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

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Laura Barnes is to feature some of her artwork at Gallery at Central Plaza next month. (Contributed photo)
New artist showcase coming to White Rock gallery

Laura Barnes work, mixing brights and darks, to be displayed in February

Surrey Community Cat Foundation received funding to assist with medical procedures. (File photo)
SurreyCats receives grant to assist with spay/neuter costs

PetSmart Charities of Canada donates $5,000

White Rock Public Library (File photo)
Surrey, White Rock literacy leaders kick off Family Literacy Week

Literacy events to take place Jan. 24 to 31

Beds are set up at the emergency response centre at the North Surrey Recreation Centre. (Contributed file photo)
26 people test positive for COVID-19 at Surrey emergency shelter

Centre located at North Surrey Recreation Centre

Surrey firefighters respond to a townhouse fire Sunday morning. (Shane MacKichan photos)
Firefighters respond to townhouse fire in Surrey

Fire ‘knocked down quickly’: witness

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

sd
VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment Mission, has break-out year

Most Read