Woolwich residents will be reaching deeper into their pockets when they want water from their taps. They’ll be digging deeper still to flush it away.
The township is going ahead with a 4.03 per cent increase to its water rates and a 5.17 per cent hike on the wastewater side.
The increases approved this week by councillors bring the cost of water to $1.67 per cubic metre, up from the current $1.61, while wastewater charges climb even higher, to $2.29 per cubic metre from $2.18.
For the average residential user – based on 204 cubic meters annually – that amounts to another $12.24 per year for water, and $22.44 in wastewater fees.
The township lays the blame for another year of well-above-inflation increases on the Region of Waterloo, which continues its multi-year hikes to the fees it charges for water and waste treatment.
The region plans to hike water rates, which account for 60 per cent of Woolwich’s costs, by 4.9 per cent. For wastewater, the planned increase is 7.9 per cent on costs that amount to 68 per cent of Woolwich’s budget, director of finance Richard Petherick told councillors meeting Tuesday night.
While the township has tried to temper those aspects of the budget it controls, the bulk of the expenses simply get passed through, said Petherick.
Huge increases have been the norm in recent years, as the region implements the user-pay, full-cost-recovery model for its water and wastewater systems, as mandated by the province.
Residents can also expect an extra ding on their bills as the township replaces aging water meters. Along with allowing for remote reading of the meters, the new units are expected to be more accurate in measuring water usage, said director of engineering and planning Dan Kennaley. The end result? You’re likely to be billed yet more.