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Water/sewer rates average $100 per month

12/11/30 — For the average household in Fort Erie, water bills will be more than $100 per month in 2013 if the recommendations from the Nov. 7 budget meeting make it to bylaw.

The average household, according to Town calculations, uses 16 cubic metres of water or 16,000 litres.

The exact cost will be $101.92 per month for the average customer.

The monthly combined base rate for all residential water and sewer customers will climb $1.77 per month and the consumption rate will inch up by nine cents per cubic metre.

The combined base rate will be $65.14 per month compared to $63.37 in 2012 and the volumetric rate will be $2.299 compared to $2.207. The percentage increases are 2.8 per cent on the base rate and 4.2 per cent on the consumption charge.

The increase for the average user is 3.2 per cent more than the $98.68 average monthly bill in 2012.

The increase is driven by a hike in Regional treatment fees which are charged to the Town to operate the Rosehill water plant and the Crystal Beach and Anger Avenue wastewater treatment plants.

Regional costs make up 60 per cent of the Town’s budget and these are going up 3.75 per cent.

On top of that, the Town has been levied a $258,000 charge to reconcile an underpayment in 2011 for wastewater treatment based on the difference between what the Region estimated Town usage would be and the actual usage.

This additional charge will be funded partly through a $150,000 withdrawal from the water rate stabilization reserve. Town staff expect a credit will be issued for an overestimate on 2012 usage between $75,000 and $150,000.

Staff have also forecast increases of less than 2.5 per cent per year from 2014 to 2018, but noted that new staff may be required to ensure compliance with heightened provincial regulatory standards.

For the household which uses half the average, the increase is approximately $2.50 per month. For the household using twice the average, the increase is a little less than $5 per month.

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