Cornwall draft water, sewer budget at 4.97% increase

The entrance to the Cornwall, Ont. waste water treatment plant on Montreal Road. The city is projecting a 4.97 per cent increase in water and sewer bills in 2016. (Newswatch Group/File)

CORNWALL – City councillors received their first draft of the 2016 water and sewer budget this week, which projects a rate increase of 4.97 per cent.

Based on the number of bathrooms, outside taps and whether you have a pool, your water bill could go up $29 to $39 a year.

While the city is expected to collect less money for water, it’s expected to collect a lot more in sewer billings to offset the difference.

The city is also forecast to spend roughly $9.5 million on water and sewer works in 2016, roughly 17 per cent more than this year.

Among the nearly $3 million in capital projects proposed on the water side, there’s three more water bottle filling stations to be installed in various areas of the city and improvements to the water main on Fifth Street from Amelia to Marlborough and from Pitt to Sydney.

The city maintains 280 kilometers of watermain, 1,903 valves and 1,322 hydrants.

There’s also $650,000 of upgrades needed at the water treatment plant on Second Street West.

On the sewer side, just over $2.7 million in capital projects are proposed. They include the Fennell Crescent pumping station upgrade ($900,000) as part of the Cornwall Blueprint Flood Reduction Initiative to deal with historical flooding in 2010 and 2013.

With the Seaway International Bridge gone, another big ticket item will be $2 million next year (and $1.74 million in 2017) to reconstruct the water and sewer lines on Brookdale Avenue from Water Street to Seventh Street.

The project, at $3.74 million, will be paid for by the Federal Bridge Corporation but the city has to finance the work.

There’s also a half million dollars in upgrades for the waste water treatment plant on Montreal Road.

Typically, the city calls a special council meeting the first week of December to deal with the water and sewer budget prior to striking the budget committee.

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