By Lisa Goudy
Mayor Deb Higgins stands by her support of the city’s local improvement program.
“I realize it has an impact on people and on individuals. I realize that it is a shock to many people when you start talking about the cost of the program as a whole,” she said, “but I have to say we are at a point where we don’t have a choice. We’re absolutely at a point where we need to move this forward, choose the best option available to us and I truly think council has done that.”
On Monday, council passed the LIP cast iron water main construction bylaw in a vote of 4-3. The LIP will see the community as a whole pay for 70 per cent of the program and abutting property owners, who “will see the benefit,” pay for 30 per cent, she said. Cast iron pipes will be replaced with PVC (plastic).
The 70 per cent will come from a 2.25 per cent tax rate increase applied annually to cast iron water mains from 2015 to 2017 to account for $1.54 million, $2.23 million per year from water rates, $1.61 million from the LIP from property owners who directly benefit from the work, reserves for financing property owners who choose to amortize their payments and $480,000 in savings from reduced operational costs. Residents will not be billed until all of the work in phase one is finished, expected in fall 2016 or early winter 2017.