Victoria residents brace for utility fee increase

Increases on the way for sewer, solid waste and water utilities.

Another year, another hit to the wallet.

Victoria residents can expect to pay an extra $60 in utilities come 2012.

On Tuesday, Victoria council approved a range of fee increases for sewer, solid waste and water utilities.

The cost of water will rise the most.

An average residence will pay an extra $26 for water consumption in 2011, plus a $9 hike in metering costs for an annual cost of $390.90.

The increases are due to deferred maintenance costs and a planned switch to electronic meters.

Conservation efforts have also increased the cost of water per unit.

For the past 10 years, the volume of water consumed  has decreased by about 20 per cent, including a 4.2 per cent reduction in the last year.

“The reduction in water consumption has a significant effect on projected revenue,” wrote assistant director of utilities John Sturdy, in his report to council.

Sewer costs will also go up and are calculated based on water usage.

Typical residences will pay an extra $16 per year to help pay for a downtown sewer upgrade, and address aging pipes that suffer from inflow and infiltration.

This year, the city will start on a 20-year sanitary sewer master plan to address these problems and to create a reserve fund for future maintenance.

Additionally, a sewer frontage charge – calculated based on the width of the property – will rise by $3.45 for the average lot.

Lastly, solid waste collection costs will rise by $5.90, to a new total of $202.92. That’s due to increases in salary, equipment and yard-waste facility costs. It’s also due to the added cost of preparing for the new organics and garbage collection program in 2013.

 

 

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