Saanich residents will pay more for sewer, water and garbage pick-up next year, if council ratifies the relevant bylaws Monday.
Average homeowners will see their sewer rates rise $49 — or 10.52 per cent — in 2019 over 2018, rising from $466 to $514, according to a staff report.
Much of the increase covers Saanich’s regional contributions. Almost 76 per cent of the rate rise ($37 dollars) helps offset regional costs, “due primarily” to the increase in the debt portion of the regional wastewater treatment currently under construction. Increases in Saanich’s operating costs and infrastructure — each costing homeowners $6 — account for the remainder of the increase.
Last year’s increase was 10.7 per cent, the first (but not last) of such following the construction start of the regional wastewater treatment plant. When completed, the $765-million federal, provincial and CRD-funded sewage treatment plant will provide seven municipalities in Greater Victoria with the region’s first tertiary wastewater treatment system.
Saanich’s water rates, meanwhile, will rise 1.51 per cent — or $7 annually for the ‘average’ homeowner to help cover “non-discretionary” higher labour costs, higher utility costs and other fees.
Saanich residents will also have to pay more for garbage pick-up. Under the system, Saanich residents pay a base fee for solid waste services with the proposed rate for 2019 reaching $127.50. They also pay cart fees that fund the collection and disposal of garbage and organic waste based on cart size and type of garbage.
Under the proposed fees, homeowners will pay at least $181.50 and up to $240.48 dollars. In 2018, they paid $174.60 to $231.60.
Last year’s increases drew considerable criticism, with one Saanich resident calling increases a hidden form of taxation.
Bylaws approving these various rates now await final approval following three readings earlier this week. They remain subject to change until May, when council adopts its final budget. Staff, however, note that rate adjustments half-way through the year are unlikely.