The Council of the Town of Grand Bay-Westfield approved an increase in sewer rates in December 2020. The decision was not taken easily or lightly. Sewer rates have not been raised since 2005. Using the Bank of Canada Inflation Calculator set at the rate of $270, and calculating how much sewer rates would be in 2021 if the rates kept pace with inflation, then the sewer rate in 2020 would be $340.99. Further, funds from reserves have been used for consumer price stability and some capital projects.
Sewer capital projects that need to be completed or have been completed as part of a grant from the Build Canada Fund for a total value of $1,187,053 in investments.
The debenture to pay for these projects will be $425,000. Given the debentures to be incurred, the sewer rate is no longer sustainable. An increase is warranted to ensure the ongoing sustainability of the sewer system. Utilities are to be self-sustaining according to legislation. Without an increase, the sewer system would run a deficit resulting in a draw upon the General Revenue or General Reserves; neither of these options comply with legislation.
I hope this helps you understand why the decision was made to increase sewer rates.
John Enns-Wind, CAO