Cornwall businesses would face 10% waterworks increase to eat residential hike: report

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – The head of Cornwall’s finance department says industrial, commercial and institutional (IC&I) ratepayers would be looking at a 10 per cent increase in order to absorb a residential increase.

Right now, residents are facing a 1.43 per cent increase in 2017 or an extra $8 to $12 a year on their yearly water and sewer bills – partly due to the loss in revenue.

CFO Tracey Bailey outlined a report, requested by Coun. Andre Rivette, showing that the 220 IC&I users would be facing the double digit increase to absorb the $87,800 deficit in their own property class.

Because IC&I water and sewer users are on meters, while residential are flat rate, the various businesses and industries would be affected greatly.

“One IC&I customer could go up $20 to $25 (while another could go up) $15,000 depending on their consumption,” Bailey told council Monday night.

The IC&I sector was facing a deficit after Sensient Flavors closed, though the loss was never registered on the water and sewer records for 2015.

“I don’t know we can’t impose this on the IC&I sector…I can’t see this as an informed thing to do,” Coun. Elaine MacDonald said.

MacDonald characterized the increase as a penalty.

Council later voted for the 1.43 per cent increase. Here’s how the councillors voted:

  • For the increase: Claude McIntosh, Elaine MacDonald, Denis Carr, Bernadette Clement, Carilyne Hebert, Leslie O’Shaughnessy
  • Against the increase: Maurice Dupelle, Mark MacDonald, Andre Rivette, Justin Towndale, David Murphy