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City seeks to raise minimum quarterly water charge by $7.77 and combined additional usage by $0.67

The City of Thompson is asking the Public Utilities Board (PUB) to raise its combined water and sewer rate by 13.5 per cent and the minimum quarterly charge for a typical residential customer by eight per cent for 2021.
A table shows the proposed minimum quarterly water and sewer rates customers with varying service li
A table shows the proposed minimum quarterly water and sewer rates customers with varying service line sizes would pay if the City of Thompson’s proposed rates for 2021 are approved by the Public Utilities Board.

The City of Thompson is asking the Public Utilities Board (PUB) to raise its combined water and sewer rate by 13.5 per cent and the minimum quarterly charge for a typical residential customer by eight per cent for 2021.

A water and wastewater rate bylaw given first reading at the Nov. 2 council meting proposes a minimum quarterly charge of $100.53 for customers with 15 mm service lines, up from the current charge of $92.76. That includes 14 cubic metres of water. Any water use above that threshold would be charged at $3.81 per cubic metre of water and $1.79 per cubic metre of wastewater, for a combined charge of $5.60, up from the current combined charge of $4.93, if the PUB approves the rates. Wastewater usage volumes are considered to be equal to the amount of water that is used.

The PUB will accept questions and comments regarding the proposed rates once they have received them and then decide whether or not to hold a public hearing on them. The PUB can decide to approve the rates the city presents or to make changes to the amounts.

“This is the first step in the process,” said city manager Anthony McInnis at Monday’s meeting.

2020 was the first time since Thompson residents started paying for water based on metered usage in 2011 that the rates didn’t rise from the previous year. Council decided last December not to seek a rate increase until they had taken over operation of the new sewage treatment plant, so they would have a better idea of how much electricity, supplies and wages will be required to run it on an ongoing basis.

Coun. Duncan Wong, who asked for a recorded vote, was the only member of council opposed to the bylaw at first reading.