Ashcroft Council gave second and third readings to the water, sewer and solid waste bylaws that contain the reduced Senior’s Discount.
Advancement of the bylaws stalled briefly after several residents complained about the elimination of the Seniors Discount and Council decided to reduce it rather than eliminate it completely.
The Senior’s Discount will remain at 25 per cent for this year and 2016, be reduced to 20 per cent in 2017 with a five per cent reduction in each of the following years until 2019 when it will have been reduce to 10 per cent and will stay that way for the foreseeable future.
The bylaws all require one more trip before Council for final adoption.
“I feel it’s worth pointing out that the Discount is being phased out slowly starting next year,” said Coun. Barb Roden as Council discussed sewer bylaw 796. “That should give people time to adjust to it.”
“In 2018 if I run again for council, maybe we can change it back,” said Coun. Alf Trill who voted against the Discount reduction.
“If we never change the 25 per cent Discount,” said Coun. Al Mertens, “We have half the population paying 50 per cent of the rates while the other half pays 67 per cent more. It’s a fee for use and it shouldn’t be affected by age.”
“I think this is a fair way of paying from everyone’s point of view,” said Mayor Jack Jeyes.
“Clinton is going to face this same question with their new water treatment plant,” noted Roden as they moved on to the water utility bylaw 797. “Water treatment means higher taxes.”
“Just getting our plant set up isn’t going to end our problems – it’s going to mean new ones like higher rates,” said Trill.
“It’s not a question of making money off this,” said Roden. “It’s receiving the money necessary to keep it operating.”
“Since water and sewer fees had not been increased since 2006, this increase is larger than it would have been with a sustainable increase from then until now,” noted Mertens.
“I don’t know how much people expect of the Village for waste disposal,” he continued as the solid waste disposal, bylaw 798 came up for discussion, “but some people noticeably have more garbage than others. I don’t know if it’s a lack of recycling or if they just buy more and have more packing to throw out. They should be made aware there’s a cost to disposal.”
“The new garbage truck and bins have been working very well,” said Trill.
The bins didn’t need to be put out if they weren’t full, said Jeyes, and that would mean less stops for the garbage truck.