Frontage tax increase for Cache Creek

Council triples frontage tax to pay for water treatment upgrade.

Cache Creek residents will be seeing their frontage rates doubling and tripling over the next 16 years as the Village pays for its new water treatment plant.

Council gave first three readings to the   Water System Frontage Tax Bylaw 749 at its March 28 meeting, raising the rate from 90 cents per foot to $1.82.Mayor John Ranta stated, after the readings, that the rate  hasn’t been adjusted since 1990. Coincidentally, that was the year Ranta also first became mayor.

The bylaw needs one final reading at a Council meeting before it can be adopted.

While it is a significant increase, said Ranta, Council is optimistic it will be covered by new rural homeowner grant.

The rate rises to $2.02 in 2012, increasing until it levels off at $2.65 per foot of taxable frontage in 2015.

Administrator Tom Kadla pointed out that in a bigger town or city, the increase would barely be noticeable, but in this case the amount is spread across only 400 accounts, representing the Village’s taxpayers.

Council heard last year from engineers that water usage rates in Cache Creek are among the highest they’ve seen, primarily in the summer months when residents are watering their lawns and gardens. The new water treatment plant was built to accommodate the high usage.

The Village’s portion of the project was estimated at $1,341,242, and came out of it’s Legacy Reserve Fund, but the money needs to be repaid back into the Fund.

Council also gave first three readings to its Five Year Financial Plan, which include’s  the Village’s 2011/12 budget. It needs to pass a fourth reading at the next Council meeting in order to be adopted.

Mayor Ranta pointed out that Landfill revenues carry on at a conservative pace until 2013 and then drop. He expressed a hope that they can carry on after 2015.

For the next three years, the Village is anticipating $624,000 annually from landfill revenues. That figure is only half of what the Village used to receive for the Lower Mainland’s garbage before Metro Vancouver started looking at Waste to Energy options. That income drops to $242,500 for both 2014 and 2015.