Water and sewer rates set to rise $92 for year

By DAVID JUDD

You will pay $92 more for water and sewer service for your home next year.
Residential water rates will rise by 7.2 per cent in 2013.
The average monthly bill will be $115.44, up $7.71 from 2012.
This year Norfolk’s water rates were almost the highest in Ontario, second only to Haldimand’s.
The county’s 30,000 water users pay the entire cost for municipal drinking water and sewage treatment, Eric D’Hondt, Norfolk’s general manager of public works and environmental services, said in an interview.
Norfolk gets no help from the federal and provincial governments.
And, unlike some municipalities, Norfolk doesn’t bend the rules by using property taxes to help hold down rates, Mr. D’Hondt said.
The $18 million water and sewer budget for 2013 will be up nearly $850,000 from 2012.
The increase includes the first year of operating Port Rowan’s recently opened sewage treatment plant.
And $700,000 will be placed in reserves that will help pay for sewage treatment plant projects scheduled soon for Delhi and Waterford and upgrades planned for plants in Port Dover and Simcoe.
In addition, the county plans to add three water wells in Port Rowan, one well in Delhi and one well along the Waterford Heritage Trail.
Higher water rates are becoming a concern for many water users, Port Dover Coun. John Wells said at council-in-committee last Tuesday, Nov. 20.
“I don’t think we can just sit here and continually increase the rates by seven per cent as if the sun is going to shine tomorrow,” he said.
“We have to look more seriously at what it is we are doing without reducing services.” Coun. Wells urged the county to look for efficiencies.
Mayor Dennis Travale warned that if Norfolk didn’t replace or upgrade sewage treatment plants, it would shut down development.
“We’ve got to pay the piper,” he said.

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