Cobourg's water rates will rise

By Cecilia Nasmith

A rise in water and wastewater rates should amount to less then $2 a month for the average household, Lakefront Utility Services Inc. president and chief executive officer Dereck Paul said at this week's committee-of-the-whole meeting of Cobourg council.

The increase sought amounts to 4% on the base charge and a 9% increase on consumption charges.

As for the cost to householders, manager of regulatory compliance and finance Adam Giddings said, it depends on individual usage and conservation efforts.

The presentation by Paul and Giddings explained some of the considerations behind the recommendation, such as a 2% wage increase ad capital-replacement costs on the horizon estimated at $20-million over the next six years.

As an example, Paul noted that of Cobourg's 139 km. of watermains, about 35 km. are cast in iron and about 70 years old – one reason they can expect perhaps a dozen watermain breaks per year. Still, he said, this compares favourably with the Toronto average of more than 1,100 annually.

There are also $30-million in capital projects forecast over the next decade.

As well, Paul noted, “Emergencies happen, and we have to have contingency funds in place.

“We have a responsibility to ensure rates are fair and equitable for all users, which doesn't necessarily mean low.”