Delta homeowners will see a $25 increase in their utility costs, after council gave first, second and third readings to updated bylaws Monday night (Dec. 11).
The total flat rate utility fees will go from $1,035 to $1,060, an increase of 2.4 per cent. This includes a $28 increase for water, which covers the cost of water services provided by Metro Vancouver; a $6 increase for sewer, which covers regional operating costs and sewer capital works; and a $9 decrease for solid waste, which includes garbage and recycling, because the waste collection contract was recently renewed at a cheaper rate.
At least $20 of the increase is a flow-through from Metro Vancouver increases. Delta’s water and sewer systems are part of the connected Metro Vancouver system.
“This is a charge from Metro for the good quality of water we have, and it’s not about do we need it or not,” Counc. Jeannie Kanakos said at Monday night’s council meeting. “I think there’s just been the issue of the phasing in of it could have been done over time rather in one lump sum.”
According to Delta’s director of finance Karl Preuss, this increase is the last in a multi-year cost increase, intended to help pay for water system improvements. In the future, there will be sewer increases to cover sewer system upgrades for the Lulu Island and Lions Gate treatment plants, and the Annacis Island treatment plant stage five expansion.
Unchanged from previous years is the secondary suite program, which offers a $300 fee reduction for secondary suites, and the single occupancy discount, which offers a $100 reduction.
The water meter program, which includes the installation of meters on properties with secondary suites, will continue into 2018.
Metered properties will see a slight increase for both water and sewer. The first 125 cubic metres of water would go from 94 cents a cubic metre to 99 cents, and subsequent cubic metres would go from $1.29 to $1.36. The minimum quarterly charge would remain unchanged at $25.
Sewer costs will go from $1.06 per cubic metre to $1.08. The minimum quarterly cost will also stay at $25.