Brief notice of water rate increase for Kelowna golf courses angers city councilors – Kelowna Capital News

Several city councilors weren’t impressed to learn that three golf courses in southeast Kelowna were told at the last minute that their water rates were going up.

The city sent letters to Harvest, Orchard Greens and Gallaghers Canyon in January saying rate changes were coming, then met with them in February and March.

City staff advised the parties on May 6 that a report would be presented to council the following Monday and could be viewed online.

“Letting them know on a Friday, that’s where we landed and having it come to council on Monday is not a good process,” Councilman Brad Sieben said.

The city took over Kelowna’s Southeast Irrigation District from the province in 2018. Previously, golf courses were charged using an agricultural rate structure. In 2021, the city implemented new billing rates, raising concerns from one of the courses that did not have farm status.

There was a discussion about deferring an amendment to the water regulation by-law, allowing staff to engage more with golf courses.

Mayor Colin Basran said he wasn’t sure what that would accomplish.

“We shared these concerns that communication was not as strong as they would have liked,” Basran added.

Councilor Gail Given said she saw no need to postpone.

“When they knew a report was going to come to the board is not the relevant part of that,” Given said. “The part that the conversations took part in earlier in the year is what’s relevant to me.”

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City CouncilCity of KelownaGolfWater

Michael C. Ford