New $5,000 connection fees being implemented, water rates will be increasing across the board

SOUTH DUNDAS – Anyone on any municipal water or municipal sewer service in South Dundas can expect to see their rates increase in the coming months. Furthermore, any new connections to those services can expect to pay much more than they might have anticipated.

During April 18th water and sewer budget deliberations council agreed to all of the increases proposed by staff and more.

Under the proposed rate structure, which will come into effect after July 1, 2019, there will be a new $5,000 upfront charge for new connections to the Morrisburg and Iroquois wastewater systems.

Prior to this, South Dundas had no upfront charge for new connections.

Since Williamsburg has a simpler wastewater system, which is less costly to operate, the upfront connection fee to that system will be $2,500.

“I don’t think these fees will scare anyone away,” said South Dundas councillor Lloyd Wells.

“The imposition of the upfront charge will require new connections to buy into equity of the existing wastewater system and contribute to future replacement or expansion,” said South Dundas treasurer Sarah McMillan in her report to council.

For those who are already connected to the Williamsburg sewer system they will see a $10 per unit increase to their annual payment. The six per cent increase will mean they will pay $175 for the service in 2019, up from $165 in 2018.

While the Williamsburg system, according to operations supervisor Denis Villeneuve, is in great condition, the rationale for the proposed increase is for future replacement, potential failures or to fund any major maintenance. With this proposed increase once operational costs are covered there will only be about $6,000 left over to build existing reserves.

New municipal water connections in Morrisburg and Iroquois had previously been subject to an upfront charge of $3,000. Municipal staff had proposed increasing that fee to $4,000, but council suggested that be increased further to $5,000.

The reason for the increase is that under the current rate structure the municipality is not sufficiently able to cover its self-funded debt repayment for the extra capacity that was built into the water plant.

Water users will see increases to every line of their water bill.

The flat rate will increase two per cent.

The consumption rate will increase 7.7 per cent to 70 cents per cubic meter – a five cents per cubic meter increase.

The water plant levy will increase 6.67 per cent to 80 cents per cubic meter – a five cents per cubic meter increase.

Sewer rates in Morrisburg are billed at 75 per cent of the water rates and 100 per cent in Iroquois.

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