Alvinston residents will get a chance to voice their opinions on rising water rates.
The Municipality of Brooke-Alvinston is considering a 10 per cent rate increase this year. Currently the average user pays about $78.10.
The municipality was working on a six-year water plan for the province when it realized there had not been a rate increase in Alvinston since the village amalgamated with Brooke Township in 2001.
The cost of treating the water has increased but officials say those costs have been paid through taxes. In some years, $180,000 had to be raised to support the water system through taxes.
But that will not be allowed by the province in the future. It expects water systems to be supported though the rates.
Mayor Don McGugan says council is recommending a 10 per cent rate increase. And he notes the system has been upgraded.
“During the last 14 years we’ve changed from the Sydenham River to LAWSS (the Lambton Area Water Supply System), we’ve installed new pipelines to upgrade the water system,” he says.
“Now the Ontario government has told us water has to be self sustaining to cover all the cost. All our cost were not covered by water rates are now covered by taxes. We have to break even by 2021.”
McGugan says even if the rates had gone up two per cent a year over the 14 years, the water rates would be 28 per cent higher.
Brooke-Alvinston will host a public meeting on the proposed rates Aug. 10 at 7pm at the Brooke-Alvinston-Inwood Community Centre. McGugan is expecting to hear some complaints.
“I know people will be mad, but they’re still getting a good deal.”