Hemlock Valley residents wanting to avoid a 600 per cent increase to their water utility bill now have until Sept. 17 to submit their comments and concerns to the Comptroller of Water Rights.
On June 21 of this year, Hemlock Utility Services sent out a notice to its customers that its fees for water usage would be increasing to help pay for a new water treatment system. Residential homeowners would go from paying just under $50 a quarter for water to nearly $350 a quarter.
Residents reached out to the Comptroller of Water Rights to express their concern about the increase, as well as to the Agassiz Harrison Observer.
“It’s almost a breach of trust,” condo owner Mark Bulgin said about the increase. “We’ve been good neighbours. We frequent the resort … It kind of makes you feel like you don’t want to go into the resort” when the owner proposes an increase like that.
Initially, residents had until July 26 to submit their comments about the proposed increase, which was set to go in place at the beginning of August.
According to a notice put out by the comptroller, 72 customers had reached out and submitted questions and comments on the proposal.
Now, the comptroller is undertaking a written hearing process to see if the fee increases should go forward. Affected residents can submit their comments to the secretary of the comptroller of water rights by Sept. 17 of this year either by email (email@example.com), fax (250-953-5124) or mail (Secretary to the Deputy Comptroller of Water Rights, PO Box 9340 STN PROV GOVT, Victoria, BC V8W 9M1).
Hemlock Utility Service will have until Sept. 24 to provide its final comments to the comptroller; after that, a decision on the proposed increase will be made.