Water rates rising by 4.8% in Greater Sudbury
As budget deliberations continue at city council in Greater Sudbury, a motion to reduce the water rates was defeated Tuesday night. Water is not included in the annual tax levy as it’s funded by user fees.
The city will see a 4.8 per cent water rate hike in 2022.
Ward 1 Coun. Mark Signoretti put forward a motion for a one-time reduction of no more than 2.9 per cent, but it was defeated.
“I firmly believe, and I tried to do this last year, is that the public and the taxpayers are at their max,” said Signoretti.
“And with this global pandemic, it’s not over yet so we don’t know the ramifications of it.”
Ward 4 Coun. Geoff McCausland said council had no choice but to defeat the motion because of aging infrastructure.
“We renew about 4.6 kilometres of water pipes every year, but we have 1000 kilometres to take care of,” he said.
“At that rate we will get to every pipe in the system once every 217 years. Well water pipes don’t last 217 years. They last 60-100.”
Signoretti said he plans to ask for reductions in other areas of the budget.
“Bottom line is enough is enough. We can’t keep going back to the same tax base year after year with increases that are higher then some people in the community, one third of our population are seniors that are on a fixed income.”
McCausland said it costs more to do nothing with the aging water infrastructure in the city.
“I think everyone around the council table appreciates that water rates have gone up a lot in the last few years, around 50 per cent. The problem is that we are still nowhere near funding a sustainable water system,” said McCausland.
He said in order to reach that sustainability of the system, taxpayers can expect to see increased water rates for the next 17 years at the lowest rate possible of 4.8 per cent every year.