FORT ERIE (January 31, 2020) On Dec. 4, Town staff presented its 2020 budget for Water and Wastewater Operating Budget and User Fee Analysis. Last week, Mayor and Council gave final approval by passing the bylaw to this budget.
The overall budget for water and wastewater for 2020 is $19,334,069, an increase of $402,670 or 2.13 per cent compared to 2019. This overall change is based on a 0.14 per cent decrease to Town costs and a 2.27 per cent increase for Niagara Region treatment costs.
“Staff provided a detailed overview of the risks and opportunities that impact one of our most valued services. It is important to residents that we provide a reliable, safe drinking water system while at the same time maintain the water and sewer infrastructure that we have in the ground”, stated Mayor Wayne Redekop.
The Water and Wastewater Budget recovers costs by collecting 54 per cent of the average bill through base, or flat, monthly charges and 46 per cent from consumption rates. The base charge reflects costs to maintain the systems that must be paid whether or not there are any water or sewage flows. This is due to the fixed nature of infrastructure required to deliver services and is impacted by a relatively low number of customers over this large geographical area in Fort Erie. The variable charge is directly related to the amount of treated water and wastewater provided and includes labour, materials, and services such as electricity and chemicals.
It should be noted that program funding that has been maintained include the Water Emergency Relief Fund at $15,000 for low income families as well as the Seniors Utility Relief Fund at $21,000 for low income seniors.
The Town’s Budget process continues with the approval of the General Levy Budget By-law and General Capital Budget By-law on Tuesday, February 18, 2020. For more information about the 2020 budget or the seniors utility relief program, please visit www.forterie.ca (Government >Budget & Finances).
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