Glen Walter residents facing nearly $300 increase in their water bills

Nick Seebruch
Glen Walter residents facing nearly $300 increase in their water bills
The Glen Walter sign on County Rd. 2 (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

GLEN WALTER, Ontario – Residents of Glen Walter will be paying $273 more this year for their water.

South Glengarry Township Council passed an increase at their council meeting earlier this month for all of its water and waste water treatment systems.

The water rate in Glen Walter will go from $804 per-residence to $1,077 per-residence as of Sept. 2018. In Sept. 2019, the water rate in Glen Walter will increase again to $1,352.

Deputy Mayor and Glen Walter resident Frank Prevost said that increase came down to years of avoiding adequate increases.

“The problem is that council in the past had been too nice,” said Prevost in an interview with Seaway News. “It is not a fun thing to do, but we are still lower than most municipalities. If we had done it slowly over the past 10 years we be at that number anyway.”

Prevost explained that there were capital projects like the replacement of some of the water pumps that were a part of the reason for the increase. The water and waste water system in South Glengarry has to be self-sustaining and cannot be funding from residential tax levies.

“Some funding limitations the municipal water systems face are a result of the fact that our systems have relatively small user bases: Glen Walter (358), Green Valley (162), Kennedy-Redwood (39), and Lancaster (474) and, therefore, they require a higher cost per user,” wrote Lachlan MacDonald, South Glengarry GM of Corporate Services and Treasurer. “Another issue is an absence of historical rate increases. The last significant discussion in 2010 resulted in a recommendation of some users having 90% increases and stalled, resulting in a period of no increases for five years.”

Rates will also increase for users in Lancaster by $301 this year, in Green Valley by $70 this year and in the Kennedy-Redwood area by $61.

Council passed this motion in a recorded vote of 4-1 with Councillor Trevor Bougie being the only dissenter.

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