Corp Comm Connects

East Gwillimbury water rates to rise ... again
May 28, 2015
By Simon Martin

You will pay more for water and sewers this year.

Council passed a budget that increased fixed rates by $56 and the usage fee per cubic metre by approximately 4 per cent for both water and wastewater. The increase comes on the back of a $74 increase to the average homeowner in 2014.

Council thought the staff recommendation that would see fixed rates for water and wastewater double from a combined $304 annually in 2014 to a combined $620 in 2018 was too high.

“We are the highest water and wastewater cost in York Region right now,” Mayor Virginia Hackson said. “It has to be done at some point. Is it now or is it later?”

The problem, according to the report, is that a majority of the town’s costs are fixed and related to delivering the water to residents, while the revenue is variable and fluctuates with usage.

Town operation includes testing water; delivery of safe drinking water to property owners and delivery of wastewater to the region.

East Gwillimbury is hardly alone in having a significant water infrastructure deficit. It is a challenge in all of the region’s nine municipalities. The cost of buying water from the region has increased 60 per cent since 2010 and staff foresees 10-per-cent annual increases of the cost of water for the foreseeable future.

The majority of the increase goes to pay the region’s increased charges. The remaining 41 per cent is used to put money in reserves.