Flushing toilet

- Hub staff

Growth in Owen Sound's user base has not been sufficient to cover the deficit in our wastewater account.  A development charges holiday for the past four years has meant lower than projected revenue. To cover the remaining debt of $19.3 million from the City's share of the upgrade to our sewage treatment plant, staff are recommending holding water rates, but increasing waste water rates to 124 per cent of each customer’s total water charge.

From the report coming to Owen Sound council tonight:

“The Corporate Services Committee recommends that City Council approves and directs staff to:
i) Leave the Water Meter Service Charge and Water Consumption Charge unchanged at 2017 rates;

ii) Increase the Wastewater Surcharge by 6%; and

iii) Keep rates for all properties outside the City of Owen Sound boundaries at double the amounts charged to properties within the boundaries of Owen Sound

Kate Allan, the Director of Corporate Services, gave a brief history regarding the Water and Wastewater Financial Plan that was written by CN Watson and Associates in 2015. The report details what revenue needed to be collected in order to maintain the water and wastewater financially to be self-sufficient.

Allan outlined 3 scenarios to show the results of a 6%, 8% and a 10% increase to the wastewater surcharge.

Staff are recommending not to increase the water portion rates at this time, and a 6% increase to the wastewater costs.

 34% of customers’ water utility bills covers the $49,000,000 cost of the expanded and newly renovated Water Treatment Plant.The Utilities Collection Clerk is working on a draft Water Billing Information sheet (similar to the Town of Aurora’s information sheet) and, if approved, would be sent out with the customers’ water bills.

Currently there is a Request for Proposal for Water and Wastewater Rate Studies and Development Charges Study issued which closed on May 1st, 2019. The next study will have more analysis for funding needs in early 2020."