Alberni mulls reducing seniors utility bills

A request to reduce seniors’ municipal utility bills is being vaulted to the city’s of Alberni's budget discussions next year.

A request to reduce seniors’ municipal utility bills is being vaulted to the city’s budget discussions next year.

The proposal  came from Alberni resident Kay Rolls, who wrote the city engineering department posing the idea of a reduction.The decrease would be to the fixed costs of water, sewer and garbage and not to the consumption fee, Rolls suggested.

Pensioners have had a rough ride of it lately, she said. They’ve lost or seen reductions in some benefits while others have seen their benefits clawed back. As well, many seniors go to live in warmer climates for the winter and don’t use their utilities.

Port Alberni is attracting new retirees, and many others choose to remain in the Valley after they retired, Rolls said.

The city reduced the tax rate for Catalyst Paper when they needed it and now they should afford seniors the same courtesy, she said.

Residents are charged various rates for utilities, assistant finance manager Dianne Kosh said.

Garbage fees are based on container size. A flat rate is charged for water meters, and further charges are based on consumption. And a flat rate for sewer services is charged for residential dwellings, while other  users are charged according to consumption.

The idea is abstract and deserves to be fleshed out during the city’s budget discussions next year, said Coun. Hira Chopra.“I’m not sure how many seniors this will involve or how much this will cost,” Chopra said. “I just want to know: can we afford or can we not afford it?”

Coun. Cindy Solda spoke against the initiative, saying the city should in fact be moving the rate up. There are working poor in the Valley barely making it, and they should have their rates reduced. “There’s already so many people in the community who can’t afford it…if we do this for seniors then we should do this for low income people too,” Solda said.

The working poor or those who are out of work who own a home should be considered, Coun. Jack McLeman said. “A lot of jobs have gone south. Those are the people who need a break,” he said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

Just Posted

Port Alberni’s West Coast Rangers hold rendezvous

Three-day event featured historical re-enactment

Port Alberni Port Authority talks logistics for cruise ship visit

Some restrictions for pedestrians, boaters will be in place

Port Alberni’s ‘Army of Problem Solvers’ to the rescue

Facebook group gathers people who just want to help their neighbours

Hurricane Katrina inspires Alberni author’s new novel

Jacqueline Swann brings message of climate change to life with story of fictional journalist

Port Alberni RCMP searching for missing teenage girl

16-year-old Lasheena Seward was reported missing from a group home on May 9

600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses review around ferry workers’ right to strike

B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union collective agreement expires November 2020

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

B.C. woman left ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the southern Interior

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Most Read