Kamloops residents will likely see on average $29 tacked onto their sewer bills next year.
During the first of council budget meetings, which took place on Tuesday at city hall, council heard a need to increase sewer reserves in order to pay for future phases of the Tranquille Road sewer main project.
The expected increase in 2020 amounts to seven per cent on average, based on usage, totally about $29 per year.
Last year, sewer rates also increased — but by much more. Sewer rates rose 15 per cent in 2019 — about $54 for the average home — in order to offset rising costs of biosolids management.
The city has already complete phase one of the sewer line replacement on Tranquille.
The next phase is expected to take place in 2020-2021, with the third and final phase to follow, likely in 2025-2026.
City of Kamloops corporate services director Kathy Humphrey said the phased approach allows the city to build up its reserves to pay for the work.
Council voted 7-0 to support staff in drafting a bylaw with the proposed utility rate change.
Mayor Ken Christian and Coun. Dieter Dudy were absent.
Water and solid waste rates will stay the same.
Next steps in the 2020 budget cycle include the provisional budget, which will be presented to council next Tuesday, followed by a public budget meeting to be held in the evening on Wednesday, Nov. 27.
It is scheduled to take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on McArthur Island.
The city wants to hear from residents but says requests may not make it into the 2020 budget.