Water meter consultant for Cornwall will cost $1.5M

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – A consultant and project manager has been hired to oversee Cornwall’s multi-million dollar water meter installation plan.

It will cost taxpayers over $1.5 million, not including the water meters themselves.

City council approved the hire Monday night of Diameter Services Incorporated of Pickering at nearly $1.7 million but the net cost to the city will be closer to $1.5 million.

The Pickering company, the lowest of two bids, was over budget by a quarter million dollars.

The city plans to take out a loan for the entire amount.

Council heard the consultant will oversee the planning and installation because the size and scope of the project couldn’t be handled by city staff.

Coun. Syd Gardiner, a staunch opponent of water meters, said city ratepayers are already going to be on the hook for the installations, which he estimated to be about $20 million.

The plan is to have existing customers pay back $80 a year over seven years for the cost of the meters, according to the city’s water conservation and servicing master plan.

Residential water meters should be installed by the end of August 2025.

The city’s hope is to cut water use by 37 per cent across the board.