File photo A placque celebrating White Rock’s aquisition of its Water Utility was created last year.

White Rock Water rate to rise three per cent

Council to approve increase bylaw next week

White Rock council has given first, second and third readings to a water bylaw amendment which would raise water rates by three per cent in 2019.

According to a report from the city’s financial services director Sandra Kurylo, the increase would translate to $4 per quarter (or an additional $1 per month) for an average detached single-family home and $2 per quarter (less than $1 more per month) for an average strata property.

The vote came at a special meeting Monday, following an extensive discussion in which members of the new council struggled to come to terms with potential impacts of three options – no increase, a three per cent increase and the five per cent increase recommended by staff.

Kurylo and chief administrative officer Dan Bottrill explained that it would be necessary to reduce the water-utility infrastructure reserve to accommodate a lower increase to the water rate (an 8.5 per cent had been proposed in a corporate report on Nov. 19, before council sent the issue back to staff for further review) and that this would lead to significant water infrastructure budget shortfalls over the next five years.

But Coun. Scott Kristjanson and other council members wanted to know specifics of what budget items would be affected – rather than simple monetary figures – and also whether general city reserves could be accessed to pay for water-utility infrastructure.

Bottrill answered that reserve monies have been put aside for specific purposes, and there are strict limits on what other funds – such as DCCs (development cost charges) and CACs (community amenity contributions) – can pay for.

“You may be buying a few years, but that’s all you’re doing – you’re deferring work that ultimately needs to be done, “he said. “We have 77 kilometres of waterline that ultimately needs to be replaced… We’re trying to figure out how do we make our utilities sustainable.”

While Coun. Anthony Manning and Coun. Erika Johanson joined Kristjanson in backing no increase, the three-per-cent rise was approved in a 4-3 vote and will now go to council’s Dec. 10 meeting for final reading and adoption.

Just Posted

Surrey-based group maps places to find affordable food

Surrey and White Rock Food Coalition targets food security

Youth and seniors learn from each other

Seniors Health Network launches intergenerational program in White Rock

Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society raises $8,000

Donations collected at Christmas event last week

Realtor blanket drive collects 360 bags of clothing

Annual event helps South Surrey and White Rock residents in need

VIDEO: Hundreds of volunteers collect, wrap toys in Surrey at Sikh elementary school

Guru Nanak Free Kitchen, Sikh Academy partner together on annual toy drive

MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey, Langley and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

Three Days Grace roars into Penticton

Video caught in audience at SOEC concert going viral

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

VIDEO: Giants fall to Royals 4-2 in Victoria Saturday night

Second loss in as many days for G-Men, who are back home in Langley today to take on the Cougars.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

Most Read