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Castlegar utility rates set to increase

Sewer, water, and garbage rates in Castlegar are poised to go up 6.5 per cent, 5.6 per cent, and two per cent respectively in 2023.

City council gave three readings to the increases this week, which are expected to be adopted on Dec. 19.

Last year, the city adopted something called the municipal price index to better measure and forecast the municipal inflation rate when deciding on increases.

For water, the average home will pay an extra $1.85 per month, or $22.16 per year, going from $395.64 to $417.80.

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City staff suggested a higher increase for sewer than water because the sewer utility “is in a weaker financial position” and requires “more significant capital projects.” For a typical home, it will mean an extra $2.25 per month or $23.06 per year, going from $354.72 to $377.78.

Among other changes, staff also recommended increasing the fee for water disconnections from $25 to $45 and increasing the flat rate for buildings while they are under construction.

The garbage rate increase would work out to an extra 20 cents per month, or $2.44 per year, going from $120.88 for a single-family home to $123.32. The increase is partly to head off an expected hike in tipping fees of up to 10 per cent to take effect in January.

The rates will be further amended in 2023 once the curbside organics collection program begins.

One other adjustment: presently the city replaces garbage carts damaged beyond repair by wildlife for free, providing they were secured properly. However, now it’s planned to charge $170 for each replacement beyond the first one.

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