Finance committee recommends increase in water/sewer rates

The increase will help boost the water and sewer reserves, which will help the Town apply for federal infrastructure grants.

Water and Sewer Rates

Golden’s Open Standing Committee on Finance has made a recommendation that the water and sewer rates see an increase over the next three years.

“We’ve known for a long time that our rates are not what they should be,” said Mayor Christina Benty. She moved the recommendation that there be a 2.5 per cent increase on water for each of the next three years, and a 5 per cent increase on sewer for each of the next three years.

The motion passed with Councillors Caleb Moss and Keith Hern opposed, and will be brought before council in October.

The increase will help boost the water and sewer reserves, which will help the Town apply for federal infrastructure grants  through the Canada Build Fund in the future.

Coun. Keith Hern said early in the meeting that he would rather see the rates remain where they are, and boost the Town’s overall reserves through taxation. There are already funds in the water and sewer reserves, although not enough, but nothing in the roads reserve. Hern argued that improvements can’t be made to the water and sewer lines if the municipality can’t leverage funds for roads as well. Therefore, he thought it was better to address the deficit of the corporation as a whole, instead of just focusing on water and sewer reserves.

Benty, however, said she was uncomfortable leaving the rates where they are. The reserves are not as healthy as the Town would like them, and if the municipality is unsuccessful in securing grants, there is still costly work that needs to be done on the infrastructure.

Rec Plex Operations

With the Mount 7 Rec Plex board deciding not renew its operating contract for the facility, the Town of Golden Council has directed staff to keep the facility running, and look into what resources will be required to do so.

The Town owns the facility, and has contracted the operation of the facility to the board, and given them an annual $10,000 stipend.

Council voted to “direct staff to source a janitorial contract with staff providing an in-house operations plan.” That plan would include what increased resources will be required for the recreation department to manage the facility.

“It would be great to keep the doors open, but I would have to ask staff if that’s feasible,” said Coun. Keith Hern. He also said he would like to see user data for the facility, similar to what was provided for the swimming pool, that could be used in a discussion with the CSRD about cost sharing.

Manager of Recreation Services Jordan Petrovics says he currently has little information about the facility, as he has not been in charge of its operation.

“The Recreation Department will welcome the challenge of running the facility with the resources to manage the building effectively,” he said.

The Rec Plex will still operate for the 2014-15 winter season. Any inquiries from user groups at the facility can be sent to Petrovics at rec.booking@golden.ca.