Thank you to those who came to the special Council and public meeting on Monday night. Your comments were taken to heart. I hope that the presentation on the proposed 2017 rates was helpful.
When the 2017 water and wastewater budget was being prepared by Staff, we discussed that I did not want another mid-year surprise like we had in 2016. Consequently, they prepared a balanced budget for Council’s review and for discussion at the public meeting on Monday.
I want to give you some context on the proposed changes. The last water/waste water sewer rate increase was in 2014, which left us with the same rate in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The 2017 proposed increase for basic water (up to 17m3) is 3.7% (additional $2.09/month). The 2017 proposed change for basic sewer is -1.3% (decrease of $0.91/month).
Over the past few years, the extensive amount of capital invested in the water/waste water system has been largely funded by long term debt. Moving forward, this requires an increase in the capital charges portion of the rates. We need to budget to pay off the principal of these loans. We cannot continue to pay for our debt by borrowing more money.
The proposed water/waste water capital charges increase from $8.79/month to $19.30 (120%), which means an overall increase of 15.7% on your monthly bill (additional $22.20). The proposed monthly bills for the majority of users will be $164.04. Currently they are $141.84.
We all knew that driving the bus through these 4 years would have some bumps in the road and I hope you see this as another example of getting our house in order.
If you have any questions about the proposed rate changes, our budget or our debt – please contact either Scott Bryce or Anne Marie Koiner (both at 613-273-2191) or me (613-273-9195).