Hope residents can expect to see their water bills increase 15 per cent in 2012.
Council has approved the necessary bylaw to impose the rate hike for each of the next five years.
Unmetered residents will pay an average of $30 more annually. Metered rates for lower volume users will also be increased by 15 per cent and users in excess of 1,101 cubic metres quarterly will face an additional increase of three per cent.
“Water must be self-funding over time and rates to users must reflect those costs,” said town manager Earl Rowe.
“We are generally fortunate in Hope because we don’t need to treat our water, resulting in lower costs than many other communities. We still do however face costs which rise faster than inflation as storage and transmission uses a lot of energy.”
The previous schedule of rates allowed for only three per cent annually, an increase that is insufficient to avoid the fund going into deficit.
Rowe said the new rate structure should permit a balanced water fund over the next five years while water main replacement issues are being analyzed.
No solid waste or disposal fee rate increases are to be implemented in 2012, pending the results of an economic review currently underway.