Judy Albin’s hard work paid off after city council voted in favour of reimbursing South Lakeside residents for 2020 parcel tax payments made for water and sewer. Albin noticed residents had already made the 20 payments beginning in 2000 that they signed up for. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Judy Albin’s hard work paid off after city council voted in favour of reimbursing South Lakeside residents for 2020 parcel tax payments made for water and sewer. Albin noticed residents had already made the 20 payments beginning in 2000 that they signed up for. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

South Lakeside residents to be reimbursed for 2020 parcel tax payments

Council determined residents fulfilled the commitment of 20 payments for water, sewer hook up

Williams Lake city council has voted in favour of South Lakeside residents being refunded for sewer and water parcel tax payments made in 2020.

Originally the residents were billed $471.92 for the parcel tax beginning in 2000 when they were hooked into the City’s water and sewer system, if they chose not to pay for the whole thing up front.

The very first bylaw, drawn up in 1999 stipulated there would be 20 payments.

However, when it was determined by the chief financial officer that there was still an amount left to pay on the residents’ portion of the $8.6 million project, the City pursued collecting another payment in 2020.

When long-time South Lakeside resident Judy Albin, a former city councillor and former school board trustee, noticed a discrepancy, she brought her concerns to the City during a committee of the whole meeting in June and said the residents had paid the 20 payments.

Read more: City overcharged South Lakeside residents on water and sewer tax, says Judy Albin

City council then asked staff to investigate and prepare a report.

During the council meeting held Tuesday, July 14, chief financial officer Vitali Kozubenko presented council with three options on how to address the $26,577.09 he said was still owed from the residents’ portion toward the $8.6 million dollar project, which the province had covered 53 per cent, the City 30 per cent and the residents 17 per cent.

“When staff looked at this bylaw at the beginning of the year we saw that there was now a year of tax payments that needed to be collected to pay the money,” Kozubenko said.

The City went to the residents and said there was a parcel tax review, published it on the City’s website, and invited the residents to comment, he added, noting when no one came forward, the City proceeded with the tax collection.

Corporate officer Ross Coupe offered council a legislative perspective on the issue during the meeting, saying the City tracked that there were 20 payments made.

“The bylaws themselves stem initially from a 1999 bylaw and eventually there are about 18 bylaws to this story,” he said.

While he didn’t want to go through all of the various bylaws with council, Coupe explained there were a couple of changes which may have impacted the amount that was collected in the end, but if residents had made the payments from 2000 to 2019, they’d met the requirements of the bylaws.

“I personally err on the side of the residents of South Lakeside,” Coun. Scott Nelson said after hearing the two reports. “It was a fantastic project and a project I think helped the community as a whole. It helped to reduce the phosphate going into our lake.”

Nelson said it was legislative issue and in amongst 20 years there is $26,000 missing, but council was going to ‘have to eat it.’

Smiling after the meeting, Albin said she appreciated that staff took the time to investigate the issue after she brought it to their attention.

“I am glad they made the right decision,” she added.

Read more: City council opts for Greensand Filtration water treatment plant


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

taxesWilliams Lake

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Photo submitted)
MISSING: Alexis Creek RCMP request help in finding Randolph Quilt, 59

Quilt hasn’t been heard from by family since Sept. 26, last seen in Williams Lake

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson (right) with his partner Shelley Wiese participated in an BC Liberals Caucus virtual oath ceremony Friday, Nov. 27. Doerkson was appointed opposition critic of rural development by interim leader Shirley Bond. (Photo submitted)
Cariboo Chilcotin MLA appointed rural development opposition critic

Newly-elected Lorne Doerkson said it will be an honour to work for all rural consituents

The exposure occurred on 24th, 25th, & 26th November 2020, and affects Grade 7, 8, 9, 10 (file photo)
COVID-19 case confirmed at Acwsalcta School in Bella Coola

The exposure occurred on 24th, 25th, and 26th Nov. 2020, and affects Grade 7, 8, 9, 10.

Yunesit'in Chief Lennon Solomon signs a memorandum of understanding with COS Insp. Len Butler. The five-year agreement was signed outside the Tsilhqot'in National Government in downtown Williams Lake on Nov. 30. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Yunesit’in Government, Conservation Officer Service team up to address illegal moose hunting

Protection of moose a key focus of recently signed memorandum of understanding

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Interior Health said its new toll-free line will help people connect to health-care services. (File)
Interior Health expands toll-free line to improve access to community care

By calling1-800-707-8550, people can be connected to several health-care services

B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Most Read