Clinton village office, 2014. Photo credit: Journal files

Clinton to increase water and sewer rates over next three years

Water rates will increase 2.5% per year and sewer rates will increase 3% per year

Notes from the Clinton council meeting of Aug. 10.

Equality Project homeless initiative

Council was asked to provide a letter of support for The Equality Project, which is seeking a grant for an initiative called “Caring for the Homeless”. The same request came before Cache Creek council at its Aug. 2 meeting.

READ MORE: Cache Creek council seeks more info on homelessness initiative

The plan would see The Equality Project purchasing a motorhome, which would be renovated to accommodate the homeless from Oct. 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023. In addition to helping people in Cache Creek, the initiative would also include people in Clinton and Ashcroft, who would be picked up daily and transported to Cache Creek. In addition to accommodation, they would receive breakfast at The Equality Project clubhouse and be offered a shower at the Cache Creek Husky station. The Equality Project would liaise with the RCMP and with concerned community members and groups to ensure safety and support to the homeless population and to communities.

Coun. David Park asked for information about The Equality Project. After a motion to provide a letter of support was moved and seconded, Park asked why Clinton was being asked to provide the letter of support. Mayor Susan Swan said it was because the initiative would benefit some Clinton people.

Coun. Sandi Burrage asked if it was possible to receive clarification about the initiative from The Equality Project before agreeing to provide a letter of support for the grant application. There was also discussion about what implications there might be for the village by providing such a letter.

The motion was amended to note that the letter of support would be “well-worded”. This motion passed, with Park opposed.

TNRD planning agreement

Council approved that the Village of Clinton enter into the Thompson-Nicola Regional District Planning Agreement, which allows municipalities to participate in planning in the rural areas around them. Regina Sadilkova, the TNRD’s General Manager of Development Services, gave a presentation about the regional planning agreement at the July 13 council meeting. The cost for Clinton to participate is approximately $1,200 per year.

Water and sewer service rates

Council gave first, second, and third reading to Fees and Charges Amendment Bylaw No. 582, 2022 which sets the water and sewer rates for 2023, 2024, and 2025. Under the bylaw, there will be a water rate increase of 3 per cent, and a sewer rate increase of 2.5 per cent, in each of those years. A report from staff noted that the typical residential unit will see a water bill increase of approximately $15, and a sewer bill increase of approximately $5, in 2023.

The village reviews and sets water and sewer rates on rolling three-year terms. Water and sewer operations are fully funded through user fees and charges, and a staff report stated that the proposed increases will ensure that the annual operating and capital needs of the water and sewer operations will be met.

CAO Murray Daly noted that the village needs to build reserves in order to cover the cost of general maintenance and everyday expenses, but agreed with a concern raised by Park that the reserve funds should not be raised to such a degree that they are being “padded” by current users.

Permissive tax exemption

Council gave first, second, and third reading to Permissive Tax Exemption Bylaw No. 583, 2022. The bylaw runs for four years, and exempts properties owned or held by charitable and not-for-profit organizations, places of worship, and municipal-owned properties exclusively used by a non-profit organization.

The bylaw provides exemptions for the Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, and Living Waters churches, the Royal Canadian Legion, and properties owned by the Village of Clinton but used exclusively by the South Cariboo Historical and Museum Society (Clinton Museum) and the Clinton and District Curling Club (curling rink). In 2022, the tax exemptions for these properties totalled $13,238.

Grant applications

Council approved grant applications for Emergency Operations Centre and Training and Volunteer Fire Department Equipment and Training. Both grants would cover 100 per cent of costs up to $30,000.

The EOC funding would be used for the purchase and installation of equipment and supplies to maintain or improve the village’s EOC, for training and exercises to increase capacity, and to improve public emergency communications systems or programs.

The fire department funding would be used to facilitate training, or for the purchase of eligible equipment.

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