Greater Napanee residents on municipal water could see a 2.1 per cent increase to their water and wastewater rates for 2020, which would amount to a bi-monthly average rise of $4.07 per customer.
Council is expected to vote on the utilities tax rate by-law at their Jan. 14 meeting, a carry over from their Dec. 19 meeting when they began 2020 budget deliberations.
At that December meeting council heard the 2020 utilities budget projects to be debt free while providing the resources needed to undertake ‘substantial’ capital works projects. According to the report to council, while eliminating the debt the user rates have typically been in steady decline since 2008. It went on further to state the average cost for customers 12 years ago was $190 bi-monthly, while the proposed increase would amount to $198 bi-monthly in 2020.
The town also reported higher than projected revenue and savings from all areas of the 2019 budget, meaning no transfer from capital and maintenance reserves were required to balance the year end budget. The town currently holds about $1.9 million in impost reserves and $255,214 in emergency reserves.
Staff noted that the planned expansion of the town’s water pollution control plan is expected to create long-term debt, starting in 2021, as well as growth-related capital projects as reasons for the proposed increase. Water conservation efforts by residents has also had a ‘significant’ impact on revenue, down from 40.5 m3 in 2008 to 25.2 m3 in 2019.
A total of 3,387 customers are served by the town of Greater Napanee’s municipal water, while 88 per cent of those are defined as residential.
The next round of budget talk is scheduled for Jan. 23, when council will discuss the operating budget and capital budget.
They’ll continue to look at the budget on Feb. 20, when the assessment update, operating budget and capital budget are slated to be debated.
-The town will host a public information session on the proposed reconstruction of Water Street and Robinson Street, Jan. 9 from 5-7 p.m. at town hall. The session will be a drop-in style format, with members of staff on hand to answer any questions as well as displays showing the reconstruction plans.