Revelstoke City Council approved a five per cent increase in water fees and a 30 per cent increase in building services’ valuation rates.
The amendment to the Fees and Charges Bylaw passed at the Nov. 26 council meeting, with councillors Steven Cross and Rob Elliott opposed.
The approved water fees increase will see residential water rates go from $490-$515 a year. Last year rates increased from $467 to $490.
Last year council approved a five per cent increase to the water rate, despite city staff requesting a 10 per cent increase.
Tania McCabe, director of finance for the city, said leaving that increase at five per cent will have a negative impact on the long term viability of the water fund–she has estimated that the reserve fund will have $2.4 million less after 15 years without the increase.
“That is a significant difference from the recommended amount,” said Mayor Gary Sulz.
The water reserve fund is used in case of emergencies as well as to fund infrastructure projects and equipment upgrades that will be needed as the population of Revelstoke grows.
The building services valuation rates are used to calculate the cost of building permits. There is a base fee of $100 plus $9 per $1,000 of valuation.
Valuation rates have not been increased since 2008, and Marianne Wade said that the 30 per cent now is the same as if the rates had been increased 2.5 per cent every year since 2008. Wade said that is approximately how much construction costs have increased year over year.