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The City of Kenora has increased water and wastewater rates.

Effective January 1, the city has increased water and wastewater rates by 8 per cent for all residential and commercial consumers. The water cost is set at $1.43 per cubic meter or per 1000 litres. The city says that the increase will allow the city to continue to replace existing assets, begin to address the infrastructure deficit and improve revenue stability.

This rate together, with the fixed cost and wastewater cost, will change an average monthly bill for residential consumption from $117.68 to $127.22. The average bill is based on an average of 15 cubic metres of water.

Kenora Mayor Dave Canfield explains the rate increase.

“It was all from a report on the sustainable sewer and water system for Kenora. I’d like to see rates drop down, but then they’d be going to about 5 per cent. So the rates for 2019 will be held until next year. In September 2018, we’re in a lame-duck position with council because we’re in an election mode. You can’t really pass any budgetary items, only housekeeping issues,” he said.

In September, Kenora council decided to leave the door open to revisit rates for 2019.

By provincial law, water and sewer ratepayers in the city are responsible for bills associated with the system, making it a user-pay model. This makes it more equitable for those property owners, who are outside of the system, and they're using wells and septic systems instead.

By postponing the decision on 2019 until early 2018, users on the city's system are hoping they get additional grants to help offset rate increases.

For more information:
Water rate reprieve
Kenora raising rates

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