MV Council discusses water rates and donations policy

Photo: pdpics.com

2018 Water and Wastewater Budget

At the April 17 Regular Council meeting members of Madawaska Valley Council congratulated themselves on achieving a reduction in the minimum charge for water and wastewater in 2018. Councillor Shelley Maika who chairs the Water and Wastewater Committee read the following recommendation:

That the Water and Wastewater Committee recommend to Council that they adopt the 2018 proposed Water and Wastewater budgets and that the Water and Wastewater rates remain unchanged and that the quarterly minimum bills be reduced to $67.50 and $69.45 for water and wastewater respectively.

A review of the Proposed 2018 Water and Wastewater budget attached to the By-Law shows water rates unchanged at $4.63 per cubic metre. However, it also reveals the 2018 minimum volume has been reduced from 17.065 cubic metres to 15 cubic metres per quarter.

The effect is that consumers who use less than the new lower minimum of 15 cubic metres (typically in a single person or seniors household) will see a reduction in their bills of just under $30 per quarter.

Maika said the reasons for the “huge” reduction included a debt retirement charge that had expired last year. A member of staff discovered this late in 2017 which resulted in customers receiving a refund then. She also said an investment in variable high frequency lift pumps at the water plant resulted in a lower hydro bill and a $135,000 grant from the Clean Water Wastewater Fund made it possible to upgrade two pumping stations and to do some other necessary work.

Donations requests required in advance of four-monthly reviews

If your community organization is thinking about asking for financial or in-kind township assistance with an event this summer, you may already be too late to apply. Council has revamped its Donations Policy for such requests. In-kind donations include provision of items such as Township property/facilities, materials or resources and staff time required; for example, to provide waste bins and to clean up after an event. Requests must be made 30 days prior to each of the three intake periods per year:

  • January to April
  • May to August
  • September to December

The policy revision came about because MV exceeded its budget for in-kind donations last year. Council hopes that by reviewing applications three times a year, they will be better able to aid community groups with eligible requests. Council repeated its previous direction to staff to reach out to local organizations to ensure everyone is aware of the new system.

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