From left to right, Lani Gibson, Terry Marleau, Edwin Empinado, Mayor Phil Germuth, Mark Zielinski, Rob Goffinet and Mario Feldhoff. (Photo from/District of Kitimat website)

From left to right, Lani Gibson, Terry Marleau, Edwin Empinado, Mayor Phil Germuth, Mark Zielinski, Rob Goffinet and Mario Feldhoff. (Photo from/District of Kitimat website)

District of Kitimat council adopts water rate bylaw increasing water rates for Kitimat users

Beginning in May, the annual fee will be $164 per dwelling which represents an increase of $1.66 a month

A bylaw that will increase water rates in Kitimat has been adopted following the April 4 District of Kitimat council meeting.

The bylaw was first brought in front of staff in Feb., and council initially wanted more information on how the changes would affect metered rates and users.

The bylaw states that from Jan. to April users pay $12 per month per dwelling unit. Beginning in May, the annual fee will be $164 per dwelling which represents an increase of $1.66 a month.

“Perhaps there’s a way that the change cannot be any more than we have already approved, said Lani Gibson, District of Kitimat councillor. “still either go to a flat rate or a declining rate.”

Gibson was absent from the previous meetings and did not get a chance to bring forward her concerns when the water rates bylaw was brought back in front of council.

Gibson proposed an amendment that would see staff bring forward the review of user fees for the 2023 budget that they report on the possibility of commercial users paying a flat rate or increasing rate of tiers to encourage water conservation.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff spoke against the proposed amendment.

“This amendment kind of sets direction in advance, I think future council is very able and as part of normal course reviewing the budget they will deal with this,” he said.

The amendment was ultimately defeated 2-3 with Councillors Rob Goffinet and Lani Gibson voting in favour of the change.

The bylaw was ultimately adopted and will raise water rates for Kitimat residents.

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