Telkwa mayor Brad Layton, second from left, calls for a vote to roll back a five per cent water and sewer rate increase voted for at the March 26 council meeting. (Thom Barker photo)

Telkwa rolls back water/sewer rate hike

Property value assessments and $3.6M infrastructure grant help council’s decision for reversal

Telkwa council has decided to roll back its water and sewer rates increase to two per cent.

At its March 26 meeting, council decided it had to start putting aside more money to deal with the looming prospect of a provincially-imposed asset management crunch and voted to bump the rates by five for residents and three per cent for

In the interim, however, the Village received an infrastructure grant from the B.C. government for $3.6 million. That coupled with feedback from residents about property assessment increases instigated the discussion about reversing the previous decision.

READ MORE: Telkwa hikes water/sewer rates five per cent

Mayor Brad Layton reported that by keeping mill rates steady, the average property owner was looking at a 6.2 per cent rise in property taxes.

“That is a tax increase, a significant tax increase,” he said.

Coun. Matthew Monkman was concerned about not having the financial cushion to address the aging water and sewer infrastructure.

“What other high priorities are there in Telkwa?” he asked.

Nevertheless, Monkman said he was comfortable with the rollback providing the lion’s share of the infrastructure grant money was set aside for water and sewer upgrades. He suggested $1 million each be put into the water and sewer reserves.

Layton and Coun. Annette Morgan were on board with the idea, although they did not make a final decision on just how the grant money would be allocated.

The mayor, however, suggested a significant portion should be set aside to go after other potential funding sources.

“We need to use it to leverage other money, or getting shovel-ready for projects and build reserves,” he said.

One such project is flood mitigation for which the Village just received a preliminary report from Golder Associates. See story on this page.

There will be a public hearing on May 7 before the Village’s fiscal 2019 budget is finalized at which residents can have their say on these and other spending issues. The budget is scheduled to be passed May 14.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Town council votes to reclassify LB Warner lot for residential use

Smithers just got one step closer to more affordable housing, but there are still many to go

Nisga’a leader named UNBC chancellor

Dr. Joseph Arthur Gosnell is the first Indigenous leader to assume the role

A medical first saved Ryan Jones’ life

The 25-year-old Smithers man is almost fully recovered after being effectively dead.

Steelheads recruiting event shows promise

A small but enthusiastic group of organizers is hoping to put a Smithers team back in the CIHL

Fletcher disregards facts on climate action

Letter writer Macrae says inaction jeopardizes jobs

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

Canfor curtailing operations across B.C.

Low lumber prices and the high cost of fibre are the cause of curtailment

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Haida youth travels to New York for UN forum on Indigenous issues

Haana Edensaw presented her speech in Xaad Kil, Masset dialect of the Haida language

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Most Read