Water, sewer rates in Cornwall set to rise

In this picture from a City of Cornwall Powerpoint presentation to be delivered Dec. 10, 2014, a leaking sewer main is considered a contributor to flooding. City staff are proposing a 1.33% increase on water and sewer bills for 2015. (Photo/City of Cornwall)

CORNWALL – City residents should come prepared to dig a little deeper for their water and sewer service in 2015.

City councillors will be presented with next year’s water and sewer budget during a special meeting of council on Wednesday afternoon (at 4 p.m. at city hall).

The proposed increase of 1.33% in residential water and sewer billings will add anywhere from $7-$11 on your annual bill.

Most of the increase is on the water side, mainly due to financing for the secondary waste water treatment plant ($882,000) and financing for the Blueprint flood reduction program ($609,644).

The city will also be spending fewer dollars on capital projects in 2015 – $4.8 million compared to just over $5.2 million in 2014.

Among those slated projects, on the water side, is to add water bottle filling stations in various areas of the city at a cost of $30,000 and $300,000 for safety upgrades to allow the city to put fluoride back in the water.

There’s also a half million dollar study proposed to examine where water may be lost in the system.

With nearly 70 kilometers of the 277 kilometers of water main in need to repair or replacement, there is nearly $2 million in upgrades planned (which will be partially offset by funding from the Ontario government), according to the report.

On the sewer side, projects include the second phase of a $2.5 million pumping station in the Grant Avenue and Miron Avenue area to address the flooding in 2010 and 2013.

Residential water rates in Cornwall are among the lowest in the province, according to a municipal study done this year of 95 municipalities in Ontario.

The city’s water and sewer network is worth nearly $210 million.

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