Qualicum Beach residents will endure sewer and water tax increases each year from 2021 to 2025.
Town council endorsed staff recommendations at its regular meeting on March 17, to impose an increase of $5 each year for sewer parcel taxes and a $20 hike annually for water parcel taxes.
Staff has indicated the tax increases aremnecessary and will be placed in a reserve to specifically pay for future capital projects for both sewer and water.
Currently, the town does not have a major capital sewer project but staff pointed out infrastructure is depreciating at about $160,000 annually. The money that will be set aside for the upgrades will be applied towards replacement of sewer lines in the future.
As for the water system, the town has anticipated a major undertaking in the replacement of asbestos-cement water pipe. The town has approximately 25 kilometres of it in its infrastructure, representing 25 per cent of the region’s 100 kilometres of water lines.
Over the five-year period, the taxes collected will generate $500,000 per year to be allocated for capital water projects relating to aging infrastructure. Depending on cost structure at the time of the replacement, a water line replacement is expected to cost $500 to $1,000 per metre.