can be” fined $200;
  • Property owners need to ensure there is free access to their curb stops. In the event of an emergency shut off, council decided they should not have to start removing fences;
  • With the new water rate scale, council will no longer have the option for customers who request to have their utility account temporary suspended.
    “If someone was away on vacation for 30 days or more they had the option to temporary suspend their account, this will no longer be,” says Willier.
    “The flat charge rate of $20 for water will apply to all properties with a dwelling on it. Regardless if the house is vacant or not you will now be billed monthly come Jan. 1, 2023.”
    In comparing costs, Willier says council pays for recycling based on the number of homes in town, not based on whether or not they are vacant or occupied
    “(The) same will apply for water and sewage now. Otherwise, the residents are picking up the cost for the vacant homes as water, sewage, recycling and waste are all cost recovery,” Willier says.

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