Municipal services set to recoup costs

Oak Bay expects to address a handful of bylaws to better reflect the costs of providing municipal services

Oak Bay expects to address a handful of bylaws to better reflect the costs of providing municipal services.

Oak Bay council, sitting as committee, opted to have the director of engineering suggest amendments to the Public Sewer Bylaw, the Driveway Access Bylaw and the Water Rates Bylaw.

In 2015, 23 of the 41 water services completed were charged according to the set bylaw fees. The actual costs of performing the work for those 23 jobs was $24,475 above the amount collected in fees. Also in 2015, 59 of 94 storm/sanitary sewer services were charged according to the set bylaw fees. The actual costs for a third of those jobs was near budget, the remaining two thirds of those 59 jobs was $85,262 above the amount collected in fees.

The numbers came as a surprise, said Coun. Hazel Braithwaite.

“I’m happy to see you’re coming forward to try and recoup that cost so it’s not costing all taxpayers,” Braithwaite said.

“While I understand the need to recoup costs … I caution to move too close down the user-pay model,” said Coun. Michelle Kirby.

Committee decisions are made as recommendations to council. Council next meets March 13 at 7 p.m. at municipal hall, 2167 Oak Bay Ave. Visit oakbay.ca to view agendas, and previous council meetings, online.