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Water rates need to rise for SF to stay afloat

by | Feb 23, 2021 | Local News | 0 comments

A consulting firm says Smiths Falls needs to increase its water and wastewater rates to maintain capital program initiatives. Draft results of a rate study were presented to council Monday by Hemson Consulting.

With a new water tower and distribution trunk update planned for 2024/2025, Smiths Falls should look at an annual water rate increase of 5.5% and 3.5% for wastewater. The town’s Long-Term Financial Sustainability Plan originally projected an increase of 7% and 8%, respectively.

In terms of annual water rates, Smiths Falls sits in the middle of the pack, below Perth and above Carleton Place. Rates only increased 1.1% this year as Smiths Falls council hoped to ease the financial burdens of COVID-19.

Andrew Mirabella, senior consultant for Hemson, said the rates will have to increase since annual financial projections are based on a compounding effect. The town will “fall behind in the long term” if those first few compounding periods are affected.

More information will become available as Hemson reviews feedback and revises their draft results.

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