Currently, Cobourg property owners are charged for water supply and a related sewer charge but there is no separate charge for stormwater drains – instead it’s paid for by property taxes. But at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, Consultant Peter Simcisko from Watson and Associates presented preliminary findings on a study of the status of stormwater management in Cobourg. It seems that the Town has not been spending enough and some required infrastructure needs work. Peter said that the Town is currently spending $410K per year but should be spending $1.59M. He suggested that although this could be covered by an increase in the tax levy, there are other options such as charging property owners a fee based on a formula that takes into account their likely use of stormwater drains. He plans to present these options to Council in early 2022.
As well as drains (pipes/sewers), there are also stormwater management ponds, pumping stations and oil/grit separators. Here is a list:
- Over 70 km of storm sewers
- 3,474 manholes and catch basins
- 6 stormwater ponds
- 3 pump stations
- 65 outlet points
- 4 oil/grit separators
These all require maintenance plus CCTV inspections of storm-sewers should be done. In addition, there should be “full funding of life-cycle costs” – that is, allowances for Capital costs.
The annual cost will vary significantly but can be kept to the average amount through the use of reserve funds (by adding to or removing from them as required). For the average taxpayer, the current amount of the tax levy used for stormwater management is $37 per year and according to the study, this should be increased by $109. The intent is that this increase would be phased in over a period of perhaps 5 years.
And why do we suddenly know about this? It seems it’s because the Province has mandated that all municipalities have an “Asset Management Plan” in place by July 1, 2022 and stormwater infrastructure is part of that.
Although the consultant used Powerpoint for his presentation, a copy of it was not made available to the public. For further details, go to the escribe archive here.