Upland drainage fee ditched

Abbotsford council decided to reject a staff suggestions to create a new fee to needed to service and maintain ditches in the area.

Residents of the rural uplands area will not be paying a new drainage fee.

Abbotsford council decided to reject a staff suggestions to create a new fee to generate $200,000 towards the $300,000 needed to provide a minimal level of service to maintain ditches in the area.

The proposal was to charge a flat fee of $5 per acre. The area, which includes the upland areas of Bradner, Mount Lehman, Sumas Mountain and Vedder Mountain, consists of about 40,000 acres.

The remaining $100,000 was to come out of the roads budget.

Instead, council decided to adopt Coun. Henry Braun’s suggestion to continue providing the ditch maintenance by taking  the extra $200,000 cost out of the roads budget as well.

“I’m not proposing we increase the budget by $200,000. I’m saying we should do that (ditch maintenance) within the confines of the budget,” said Braun.

Jim Gordon, general manager of engineering and regional utilities, told council that the total roads budget is approximately $7 million, with $5 million earmarked for road restoration while the rest goes to sweeping and other maintenance.

City manager Frank Pizzuto said the move will result in a net decrease to city services next year.

He explained that only 0.16 per cent of the new municipal tax increase is going towards city services. That’s less than $200,000.

By adding the $200,000 cost to the roads budget, it has nullified any benefit the increase would have created.

“We can’t just absorb this fee and continue to do business as usual. It will mean less road sweeping or less road reconstruction or something.

“Money has to be spent somewhere so it means we will stop doing something and if that’s what council wishes, that’s what we will do,” said Pizzuto.

Just Posted

Bruce Banman to seek Abbotsford South BC Liberal nomination

Former Abbotsford mayor was elected as a councillor last fall

VIDEO: Suspected arson sends five to Abbotsford hospital with smoke inhalation

Man seen throwing flammable substance in van, lighting it on fire next to home

Fraser Valley Bandits drop to 0-3

Abbotsford-based pro basketball team loses 102-88 to Hamilton on Wednesday

Pianist and cellist featured at fundraising concert at The Reach

Concert on Saturday, May 25 at Abbotsford gallery-museum

VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: Mouat Mudder returns to Abbotsford

Second annual obstacle course race raises funds for Abbotsford Fire Department Charitable Society

Trudeau touts economic record at Liberal fundraiser in Vancouver

The Prime Minister was in B.C. for much of this week

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the Okanagan

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Mother bear, three cubs relocated from Maple Ridge

Silver Valley residents calling for ‘no-kill’ zone.

VIDEO: TransLink to roll out battery-powered bus pilot this summer

Four buses will run a 2.5 year pilot along Marine Drive

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Man in B.C. charged with murder and arson in 2016 New Brunswick death

He is charged in the death of 71-year-old Lucille Maltais, who was found inside a burned down home

Public warned after man exposes himself to girl, 13, in North Vancouver

RCMP say incident may be linked to others that happened last year

Improve your life and theirs, adopt a cat from the BC SPCA

The BC SPCA holds an adult cat adoption promotion

Most Read