Local residents will be seeing a 64 per cent increase in their base water rate and a 30 per cent increase in their per cube rate, starting Feb. 1.
Council passed a resolution for the increase at their regular meeting on Jan. 20. The increases, the first in around three years, were deemed necessary to offset the losses currently being carried by the Town at the old rates such as debenture costs. The increases only apply to one-inch service lines, primarily meaning residential service.
The new water rate will be a fixed rate of $25 and $1 per cubic metre.
“As it stands right now it’s for the first 20 cubes,” said Barb Miller, chief administrative officer during an interview on Jan 22. She noted an over-cube rate had not yet been established.
The new rates are a marked increase over the old rates of a $16 fixed rate and $.70 per cubic metre rate.
With the Vauxhall and District Regional Water Services Commission, the Town of Vauxhall purchases water for $1.82 per cubic metre. They also carry a debenture debt which works out to $.32 per cubic metre. The long-term debt balance is $615,250, and the annual debt payments are around $55,000 per year, according to Miller.
“All that debt is 100 per cent related to the commission, to the water plant,” she said. She added the debt would be carried over the next 15 years or so.
During the meeting, Coun. Richard Phillips said the new rate was still very affordable for local residents, noting a cubic metre of water is equal to 1,000 litres.
“You get 10 litres per penny of our good, safe-to-drink water from the town,” he said, referencing the new $1 per cubic metre over-cube rate. “That’s a heck of a bargain.”
Increases are also expected for commercial service in the near future.