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Dec. 9, 2019 | Monday
Local News
Water rates in NOTL increase
Variable water rates increased by approximately ten cents per cubic metre. (Richard Harley/Niagara Now)

Niagara-on-the-Lake residents will see a hike in their water bills starting Feb. 1.

The monthly fixed rates for water and wastewater usage each will rise by three per cent. The base charge depends on the meter size.

The variable water rate charge for residential customers will increase by 6.9 per cent, while the wastewater rate will go up by 17 per cent, said town treasurer Kyle Freeborn.

The fee for variable water increases to $1.4969 per cubic metre in 2019 from $1.3997. The wastewater usage rate jumped to $1.2663 per cubic metre from $1.0823.

Many factors are behind the increases, said Darrin Wills, the town’s drinking water quality management representative.

“The rates are determined by our financial plan, water plan, the requirements for the Safe Drinking Water Act,” said Wills. “The increase comes from the cost of the water from the region, the increase in the cost of fuel, labour, material and equipment.”

“The town purchases water from Niagara Region. Their increase this year was more than five per cent.”

The region’s budget review committee approved a 5.15 per cent water and sewer budget increase. 

Wills said the town has not received any complaints from residents about the new water rates.

“When we receive complaints, we explain why the rates need to increase.”

“The common misconception is that the property taxes go towards the water. If you look at the property tax breakdown, they include other infrastructure as well as policing, hospital, education, that type of things,” said Wills.

“But they don’t include water or wastewater at all. So the water and wastewater rates solely cover all of those expenses."

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