Silverhawk has raised their rates by 15% for the retroactive 2020 billing period. Tell our Government...ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
Yes, our sewer rates are higher yet again! The Silverhawk invoice you just received shows a 15% increase with the fixed fee for a residential house or vacant lot increased to $961.19, and the metered rate go up to $8.96 per cubic meter. For a house with a typical annual seasonal water use of 100 m3 your sewer bill will be $1,857.19. For a full time house at 250 m3, your bill will be $3200.
Now look at your Property Tax bill you just paid at the beginning of July 2021 and what that bill covers. Make a copy of that Tax Notice. Compare your costs to fund Hospitals, Fire Protection, Roads, School Taxes Provincial and Regional Government taxes to what you pay to flush your toilet.
We encourage you to send a copy of your Tax Notice and your Silverhawk Invoice to Minister Conroy either by mail or scan and email to reinforce our complaints with a short note on the subject line:
"Unregulated Sewer Utilities - ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!"
Dear Minister Conroy:
Do you think that my sewer costs should be ??% of my property taxes? Please provide regulatory oversight of private wastewater monopolies. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
We ask that you quote the FLNRORD Reference Number 237167 in your note, and we ask that you send a copy of that note or the body of your email (not your bill copies) to firstname.lastname@example.org. and the SSPOA will monitor the support the ratepayers are providing in this community lobby effort. The SSPOA will tabulate the results showing the average percentages residents pay for sewer service at Silver Star. Individual percentages will be kept confidential; only aggregate information will be released.
Take a moment to help motivate our government to act!
Honourable Katrine Conroy
Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
PO Box 9049, Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, BC V8W9E2
Or via E-mail to FLNR.Minister@gov.bc.ca
And to our local MLA:
MLA for Vernon-Monashee
B-2920, 28th Avenue
Vernon, BC V1T 1V9
Or via E-mail to Harwinder.Sandhu.MLA@leg.bc.ca
You are likely wondering, “How are these rate increases justified?” The answer, unfortunately, is Silverhawk does not need to justify any of their rates. They are an unregulated monopoly and can do as they wish with no accountability or transparency.
The SSPOA has been lobbying the BC Government to provide the oversight that they provide for other monopoly utilities like our natural gas, hydroelectricity, and in other parts of BC where water is delivered by a private utility (vs our water provided by the RDNO). In July 2020, the
Government committed to examine the SSPOA’s concerns on the rates charged by Silverhawk. You can see that letter at https://www.sspoa.ca/wp-
Silverhawk committed to cooperate with the Mountain Resorts Branch in the review, however we find ourselves a year later with no action due to delay and defer tactics from Silverhawk. Instead, we receive an invoice with a 15% rate increase.
We have a case where a house with a rental suite will pay $2,855 in 2021 property taxes plus $2,507 for 80m3 of sewage (this is with a 5% discount for prompt payment). For this homeowner, their sewage costs will equate to 88% of the property tax payment ($2,507 from Silverhawk divided by $2,855 for taxes).
The vacant lot fee from Silverhawk (noting that there are no toilets being flushed) is now $961.19 and the property taxes for that lot are $872.40. Sewer fees are 110% of the property taxes. A duplex lot on the Ridge with a tax bill of $1160 will be paying $1922.39 to Silverhawk or 1.66 times their property taxes.
Help persuade our elected officials that action is needed to stop this monopolistic abuse by Silverhawk. Take a moment to send your invoices to Minister Conroy and our MLA.
REMEMBER: Only as a group will we be large enough to be heard!
The Board of Directors,
Silver Star Property Owners Association