I’ve been engaging with Middlesex Centre residents in a Facebook group where the current state of water and wastewater rates are discussed. As promised to them, I provided an update on the current trajectory for 2018 as a result of the ongoing budget process.
As you may recall, I made a motion at Council earlier this year to have the ramifications of a 2.5%, 5%, and 10% reduction of the minimum water and wastewater rates studied. BMA Consulting did this work on behalf of the municipality, along with looking at a number of other issues, and the results are being presented at the next Council meeting. You can find the report here (PDF format).
I’m rather disappointed in the incredibly narrow interpretation of “ramifications” by BMA. I was hoping to see something akin to “If minimum monthly charges are reduced by 2.5%, the usage charge would have to increase by X amount to make up for the shortfall.” Alas, that did not occur. I will raise that concern, and others, next Wednesday.
On a positive note, despite BMA’s conclusion that a rate freeze would result in a reduction of $22,147 going into reserve funds (reserves that would then be used in 2019 to pay for capital projects), staff is recommending another rate freeze. You can find the staff report and recommendation here (PDF format).
I’m interested to hear your thoughts on the matter after reviewing BMA’s report and the staff report. I won’t be glued to the computer all weekend, but I promise I will check in a few times.