Planned water rate increase being reduced

SOUTH DUNDAS – Morrisburg and Iroquois water and sewer users will see an increase to their utility bills in January 2022.

Although there will be an increase it will not be as big as originally planned.

The increase will be to the flat rate portion of the bill.

In July 2021 on top of a 23 cent per cubic meter capital levy increase and a monthly flat rate increase of $7.50, council had anticipated another $7.50 flat rate increase to follow in January 2022 to meet the municipality’s budgetary needs.

“We don’t need the $7.50 increase so I’m suggesting five instead,” said South Dundas deputy treasurer Shawn Mason who presented this year’s water and sewer budget.

“Just to be clear, the hike that we’re going to do is going to be lower,” said South Dundas deputy mayor Kirsten Gardner who chaired the special budget meeting in the mayor’s absence.

What the 2022 budget workbook presented to council at the December 15th meeting shows is that the water flat rate which is now $42.82 monthly will go up to $45 a month.

None of the other components of the water bill will change.

Respectively, the Morrisburg and Iroquois sewer surcharges will remain at 75 per cent of the water bill and 100 per cent of the water bill.

With the increase to the flat rate, the municipality will see an increase in sewer revenue, but “staff have purposely not tabled a reduction to the Morrisburg and Iroquois sewer charged due to what lies ahead,” according to the report.

The major capital projects in the pipeline for 2022 include completion of the Dutch Meadows wastewater pumping station costing about $600,000 and rehabilitation of the Carman Road watermain for about $1 million. The Carman Road watermain has seen 19 water breaks since 2005.

Also part of this budget is a new vehicle for the water and sewer department. Proposed is a small sport utility vehicle for its efficiency and fuel economy. Having been short a vehicle last year, that department did rent an SUV for part of the year which cost about $16,000. Staff recommended buying a vehicle instead.

Included in this budget was a 0.7 per cent Consumer Price Index increase to wages.

Council unanimously approved the budget.

“Thanks to (Deputy Treasure)Shawn (Mason) and Dennis (Villeneuve, supervisor water and waste water operations) for this presentation,” said Gardner at the meeting’s conclusion.

“Council was pleased with the package. It was very thorough and very well thought out. It gave us the information in a clear and concise manner and council appreciates that.”

South Dundas chief administrative officer Shannon Geraghty congratulated the two on putting together “a well-rounded, responsible budget.”

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