Starting January 2023, the charge for water and wastewater will increase by an amount said to cover the cost. In addition, in January, the cost of supplying stormwater drains will be charged directly to properties instead of being recovered by taxes. Both these changes were previously approved by Council but now by-laws are needed to implement them and Council will be asked to do that at the December 12 Committee of the Whole meeting (COW – Governance has not yet changed). Water rates will increase 7.2%, wastewater rates will increase 4.6% so that the average residential customer will pay an extra $48.82 per year for a total $884.90 per year. Charging directly for stormwater is a significant change and was discussed at length in a June 22 Council meeting – see report in Links below.
Stormwater and Sewer rates are intended to be 100% cost recovery and this has been calculated by a third party – in this case Watson & Associates Economists Ltd – and presented to Council in January 2021. This year’s increase is the same as last year but adding a charge for stormwater is new.
The stormwater fee varies strongly depending on the property – specifically on its area, its type and its density per this table:
|Property Type||2023 Stormwater Rate per Hectare (ha)|
|Residential (low density)||$904.72|
|Residential (medium density)||$1,206.29|
|Residential (high density)||$1,507.87|
The report to Council by Director Laurie Wills says:
A typical residential lot size is approximately 0.2 of an acre or 0.08 ha so the average low density residential lot will be billed $72.38 in 2023 for stormwater services using this new charge whereas without this more equitable funding model to charge based on land use and size, the same household would be contributing $150 per year towards stormwater services as part of their property taxes.
Properties like the Mall with its large parking lot will pay significantly more and high density condos with a small footprint will pay less. It’s not known how the area of Condos will be calculated. Note that some inequities are flagged by taxpayers making comments on the stormwater article linked below.
Editor’s Note: See also Letter to the Editor on this subject. The writer wants council to not implement the proposed new stormwater fee.