COMOX, B.C. – The flat water rate is rising slightly in the Town of Comox next year.

Comox Council unanimously voted to increase the annual flat rate for water by $12 to $387 per year ($32.25 per month) for each residential and commercial customer for the 2019 calendar year.

During budget deliberations, discussion included the CVRD’s plans to build and operate a deep-water intake from Comox Lake, a $100 million water treatment plant, and a new pipeline to deliver the treated water to the current regional water system.

The Town’s two customer groups that pay user fees to cover the operating expenses of the water fund are:

– Flat rate residential and commercial customers, of whom 90 percent of the total water user fees come from; and

– Metered billed customers – it was suggested that these remain the same as 2018. The monthly minimum amount is $15. Consumption over the annual threshold is charged at an additional 33 cents per cubic metre.

Mayor Russ Arnott explained why the water rates increase: “We buy our water through the regional district, and their rates go up. So now we have to increase our rates.”

Councillor Ken Grant added, “bulk water is probably the single largest purchase that we have in the community, so we have to look after the pipes within our town. The regional district looks after the main system until it gets here and then we look after what happens in our community, so we do need to keep up on that.”