By Spencer Hall, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, RMG
Valemount council is considering a bylaw that could see several increases in the Village’s fees and services, slated to take effect next year.
At its October 10th meeting, council gave its first, second and third readings of Village of Valemount Fees and Charges Bylaw No. 869, 2023, amendment Bylaw No. 885, 2023. The final reading was expected to take place at Council’s Oct 24th meeting.
Should the bylaw pass, residents can expect to see a 5.5 per cent increase in solid waste rates, a seven per cent increase in water rates, and a eight per cent increase in sewer rates in 2024.
Director of Finance with the Village of Valemount, Lori McNee said the increases are necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability of Village infrastructure.
According to McNee’s report to council on October 10th, the rate increases are based off guidelines in the 2020 Urban Systems report Improving Asset Management in the Village of Valemount.
In the 2020 report, Urban Systems recommended an annual increase of seven per cent for water user fees — four per cent for capital replacements and three per cent to account for inflation. The consulting firm also recommended an eight per cent increase in sewer fees, with five per cent for capital replacements and three per cent for inflation.
The solid waste fee increase was also based on the report, which recommended a general taxation rate of 2.5 per cent, plus an additional three per cent for inflation.
Last year before discounts, the Village billed residents $1,061.82 in total basic charges for sewer, water and garbage utilities. The total sum of the proposed charges next year is $1196.46. The Goat did not hear back before presstime if this proposed sum was equivalent to the total basic charges before or after discounts.
Should council adopt the bylaw, the increases will take effect in January.