Fruitvale council has approved a five per cent increase in sewer rates and a two per cent hike in garbage pick up fees. (Trail Times file photo)

Fruitvale council has approved a five per cent increase in sewer rates and a two per cent hike in garbage pick up fees. (Trail Times file photo)

Fruitvale sewer, garbage fees going up

Fruitvale council approved the bylaw changes in a Special Meeting on Feb. 20

Fruitvale ratepayers will see a five per cent increase on their utility bill this year.

Council adopted the new rates during a special meeting on Tuesday thereby raising sewer charges to $330.75 annually or $27.56 monthly for a single dwelling unit, including duplexes.

In all, the sanitary sewer system connects to 762 properties and is financed by 821 parcels.

Chief Administrative Officer Mike Maturo outlined the village’s ongoing management work on “linear assets,” which are the sanitary and storm sewer systems as well as “non-linear assets” such as building, facilities, fleet and parks.

He referred to four recent reports that emphasized the need to increase sanitary sewer rates based on further infrastructure upgrades and included an analysis as well as remedies for meeting respective servicing costs.

“As the sanitary sewer reserve funds are essentially depleted, a five per cent annual increase to the User Fee is recommended while a 25 per cent annual increase for the Sewer Parcel Tax has also been recommended in that same report, over a 20-year horizon,” Maturo reported.

“The USL (Urban Systems) report also provides a number of options for future financing through a varying proportional combination of taxation, borrowing, rate and fee increases and possible grants, the latter being the most tenuous.”

The five percent increase offers a good starting point in addressing current matters, he added.

“Future discussions, after a thorough review of USL’s reports, should be held to adopt a systematic, scheduled financial approach to meeting sanitary sewer system improvement costs.”

Council also approved a nominal increase for garbage pick up.

“The purchase of a new truck along with increased tipping fees and operational costs prompt a two per cent increase in the solid waste fees and charges,” Maturo advised.

That means the minimum annual garbage fee is now $78, and with the charge, the user may choose to receive 20 Village of Fruitvale garbage bags. Additional bags will cost $3.90.

A five per cent discount is applicable if the full bill is paid before the last working day in March. A late penalty of 10 per cent is charge on all accounts outstanding after the last working day in October.

Council also tweaked rental fees in the Fruitvale Memorial Hall by lowering special rates by $50 for non-profit renters who don’t use the kitchen or require table service, and by $25 for the Beaver Valley Lions Club Bingo nights. Rental for the main hall with full kitchen remains $500, however council scrapped the additional $1-per-head place setting fee.