City of Grand Forks looking to increase sewer rates

The City of Grand Forks is looking to amend its water and sewer regulations and rates bylaw for the 2012 to 2016 adopted five-year plan.
The adoption would reflect a 4.6 per cent increase in user fee collection for water rates, and a 4.8 per cent increase in user fee collection for sewer rates.
The residential fixed and capital charges would remain the same for both water and sewer rates as previously charged in 2010 and 2011.
“They’re just planning ahead and it may even change again next year but you always have to have that five-year vision and then modify it within the context of each year’s budget,” explained Coun. Gary Smith. “It’s looked at every year to address the costs of operations and maintenance.”
Cecile Arnott, the city’s chief financial officer, stated the changes are made because there was a need to increase revenue in 2012.
“The bylaw doesn’t necessarily change each year but every time there’s a need to change the rate, it will change,” she said. “It’s looked at each year.”
The bylaw to amend the water bylaw noted, “The residential connection charge reflects the city’s practice of averaging these residential connection charges to avoid residents being treated differently simply because they happen to construct a home on the opposite side of the roadway from where the waterline happens to be located. The connection charges have been averaged to ensure our residents are paying the same no matter what side of the street they live on.”
All other provisions and rates in the bylaw remain the same.
“You’ll see that two of the rates (fixed and capital) stayed the same and only one (user fee) has increased,” Arnott explained. “It says it will increase by more than 4.6 per cent but that’s to generate the 4.6 per cent revenue increase because council did not want to increase all three components of the rate, just the variable one.”
User water rates, which would be effective from July 2012, should the bylaw pass final reading would vary from a family home to commercial office. A metered multi-family apartment would see a fixed and capital charge of $20.50 per unit bi-monthly (every two months), a $7 per account bi-monthly customer charge, and 0.113 cents per cubic metre.
Commercial office properties, where water use is restricted to staff washrooms, would be charged $18.50 per account (per metre) on a bi-monthly basis, including the fixed and capital charge. The per account bi-monthly charge will be $7 with a 0.113 cents charge per cubic metre.
For commercial laundry and car wash properties, they would be charged $51 per account, per metre on a bi-monthly basis for fixed and capital charges, $7 per account on a bi-monthly basis for customer charge and 0.124 per cubic metre.
These rates would also apply for large industrial properties, hotels, restaurants, malls, institutions, schools, recreation facilities and irrigation systems.
Buildings not connected to water system, on lots where service is available, would be charged $13.50 per account, per metre on a bi-monthly basis for fixed and capital charges, $7 per account bi-monthly customer charge and $0.124 per cubic metre.
Residential properties that aren’t metered would be charged $37.25 per unit for fixed and capital charges on a bi-monthly basis, with a $7 bi-monthly customer charge and $16.40 bi-monthly variable water charges for non-metered per residence.
The five-year plan for sewer regulations and rates reflects a 4.8 per cent increase in user fee collection for sewer rates. The customer, fixed and capital charges would remain the same as those charged in 2010 and 2011.
A metered multi-family apartment would see $31.25 for bi-monthly fixed and capital charges, while commercial office properties will see a bi-monthly charge and capital charge of $34.25.
Large industrial properties, commercial laundry, car wash, hotels, restaurants, institutions and schools would be charged $56.25, where as buildings not connected to a sewer system on lots where service is available would be charged $31.25.
All user classes would pay a $10.50 bi-monthly customer charge and $0.40 for sewer rates charges per 1/3 cubic metre of metered water.
Residential properties not metered would be charged a bi-monthly fixed and capital charge of $40, a customer charge of $10.50 and a bi-monthly variable sewer charge for homes non-metered of $15.60.
Arnott pointed out the changes would be reflected in the next billing period.
“It’s not pro-rating back to January 1, but will be effective in the next period,” she said. “The bill that comes out at the end of July will show the effective increase.”
User water rates, which would be effective from July 2012, should the bylaw pass final reading, would vary from a family home to commercial office. A metered multi-family apartment would see a fixed and capital charge of $20.50 per unit bi-monthly (every two months), a $7 per account bi-monthly customer charge, and 0.113 cents per cubic metre.
Commercial office properties, where water use is restricted to staff washrooms, would be charged $18.50 per account (per metre) on a bi-monthly basis, including the fixed and capital charge. The per account bi-monthly charge will be $7 with a 0.113 cents charge per cubic metre.
Commercial laundry and car wash properties would be charged $51 per account, per metre on a bi-monthly basis for fixed and capital charges, $7 per account on a bi-monthly basis for customer charge and 0.124 per cubic metre.
These rates would also apply for large industrial properties, hotels, restaurants, malls, institutions, schools, recreation facilities and irrigation systems.
Buildings not connected to the water system, on lots where service is available, would be charged $13.50 per account, per metre on a bi-monthly basis for fixed and capital charges, $7 per account bi-monthly customer charge and $0.124 per cubic metre.
Residential properties that aren’t metered would be charged $37.25 per unit for fixed and capital charges on a bi-monthly basis, with a $7 bi-monthly customer charge and $16.40 bi-monthly variable water charges for non-metered per residence.
The five-year plan for sewer regulations and rates reflects a 4.8 per cent increase in user fee collection for sewer rates. The residential fixed and capital charges would remain the same as those charged in 2010 and 2011.
A metered multi-family apartment would see $31.25 for bi-monthly fixed and capital charges, while commercial office properties will see a bi-monthly charge and capital charge of $34.25.
Large industrial properties, commercial laundry, car wash, hotels, restaurants, institutions and schools would be charged $56.25, where as buildings not connected to a sewer system on lots where service is available would be charged $31.25.
All user classes would pay a $10.50 bi-monthly customer charge and $0.40 for sewer rates charges per 1/3 cubic metre of metered water.
Residential properties not metered would be charged a bi-monthly fixed and capital charge of $40, a customer charge of $10.50 and a bi-monthly variable sewer charge for homes non-metered of $15.60.
Arnott pointed out the changes would be reflected in the next billing period.
“It’s not pro-rating back to January 1, but will be effective in the next period,” she said. “The bill that comes out at the end of July will show the effective increase.”
The bylaws would have to pass final reading to take effect.

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