Nelson residents will see an increase in water and sewer rates, but city councillors say this isn’t a bad news story.
“Communities like Moncton have privatized their water, but we made a commitment long ago to keep our water public,” said councillor Donna Macdonald.
Council passed a resolution that will see a net change from 2011 to 2012 of $44.10 per single-family dwelling.
Macdonald said that while there is an increase this year, the rates overall are on the decline.
“It is important that we keep investing in our system,” she said. “The city is diligently moving along with their infrastructure plan.”
Councillor Deb Kozak echoed many of Macdonald’s statements.
“There hasn’t been an aggressive rate increase in my time at the table,” she said. “We’ve been able to ease back on the rates, but still follow through on capital projects.”
Kozak and rookie councillor Paula Kiss said council would hopefully be able to look at the distribution rate structure for commercial properties.
Kiss also asked that council look into rates for secondary suites.
“It seems like those who have secondary suites are unfairly penalized,” she said.
City manager Kevin Cormack said an analysis of the rate distribution between residential and commercial spaces is being done and will come to council.
The rate increases are in compliance with the city’s current five-year financial plan.
“Water and sewer are core services of the city and must be properly managed to ensure that these services can be provided into the future,” read the staff report.