Morrisburg-Iroquois sewer merger probed for 2018

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

MORRISBURG – South Dundas is moving ahead with a new water and sewer pricing plan for its industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) customers.

The municipality is also looking at merging the two sewer systems in Morrisburg and Iroquois.

Council voted last week to put a rate plan in place for ICI, based on water meter size, plus the cost of consumption and sewer surcharge.

The base rate for a 5/8 inch main would be $399 a year and for a 1 inch main it would be $559. Both do not include the consumption charge of 65 cents per cubic meter and sewer surcharges as well as capital recovery fees.

For example, a business with a one inch line would be paying an extra $100 a year, not including the surcharges.

But councillors stopped short of enacting a full fee structure above a 2 inch main, because the rates were set to go up in the thousands of dollars per year.

Some councillors were worried it might drive business out of the municipality.

The new rates, which go into effect Sept. 1, are expected to generate about $18,500 a year.

While the water plants are relatively new and operating costs are down, South Dundas has no money in a rainy day fund should something go wrong.

Merging sewer rates for Morrisburg and Iroquois

Council also approved a plan to ask staff to look into merging the sewer rates for 2018 for Morrisburg and Iroquois.

Deputy Mayor Jim Locke and Coun. Bill Ewing endorsed the motion to look at the rate merger.

“Somewhere across the line, as far as I’m concerned, it’s one municipality, it should be one rate across the board,” Ewing said.

“I think the practice (of separate rates) should be done away with,” Deputy Mayor Locke added.

“It’s going to need some public input because…you’re going to have Iroquois subsidized by the Morrisburg users,” Mayor Evonne Delegarde said.

“I’m not really comfortable,” Coun. Archie Mellan said. “Either Iroquois comes down or Morrisburg goes up or we bring Morrisburg’s up to Iroquois. We have to get into the black so we can have a rainy day fund – a reserve for our wastewater plants. I think we should leave the status quo alone.”

Right now, the two villages pay based on a percentage of their water rate. For Morrisburg, it’s 75 per cent and in Iroquois, it’s 100 per cent.