Why are our utility bills going up?
The SCRD sends out utility bills every year on April 30th. This is independent of property taxes and is meant to charge for water use and refuse collection and all the services attached to that.
Many assets in our water systems are old and need to be replaced or upgraded. Past utility fees have not created sufficient reserves to pay for these upgrades (They are at less than 1% of the replacement value). We also have some substantial infrastructure upgrades going into the ground in the near future, including thousands of water meters ($7 million) and new well fields (Church Rd is $9 million). All these costs get recouped through utility fees. Here is a list of all the proposed water system projects proposed for 2021 (and some planned for 2022), all with various price tags attached.
Our staff has put together a FAQ on this, and they have answered this question quite well, so here is a link.