Prince George city council Monday approved a strategy to ensure adequate funding for maintenance costs associated with a sanitary sewer lagoon that only accepts trucked waste. The proposed amendment to the Comprehensive Fees and Charges Bylaw ensures the users of the Shelley Lagoon will fund the maintenance of the lagoon.
Currently, properties on the city sewer system pay into the Sewer Utility Budget, which also funds the maintenance of the lagoon. Properties on septic systems and truck haulers do not pay into that fund and, as a result, city property-owners are subsidizing the waste facility. Haulers pay a yearly access fee for the site, but no volume charge for the increasing amount of material being deposited.
Over the years, lagoon maintenance costs have increased due to an increase in hauler traffic and the volume of material being deposited. A user-pay system will provide a more equitable funding approach for this service and ensure the users of the service fund the service, according to the city.
The city estimates the costs associated with lagoon maintenance will require a fee of about $45 per cubic metre of deposited material. To reduce the immediate financial impact, the city will phase in the fees over seven years, starting on January 1, 2022:
- 2022, 2023, 2024 – $22.50 per cubic metre
- 2025, 2026, 2027 – $33.75 per cubic metre
- 2028 – $45 per cubic metre
The draft bylaw amendment will be brought for final reading and adoption at an upcoming council meeting.