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

Agrifair attendance up 25 per cent from 2017, say organizers

New attractions, including RCMP Musical Ride, being credited for hike

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Police issue warning that 19-year-old poses ‘significant’ risk to the public

Varinderpal ‘VP’ Gill of Abbotsford involved in Lower Mainland gang conflict, police say

EDITORIAL: Gill must break silence and back up claim

If Coun. Moe Gill can’t substantiate his allegations, he should take a hard look at his campaign

Fraser Valley Bandits announce season ticket prices

Basketball team set to tip-off in summer of 2019

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

B.C. company patents Sasquatch, the country’s first homegrown hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, Sasquatch hops are being grown commercially for the first time in B.C.

Farmers ponder impact of alternatives to pesticides being banned

The nicotine-based pesticides scientists have linked to a rising number of honey bee deaths will be phased out of use in Canada over a three year period starting in 2021.

Time to kick maverick Tory MP Maxime Bernier out of caucus, Scheer urged

Conservative MP Maxime Bernier is taking issue with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s oft-repeated message of diversity in Canada, calling it a form of “radical multiculturalism.”

Thousands of police officers expected at regimental funeral in Fredericton

Two civilians were killed in a shooting in Fredericton that also claimed the lives of two police officers.

2 girls, hand-drawn map in hand, sneak out of B.C. home for adventure

The pair’s escape has transit police reminding commuters to report unusual behaviour

Ex-B.C. teachers’ union leader among latest pipeline protesters to get jail time

Twelve people have been sentenced for violating court order to stay away from Kinder Morgan terminal

B.C. not prepared for a Humboldt Broncos bus crash, group says

An air ambulance advocacy group wants an overhaul of B.C.’s emergency medical system in rural regions

Liberals look at creating federal holiday to mark legacy of residential schools

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde said day to recognize painful legacy would boost understanding

Most Read