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2021 SCRD water rates to increase

2021 SCRD water rates to increase

Area residents need to prepare to pay more for SCRD water in 2021. At the Nov. 26 board meeting, annual fees to properties receiving this service were raised between $72 and $208.
North Pender Harbour clients will see the largest increase in their water bills. While parcel charges for water in this area are not being raised, usage fees are increasing by 50 percent over 2020 levels. The result will be annual water fees of $951. That is 28 percent higher than the $743 charged in 2020.
Property owners in the South Pender Harbour Water Service Area will see their annual water rates jump by 16 percent over the current year’s rate. Their combined user and parcel fees for water services will total $961 in 2021.
Customers in the SCRD’s Regional Water Service Area will see 2021 adjustments in both user fees and parcel taxes. Their annual billings are to go up by about $72. The rates in 2021 will be $759 compared to the $687 that was charged in 2020.
The 2021 fee adjustments moved directly from committee debate to board endorsement on Nov. 26. During both sessions, Sechelt Area Director Alton Toth voted in opposition to the changes for the regional water service area. He stated he would have preferred to see the capital projects that require funding approved before adjusting the fees that will pay those costs.
2021 will mark the second year of double-digit increases in SCRD water charges. In 2020, those fees increased between 17 and 25 percent over the previous year. The board links the rate increases to its strategic commitment to plan for and ensure year-round water availability for its customers. The current board has launched a capital plan aimed at securing and diversifying the region’s water supply. This includes the Church Road well field development, explorations of increasing supply accessed from Chapman Creek, water main repairs and leak detection, water metering and investigation of expanding the Chapman Creek reservoir.
Connie Jordison

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