Thursday, January 9, 2014

The City of Prince Rupert greets the New Year with rate increases

As part of their first order of business for a New Year, those councillors in attendance at Monday's City Council session put in motion the process to increase rates for sewer, water and solid waste for the next three years.

Council adopted first, second and third readings of motions to increase the rates by 50 about dollars to Prince Rupert homeowners.

The City's Financial Officer, Corinne Bomben outlined the nature of the increases, which will see your utility bills increase by the following levels.
Photo from City of PR Annual Rpt 2012

Water rates up 5% for an increase of 19 dollars
Sewer rates up 5 % for an increase of 19 dollars
Solid Water rates up 5% for a total increase of 12 dollars

In addition to the utility increases, the City also increased the rates and associated costs for the Prince Rupert Cemetery. The Care Fund Fees have been adjusted to reflect industry standards of 25 % on Interment Rights, 10% on Columbarium and by $10.00 per memorial.

The basic rate was increased by 5% and weekend services have been increased by 10% to accommodate overtime costs. However,  the HST has been removed from the schedule, with all applicable taxes to be charged where required, including GST.

Councillor Cunningham, the newest member of City Council had a number of concerns over the cycle of increases that comes each year and observed that in his opinion, the increases have been constant ever since the City separated the Utilities from the annual property tax bill of July.

The Mayor outlined the need for the increases at this time owing to the ongoing need of repair and replacement of the city's aging infrastructure, in particular in the areas of water and sewer requirements.

You can review the full discussion from the City Council Video archive for January 6th 2014, the Bylaw rate discussions begin at the 4:30 mark on the video and continue through to the nineteen minute mark.

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