Wastewater Rate Change – Revised March 13, 2014
As a private utility, Sun Peaks Utilities Co. Ltd. does not have the ability to place funds into reserve to allow for future repairs unless approved to do so by a regulator which, in this case, is the BC Ministry of Environment (MoE). The current Wastewater (Sewer) rate structure does not include any allowance for funds being placed into a RRMTF.
The intent of the RRMTF is to allow the Utility to place funds into reserve in order to address the significant repairs which will be required to the Sun Peaks Wastewater Collection and Treatment Facilities in the future while protecting customers from sudden large rate increases due to unexpected or significant replacement/ repair costs.
In light of the pending infrastructure replacement projects (Burfield Sewer Main upgrade ($150,000 to $250,000), Clarifier Replacement ($350,000 to $450,000) and manhole water proofing ($10,000 to $20,000 per manhole), etc.), the Utility applied in September 2013 to the Ministry of the Environment (MoE) to request that they modify our terms and conditions to operate and create an order so that the Utility put a RRMTF in place.
The rate increase for Wastewater reflects the contribution of 1% of the Utility’s assets (valued at $10,600,000) to be placed in a trust fund each year. Funds withdrawn from the Wastewater RRTF will follow similar rules as the Water Utility. This means a Qualified Professional (appointed by MoE) must approve the release of funds and funds can only be used for infrastructure replacement or upgrades required by the regulator (MoE).
The wastewater rates include a contribution to the Replacement Reserve Maintenance Trust Fund (RRMTF), which may only be released to the Utility with written authorization from a Professional appointed by MoE. The total deposits were initially proposed to be $100,000 per year commencing January 1, 2014 with $40,000 deposited the first year. The RRMTF provides funds for future replacement of major system components as and when required. The use of any funds from the RRMTF would be reported to MoE when the Utility’s annual report is filed with MoE (prior to March 31 each year).
The concept of putting funds aside in a trust fund for future significant repairs was generally seen as a good idea by the Community. However, when the impact on rates was reviewed with the Community during the Utilities’ Public Information Meeting held November 30, 2013, the Utility received strong feedback that implementing a contribution of $100,000 per year to the RRMTF may be too significant a short term impact on homeowners and businesses at Sun Peaks.
Based on this feedback, Sun Peaks Utilities will be requesting that MoE change the Annual Contribution to the RRMTF be revised to $50,000 per year from the current $100,000 required under the Registration Amendment under the Municipal Wastewater Regulations dated November 6, 2013. This change will have an impact of a 10.5% increase on wastewater rates charged instead of the original proposal of 17.5%. During the Utilities’ Public Information Meeting held November 30, 2013, it was proposed that in three years, we would reconsider the annual amount of funds placed in the Replacement Reserve Maintenance Trust Fund.
Sun Peaks Utilities will be hosting a Public Information Update Meeting on February 8, 2014 at 3:30 pm in the Delta Sun Peaks Resort Hotel to discuss the revised rate changes. If you have any questions or concerns or were not able to attend the information meeting, please forward your questions to Sun Peaks Utilities at firstname.lastname@example.org or send via facsimile to 250-578-7223. Minutes from the meeting will be posted on the Utilities’ website at www.sunpeaksutilities.com under the ‘Newsletters and Public Meetings’ tab
Revised Wastewater Tariff # 6 – Effective Dec. 1, 2013 – Note: The increase will not be billed until the Water Rate Increase application has been approved (expected sometime in April/May 2014
Wastewater Tariff # 6 – Effective Dec. 1, 2013 – Replaced, see above
For a copy of Wastewater Tariffs # 1, 2 and 3, please contact the Utility’s office at email@example.com
Disclaimer – These electronic versions of Sun Peaks Utilities’ tariffs are for the convenience of the viewer and should not be considered the official version. The official version of this document is available for public inspection at the Utility Offices at: 1280 Alpine Road, Sun Peaks, BC V0E 5N0, Canada between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm, Monday to Friday (closed statutory holidays)