Residents of the City of Trail will pay a little more for utilities next year.
The annual utility fund budgets establish user fees for water, sewer, and garbage services.
The utility billing and early payments provide the city with an early positive cash flow, which is important from a corporate liquidity perspective, said a staff report provided by Chief Administrative Officer David Perehudoff.
The combined Trail utilities rate for water, sewer and garbage (without discount) will come to a total of $798.60, up more than $13 from 2020.
The rate doesn’t include a $150 residential water parcel tax, which is charged to each residential property to offset capital expenses. The tax was implemented with the construction of the water treatment plant and has remained unchanged for decades.
To avoid significant rate hikes in any given year, an important consideration is to have the financial capacity to address unplanned service issues, such as a burst water main, which the city has seen more than a few of over the past year.
Residents can get a discount on each of the utilities if paid before Feb. 26, 2021, saving almost $60 for a total of $739.20.
Trail has seen an increase of almost $100 annually in utility rates since 2015, with the biggest increase, $29.90, coming in 2017.
Trail’s 2020 rates, however, compare favourably to other communities. The 2020 rate in Castlegar came to a total of $781, Grand Forks was $912 per household, Nelson $1,246, and Rossland at $1,114.
Residents can access their utility bills online at trail.ca.