Utility Bills to rise in Richmond

Utility Bills to rise in Richmond

Updated: November 21, 2012 1:30 PM

Homeowners will pay up to $76 more for utilities next year to cover water, sewer, garbage and recycling fees, under a budget proposed Monday at city hall.

Property owners paying flat rates for water will be hit the hardest by the 2013 utility budget, but metered customers—whose numbers continue to climb—won’t escape increases.

Owners of single-family homes without a meter will pay $1,335 for utilities, a five per cent increase. Those with a meter will pay significantly less for utilities—an estimated $914—but will see a greater overall increase of 7.7 per cent.

With more homeowners making the free switch to meters, revenue is falling, forcing the city to make metered customers share a greater portion of the cost.

Approximately 68 per cent of single-family homes are now on meters, according to a staff report from manager Suzanne Bycraft. Most townhouses and apartments are still without, but that’s likely to change as the city is now promoting water meters for multi-family buildings.

Coun. Bill McNulty said Richmond has become a leader in water conservation by offering residents water meters and rebates for old toilet replacement. He also noted the benefit of a rate stabilization fund, which helps offset dramatic rises in Metro Vancouver costs.

In her report, Bycraft said utility costs were reduced where possible to minimize the impact of the higher rates, but noted “a significant portion” of increases are beyond the city’s direct control, such as Metro Vancouver costs for water and sewer service.

“Regional costs are expected to continue increasing as part of meeting demands for ensuring high quality drinking water and managing sewer treatment,” noted Bycraft.

The budget also lays out an expansion of the city’s food scraps and organics collection service. On June 3, 2013, $3 million in wheeled carts and kitchen containers will be distributed to homeowners with green waste pickup, which will also expand to townhouses with blue box service.

Expansion of the program will cost taxpayers $950,000 annually.

The 2013 rates, endorsed Monday, must still be ratified by city council. Utility bills are due in the spring, after which unpaid bills climb 10 per cent.

Proposed utility rates for 2013

Flat Rate

•House: $1,335 ($63 increase)

•Townhouse (on city garbage): $1,144 ($73)

•Townhouse: $1,038 ($76)

•Apartment: $770 ($38)

Metered (Estimated)

•House: $914 ($65)

•Townhouse (on city garbage): $641 ($61)

•Townhouse: $535 ($64)

•Apartment: $437 ($31)

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COMMENT/s :

As a general comment….I try to break things down to their basics …even philosophical.

I look at the number posted above  $76 ..the proposed “average” increase.

The average person works say 40 hours per week….approx. 2000 hours a year.

Lets say , optimistically,  they make approx. $25 / hour. So even if we exclude the income tax….they now have to work (3 ) HOURS to pay this ” increase “…I think it is fairly clear that the economy is not good, and not going to get better. 

 

Or when I see other waste…like my retired Doctor friend….who is in a constant battle with City bureaucrats in building his home. He knows his stuff and does his homework, but they demand certain bizarre additions to his water supply. While he was away one day…they installed a device costing $5,000. He stood his ground…refused to pay….and the City backed off…saying they wouldn’t charge him. However…this $5,000 wasted was not their money…… it was OUR tax dollars. Richmond taxpayers wasted many hours of work to pay this wasted $5,000 in after-  tax dollars.

 

Wage increases ?….very unlikely. Job security ?…even less likely.

Yet, these bureaucrats seem to think we have a lot of money in our pockets, and that we have the ability to pay increases beyond even the inflation rate. To add insult to injury, these rates are compunded from the previous year..ie if last years increase was 4 %….then this years 5% will compound on top of this.

This is not sustainable..it creeps up and eats away and erodes our standard of living. What are we paying for…..are we taxpayers masochists….? If  Gov’t cannot get its act together, that’s not our problem….WE ,  the TAXPAYERS, have got to take charge and kick their sorry asses O-U-T .

QUOTE:

Property owners paying flat rates for water will be hit the hardest by the 2013 utility budget, but metered customers—whose numbers continue to climb—won’t escape increases.

With more homeowners making the free switch to meters, revenue is falling, forcing the city to make metered customers share a greater portion of the cost.

What bullshit, its not free…..the City has a fund from General Revenue that pays for these ” Free” Meters.

Revenue shortfall ? WTF is that ? This ” meter scam” was sold on the basis of cost savings…but I think the savvy citizen realizes that meters are S-C-A-M-S. Its the old Trojan Horse. Sneak it in..then B-A-N-G we gotcha. So now the scam is to  hit the Non Meter parties with a subjective increase aka ” hit the hardest” ….BUT also hit the ones who swallowed the Kool – Aid and accepted free water meters ?  So their hope is that ALL taxpayers  will feel economically forced to accept the “free” water meters. If this goal is achieved……you can bet they will crank up the rates , that’s the plan, and you won’t see any savings, this will simply be another means to extort taxes.  Many people don’t realize that the meter is read (4) times a year…and they are charged for each reading. In addition, they are charged a minimum useage, even if they don’t use as much water as they are charged.

 

Garbage ? As I have noted in previous posts….our household only fills ONE garbage Can per week though we are allotted (2).  Then i kep reading that recycling has worked so well, that Metro Van Landfills  are seeing reduced revenue. ie less tipping fees at the landfills. Hence, we are in a no – win game, the implication was that we would be rewarded for recycling ..with a carrot…….not a baseball bat ?

QUOTE:

The budget also lays out an expansion of the city’s food scraps and organics collection service. On June 3, 2013, $3 million in wheeled carts and kitchen containers will be distributed to homeowners with green waste pickup, which will also expand to townhouses with blue box service.

WTF is this….?  $3 Million ….what was wrong with the existing system.

Now I have other suspicions…given they taking ” garbage ” and slicing into a (3) way pie..(i) Green Organic Compostables…(ii) Recycling and (iii) Garbage / Landfill.I suspect each of these will grow like a (3) headed snake….and  they will become separate line items, allowing them to extort MORE funds from us.

My solution ? I am seriously thinking of simply informing the City that I no longer wish their collection service…and I will find OTHER solutions.

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