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Sewer, water rates increasing

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Sewer and water rates are set to increase here in the new year.

There will be a 2.8 percent increase for residential users and a 3.22 percent increase for industrial, commercial, and institutional (ICI) users.

The 2.8 percent residential increase will cost an additional $27.79 per year, bringing the overall annual rate to just over $1,000.

“The town's asset management plan has identified 30km of sewer pipe and 40km of water main that is in desperate need of replacement at a combined total cost of $51-million,” Coun. Rick Wiedenhoeft noted at Monday night's council meeting.

The Operations and Facilities (O&F) executive committee works at lowering the deficit each year with revenue generated from water and sewer rates.

“This year's increase of 2.8 percent for residential and 3.22 percent for ICl . . . users will generate an additional $145,848 and achieve our target revenue of $5 million for 2020,” Coun. Wiedenhoeft explained.

“As a committee, the O&F executive strives to keep these rates as low as possible and yet achieve our annual target revenue,” he added.

“If we don't do this, we set the community up for a future catastrophic failure of our entire water and sewer system.”

Coun. Wiedenhoeft also noted that the annual rate in Fort Frances of $1020.27 is well below what ratepayers pay in Thunder Bay ($1,400 a year) or Kenora and Dryden (over $1,900).

The rate increases will go into effect Jan. 1, 2020.

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