City announces proposed 2 per-cent utility increase for next year

News source from CTV News

CTV Regina

Published Friday, December 1, 2017 10:27AM CST

Last Updated Friday, December 1, 2017 12:55PM CST

The City of Regina has announced a proposed two per-cent utility increase for 2018.

The increase would take effect Jan. 1, 2018 and would cost the average household an additional $2.70 a month, or just over $32 per year.

It is not as much more as previously feared. During deliberations for the 2016-17 budget, council actually voted on and approved a 4 per cent utility rate increase. But now, council is proposing the increase be dropped to 2 per cent.

“We had a couple years with some significant rate increases, so that certainly helped strengthen the financial position of the utility and today we’re able to look at increases that are lower than they have been in the past and more sustainable than they have been in the past.” Karen Gasmo, Executive Director, Transportation and Utilities, City of Regina.

The increase will allow the city to maintain existing service and service levels and also invest $56.3 million investment in infrastructure renewal and upgrades to the wastewater and drainage systems. The smaller-than-expected rate increase can be attributed to higher water sales and federal funding for a few infrastructure projects.

Due to inflationary increases, population growth and operating costs associated to the new wastewater treatment plant the operating budget is going up by $2.1 million or 1.6 per cent.

Most of the expenses are budgeted for infrastructure renewal, and two major projects, the trunk relief initiative, which will increase the capacity for wastewater and storm water in the case of major weather events, along with improvements to the St. Anne drainage project.

The increase will go to council for approval later this month.

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