CORNWALL, Ontario – The first order of business for the new council it would seem will be to tackle the Water and Waste Water budget.
Council will be meeting to discuss the budget on Thursday. As it is now, City administration is recommending a combined budget increase of 4.07 percent, or $718,119. This will equal out to an average bill increase per-household of $25.25 to $35.99.
The operational costs of the Water and Waste Water system in Cornwall is in fact flat and most of the increase is going towards reserves and maintenance.
This increase is lower than the increase proposed by administration in 2018, which was around 11 percent. Council eventually passed a budget increase of 6.25 percent for 2018.
Mayor Bernadette Clement said that the increase correlates to the City’s need to maintain an aging infrastructure while building reserves to help deal with future incidents.
“We have to keep an eye on that (reserves) we need to be organized for future events,” she said. “I think for now it is a good budget.”
Councillor Syd Gardiner seemed to concur.
“Based on what our needs are based on infrastructure and getting our reserves up, right now it looks pretty good and pretty acceptable to me,” he said.
Councillor Claude McIntosh said he was surprised the proposed increase was as low as it is.
“Well, it’s less than what they were talking about last year,” he said. “Last year they started at 11 and went down to six and they warned us that this year it could be eight or six. They tell us we’re millions of dollars behind when it comes to water and infrastructure and we keep on kicking it down the road.”
Council must pass the waste water and water budget before the end of the year.