Cornwall floats 3.79% water, sewer hike for 2020

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – Be prepared to possibly hand over another $30 next year for your water and sewer service in the City of Cornwall.

City council will hold a special meeting Monday afternoon (Dec. 2) to tackle the 2020 water and sewer budget.

As it stands now, the draft budget has a rate increase of 3.79 per cent or an extra $25 to $35 next year depending on how many fixtures you have in your home.

That projected increase is down from 2019 (4.07 per cent) and 2018 (6.25 per cent).

The cost of operating the water and sewer system (operating budget) is up almost 2.5 per cent on higher costs for salaries and benefits, utilities for the two plants, insurance costs and charges on the $15 million in debt the waterworks system is carrying.

The $8.8 million capital budget for next year includes the next phase of doing all the underground services on Sydney Street from Fourth to Fifth Streets and York Street from Seventh to Ninth Streets.

Two million dollars in that capital budget will tackle the $41 million backlog in addressing aging cast iron water mains. Those projects include relining the pipes on sections of Jane Street, Susan Avenue, Robertson Avenue and Thirteenth Street West and replacing a section of pipe on Fifth Street East.

A new water main is also planned for Power Dam Drive from Riverdale Avenue to Tollgate Road but that will be paid for through development charges.

On the sewer side, the city will separate the sewer from the water underground on Water Street from Amelia Street to Marlborough Street and on Alice Street from Montreal Road to First Street. It will also replace sections on Fifth Street, Pitt Street, McKenzie Street and Louisa Street.

The city delivers 35 million liters of water a day and treats 45 million liters of sewage.

Even with the increase, Cornwall remains among the lowest user fees for water and sewer in Ontario, according to a 2019 BMA Management Consulting study.

The special council meeting starts at 5 p.m. Monday.