If you live in Castlegar, your utility bill will increase by a larger amount than usual next year. City council is expected to adopt increases today of 6.5 per cent for sewer and 5.9 per cent for water.
Mayor Kirk Duff says it follows the receipt of a report from consultant Urban Systems on dealing with inflation and rising construction costs.
Duff says the city wants to ensure it not only covers its costs but has enough money set aside in reserves for upgrades and improvements as well as potentially unforeseen events.
“Infrastructure, especially things underground is incredibly expensive,” he says. “The cost of construction has jumped from what it was a couple of years ago. We have to plan otherwise we’ll never have enough money to properly fix anything. We can’t afford to let our infrastructure suffer.”
Duff says such planning is “critical” to both those who live in Castlegar and to ensure the community is attractive to others.