Saanich council set to approve utility rate hike

Council Monday will consider a number of bylaws affecting finances and utility rates.

These measures include among others a temporary borrowing bylaw authorizing up to $2 million towards the transportation capital project program and a temporary borrowing bylaw authorizing up to $1.5 million towards storm drainage improvements. Saanich, however, only plans to borrow only $600,000 and $150,000 respectively.

Council will ratify hikes to water and sewer rates approved earlier this month.

Sewer rates are set to rise 10.7 per cent cent. If council confirms this rate following budget discussions next year, average homeowners will pay $497 for sewer in 2018, an increase largely linked to the current implementation of the regional wastewater treatment plan currently underway.

Saanich residents have been bracing themselves for increases of this sort for some time, following last year’s approval of the $765 million wastewater treatment plant at McLoughlin Point, whose construction is now underway across parts of the region, including Saanich.

When completed, the $765-million federal, provincial and CRD-funded sewage treatment plant will provide seven municipalities in Greater Victoria with the region’s first tertiary wastewater treatment system.

Saanich home residents also face a two-per cent hike in water rates, with the average cost per household going from $451 to $459.

The changes will be effective Jan. 1, 2018, but Saanich residents could see changes in their bills.

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