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City water consumption and sewer rates to increase in 2023

A detailed report confirmed that Yorkton's water and sewer rates are lower than average among other cities in the province.
Yorkton will see a water consumption and sewer rate increase of 4.75 per cent and a base rate residential increase of $3.00 come 2023.

YORKTON – Yorkton City Council voted unanimously at their Dec. 5 meeting to increase the water consumption and sewer rates.

"The 2023 proposed water consumption and sewer rate increase is 4.75%, and $3.00 residential base rate increase, which equates to an approximate combined increase of 7.6 to a resident or approximately $5.00 a month. These figures were identified to develop the 2023 Operational and Capital budgets. The increase equates to approximately $300,000 of revenue to be used for water and sewer infrastructure projects," read the report, Proposed Bylaw No. 16/2022 - A Bylaw to Amend Bylaw No. 20/2006 for 2023 Water and Sewer Rates.

"The rates are constantly going up — and I'm assuming that's the trend everywhere — and that's solely to help replace infrastracture," commented Councillor Darcy Zaharia.

"We know what the consumer price index is coming in at and inflation is 7 per cent, so a lot of our cost is going up strictly on increased cost," said Aron Hershmiller, Assistant Director of Environmental Services, in his reply to Councillor Zaharia, adding, "this year we're still looking at a net positive with 4.75 per cent and a base-rate increase – if we can keep stepping up we'll keep stepping up as minimally as we can...looking at our assets and managing the best we can."

The detailed report confirmed that Yorkton's water and sewer rates are lower than average among other cities in the province.

"For illustrative purposes, we looked at the City of Yorkton’s proposed 2023 rates and compared them with ten other Saskatchewan cities’ 2022 rates. When comparing Yorkton’s proposed base rate of $21.25/month to the other cities, you can see that Yorkton’s rate is significantly lower than the average base rate charge of $46.06 / month. Yorkton’s usage rate of $3.50 per cubic meter (m3) is also below the average of $3.86 /m3 when compared with the other communities," detailed the report.

"By taking Yorkton’s average of 13 cubic meters (2,860 gallons) per household per month and using this figure, an average home in Yorkton can expect monthly cost of $66.75 compared to $61.67 in 2022. (*** Some homeowners’ charges will be lower or higher than this amount, depending on their usage, as we are using the actual averages for Yorkton.) When totaling the monthly usage with the base rate charges (total monthly charges), Yorkton is again well below the average with a monthly bill of $66.75/month compared to the average of $96.28 / month," continued the report.

"There's some really great numbers here to show how efficient we are," commented Mayor Mitch Hippsley, adding, "I know that Yorkton is very fortunate to have an aquifer...we've got to protect our water or else we don't have a city."

"No one wants to see increases — none of us here want to see increases — but if this maintains where we're at and keeps us on the positive side of things – I totally support this," said Mayor Hippsely, adding, "I do know — by the maintaining of the maintenance of the water — that's why we're attracting the ag businesses – that's a huge factor which also brings great jobs to the City of Yorkton and that just spins into many different circles."