The City of Cranbrook will be increasing sewer user rates by $3 a month, from $18 in 2014 to $21 in 2015.
At the Oct. 6 council meeting, Mayor Wayne Stetski noted that the water utility rate and the solid waste rate are staying the same for 2015.
“We try and keep $2 million in these reserve funds to handle emergencies,” Stetski said. “We only have about $800,000 in the sewer fund, so we’re well below having $2 million in this sewer fund. So that’s why this increase is being requested.”
CAO Wayne Staudt explained that the rates come into effect in January 1, 2015.
Coun. Diana J Scott noted that council had discussed the increase already.
“This isn’t something we just decided right now, we talked about this during our budgeting process and through the five-year financial plan,” Scott said.
Coun. Sharon Cross noted that at the Union of B.C. Municipalities meeting recently, there was talk about investing surplus funds for the purpose of accruing interest, so she asked whether the city invests in that.
Staudt said the city has an arrangement with the bank that allows them to pool all accounts together and so receives interest on that balance.
“On top of that, if we have a balance and reserve that we feel we won’t need for along time, we will make an investment with those surplus monies and actually go out and actually go out and find an appropriate investment,” he said.
The $3 increase per month in the sewer user rate will generate about $350,000 more in revenue next year, bringing the projected Sewer User Rate revenue to $2,464,355 for 2015.
Council passed the new sewer rates.