City budget: Septic haulers to see discharge fee spike

City homeowners will be paying eight per cent more in property taxes this year and septic haulers will see discharge fees increased.

City homeowners will be paying eight per cent more in property taxes this year.

Homeowners will pay $8.80 per $1,000 of a home’s assessed value based on an average family home worth $189,000, a report noted.

As well, out-of-town septic operators who dump sewage effluent in the city’s system will be paying more this year.

City councillors passed a new sewer bylaw that raises the septage dumping fee from $75 to $112 per load. The bylaw was part of the 2013-2017 Financial Plan bylaw that was adopted on Monday.

Coun. Jack McLeman asked who the operators were and what it is that they were paying fees to the city for.

City manager Ken Watson replied that there are septic haulers in and out of town who discharge their loads at city sewer infrastructure and pay a fee, he said.

The new fee covers increased power and maintenance costs, and that “we’re not going to lose money on it,” Watson said.

City homeowners will see a 50 per cent increase in sewer fees and 10 per cent increase in water rates this year.

The 50 per cent increase is to service new debt incurred when the city bought the sewage lagoon and accompanying infrastructure from Catalyst, which also won’t see a tax hike for another five years as part of the sale.

Council agreed to discuss the issue again after voting to accept the increase earlier this year, said Coun. Hira Chopra, who voted against the move.

“I still think 50 per cent is too much,” he said.

The sewer and water increases will take effect starting in May and will show up on September municipal utility bills.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

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