On September 25, Council held a public Discussion Forum on water rates to explore how North Grenville’s fees for water and waste water system are calculated, and to provide an opportunity to hear questions and concerns directly from residents. The timing of this discussion forum precedes a soon to be launched review of how operating and capital costs are calculated for these systems, and whether rates should be adjusted again.
Public Works staff gave a short presentation on how water rates are currently calculated, followed by a conversation co-led by Councillor John Barclay, Public Works Council liaison and Mayor Nancy Peckford.
Currently, the Municipality charges a single combined charge for water and wastewater. This charge includes a minimum monthly base charge, differentiated by meter size, and an additional consumptive charge based on metered water consumption.
There was significant interest from residents and Council in exploring a tiered system where the base rate may be potentially lowered and the consumptive rate would be adjusted based on the amount of water being consumed.
Council emphasized the importance of maintaining our water/wastewater infrastructure and it was noted that 60% of the Municipality’s development charges which are applied to a new home, and new commercial buildings in the urban area, are reserved to support water and sewer upgrades.
From an operational standpoint, North Grenville’s water and wastewater systems are self-sustaining, and are funded exclusively through user fees. Consequently, they do not rely on municipal tax revenue. Funds received from water and wastewater fees go directly into the operation and maintenance of the water and wastewater systems.
Questions and comments brought forward by residents will be shared with the outside consultants, who will be charged with undertaking a full review of the water and wastewater needs in our community, and there will be opportunities for additional public input in the coming months.
The Water Discussion Forum was part of a series of monthly Discussion Forums that North Grenville Municipal Council is convening to hear directly from residents on issues that affect them.
Next month’s Discussion Forum will be held on Tuesday, October 22 at 6:30 pm, held at the North Grenville Municipal Centre (Topic to be confirmed).