Saanich plans to set it's sewer and water utility rates at Monday's council meeting. Residents will likely see another hike in rates to help fund an infrastructure replacement plan.

Faced with aging pipes, Saanich water, sewer rates pegged to rise

Average Saanich home will have $722 water, sewer bill in 2013

Turning on your sink will cost 57 per cent more next year than it did in 2008. What’s more, flushing your toilet will cost 62 per cent more than it did five years earlier.

Saanich residents are now paying hundreds of dollars more for water and sewers than they did just a few years back after annual incremental increases of eight to 15 per cent for both services.

Saanich council was expected to approve the 2013 utility rates at Monday night’s council meeting.

Much of the increase is attributed to Saanich’s infrastructure replacement plan.

“It’s been a significant policy for us now for more than 10 years to fix up the aging infrastructure,” said Mayor Frank Leonard. “We’ve got a lot of old pipes underground, whether they’re water or sewer, and we’re aggressively saying (not replacing them is) not good enough. It’s a choice of not giving a liability to our children, but a community with infrastructure that’s an asset.”

Next year, the cost of sending one cubic metre of effluent into the sewer system will be $0.83 – an increase of $0.32 since 2008. Next year’s water rate, per cubic metre, is set at $1.34, a $0.49 increase since 2008.

Combined, the average Saanich homeowner will pay an average $55 more next year for the two services than in 2012. Of that increase, about $40 is earmarked for infrastructure replacement.

The remaining $15 is broken into increases to Capital Regional District bulk water costs, CRD operating and debt costs, and Saanich operating costs.

By comparison, in 2007 the average annual bill for sewer and water was $311. In 2013, that bill will be $722. (Saanich switched to consumption-based sewer bills in 2008, which resulted in, on average, sewer rates twice as high than on a homeowner’s 2007 bill.)

Leonard says the increases to account for infrastructure replacement will flatline in the coming years (2016 for water; 2018 for sewage), at which point “spending levels equals the amount that the infrastructure is deteriorating,” he said. “It’s reaching a spending level where you’re replacing it as it depreciates and you’re no longer falling behind.”

Next spring, once budget talks are complete, Saanich residents will also likely see property taxes increase to account for operational costs, infrastructure replacement, and new infrastructure costs. Property taxes rose $65.30 for the average Saanich home in 2012.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

With $4M investment, Camosun College offers first sonography program on Vancouver Island

Starting in May 2020 students from Vancouver Island can pursue a career in sonography

Greater Victoria developer rushes to demolish historic wall before Oak Bay applies heritage permit

Abstract Development punches holes in one of Oak Bay’s oldest stone walls

School district launches survey for George Jay Elementary name change

The Greater Victoria School District wants to take public cues before decisions are made

$775-million wastewater project on track to be completed on time, within new budget

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins praises public education aspect of project

Regional naturalists cook up four spook-tacular forest events

CRD’s kid-friendly events feature Halloween activites, costume contest, guided walks

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

Campbell River homicide suspects arrested in Vancouver

Two men remain in custody, but have not been charged

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Elizabeth May confirms plan to eliminate fish farming in open ocean pens

Green Party leader stops in Qualicum Beach as part of Island campaign

STRIKE: WFP and USW are back at the table for mediation

“No further updates until either an agreement is reached or one party or the other breaks off talks”

Green Party leader Elizabeth May rolls through Vancouver Island to boost a party stronghold

Mocks media, evokes Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and promises change

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

Most Read