Fort St. John Council moves forward with water and sewer rate increase

If the resolution is approved, residents would pay $1 per cubic metre for both water and sewer.  The City would also discontinue the minimum quarterly water charge and instead implement a $10 fixed monthly charge for water and sewer.  Billing would also happen monthly instead of on a quarterly basis.

For the average customer this would mean a monthly cost of $42.80 compared to the current monthly cost of $22.73 ($68.20 per quarter).

Councillor Klassen said his current bill would increase by 92 per cent and he understands the city needs more money for the current infrastructure deficit, but it seems like a big increase all at once.

It currently costs the City approximately $2.78 per cubic metre for water and $2.08 per cubic metre for sewer services.  Even with the proposed changes the City would still have to subsidize the water and sewer costs. 

To fix that, the City will increase water and sewer rates each year by 15 per cent under the current plan until 2017.  By that time, the City would still only be covering the cost of operating the system in 2012 and wouldn't account for the possible increases over the next 5 years.

Rural resident wouldn't see a change in 2012, but their rates will increase in 2013 once Council completes a review of rates for rural and bulk users.