Brooke-Alvinston to tackle water issue in July


Brooke-Alvinston residents will get their say on water rates in July.
The municipality has been talking about increasing water rates so the cost of running the water and sewage system is covered by the water and sewer bill.
Treasurer Steve Ikert says that’s what the province wants, but it doesn’t happen in Brooke- Alvinston.
The municipality used $110,205 tax dollars to support the system in 2016. This year another $95,000 will be needed according to the treasurer.
While it isn’t how the system is supposed to work, it keeps water and sewer rates low. Only Enniskillen residents have lower bills than Brooke-Alvinston right now. But that is about to change.
Ikert has laid out 10 different ways to change the rate structure for councillors recently. All of them would mean the water and sewer systems would be fully funded by water and sewer rates. But some place the burden of the cost on low volume users, others on those who use the most water.
Right now, the average family of three spends about $56.73 on their water and sewer bill.
Ikert has calculated new rates which could see that bill rise to $62.43 per month all the way up to $89 per month. That would make Brooke-Alvinston’s water bills the fourth highest in Lambton.
Some of the suggestions include much higher rates for large volume users such as livestock operations and schools.
Inwood residents won’t see their rates change since their water and sewer charges are billed by Enniskillen township and are significantly higher than the rest of the municipality’s.
Councillors were slated to talk about the issue at the last council meeting but it was cancelled. Mayor Don McGugan says they’re expected to talk about it Thursday night now.
A public meeting has been scheduled for July 10 at the Brooke-Alvinston-Inwood Community Centre for 7 pm.
McGugan says council should have a proposed rate increase for residents to see by then.
“There will be an increase but hopefully we will be able to help the bigger users,” he says.