Kennedy Redwood would face 10% increase in water bills under new rate formula: study

A rate study reviewed by council on Monday, June 1, 2020 suggests water bills for users in the Kennedy Redwood Estates subdivision near Bainsville, Ont. would need to increase 10 per cent to cover the cost to maintain the system. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

BAINSVILLE – A study suggests a small Bainsville area subdivision could face a major rate hike for its water system to cover the staff time needed to maintain the system.

That’s contained in a consultant’s report shared with South Glengarry council Monday night as the municipality investigates how it charges for its four municipal waterworks systems: Glen Walter (water/sewer), Lancaster (water/sewer), Green Valley (sewer) and Kennedy Redwood Estates (water).

Up until now, the shared costs of the services have been based on connections but now the township is looking at redistributing those costs, to cover off the actual man hours put into each system.

The report suggests that the Kennedy Redwood users, who are paying a flat rate of $1,107.50 a year, could face a 10 per cent increase to cover the staff time needed to maintain their water system, mainly due to all the driving time for municipal staff.

Based on the shared costs proposal the three other systems would have modest surpluses – money that would be stored away to make repairs and upgrades to the systems – but Kennedy Redwood would have a $3,000 deficit under the new model.

“So they’d be looking at a minimum of a 10 per cent increase in their rates to cover their shareable costs,” Marco Vincelli of EVB Engineering told council Monday night.

Kennedy Redwood has 26 users on its system.

“If the new formula moves forward, the Kennedy Redwood Estates drinking water system will definitely have their rates reviewed and adjusted to make sure that they’re going to cover their share of expenses,” Vincelli said.

This was the first in a series of reports – the next expected in about six weeks – where South Glengarry will look at a regional rate system, like North Glengarry and South Stormont have, and how other municipalities are charging for new connections to the system.

In August 2019, the council put scheduled rate increases on hold pending this rate review.