Middleton water rates going up; new reservoir planned
The cost of town water is going up over the next three years in Middleton, with some users paying as much as 20 per cent more by the end of that period.
The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board released its decision Sept. 25 that allows the Middleton water utility to charge more for both water use and fire protection. And the town is looking to finance a new reservoir to replace the current infrastructure.
Various rates in Middleton had been in effect since July 1, 2015 and April 1, 2017. Through the town, the utility applied for amendments and a hearing was held July 24.
A rate study to support the application was prepared by G.A. Isenor Consulting Limited, in association with Blaine S. Rooney Consulting Limited.
The proposed rate increases for unmetered customers, based upon an average quarterly consumption of 66.6 cubic metres in 2018/19, 65.2 cubic metres in 2019/ 20 and 63.8 cubic metres in 2020/ 21, are 10.8 per cent, 4.4 per cent and 3.7 per cent, respectively.
For 5/ 8” metre residential customers, based on average quarterly consumption, the proposed rate increases are 9.9 per cent, 4.7 per cent, and 4.1 per cent, respectively. For all other metered customers, based upon the average quarterly consumption of each metre size, the proposed rate increases are 8.3 per cent to 13.4 per cent in 2018/19, 5.5 per cent to 5.7 per cent in 2019/ 20, and 4.7 per cent to 5 per cent in 2020/21.
The new bulk water rates per cubic metre are $4.81, $5.52 and $ 5.86, respectively for each of the next three years.
The total annual public fire protection charge of $146,581 is proposed to increase annually for the next three years, starting with a 0.2 per cent in 2018/19.
The charge is shared between the town and Annapolis County based upon the number of hydrants serving each municipal unit.
At the July 24 hearing there were no formal intervenors in the proceeding, no requests to speak, and no letters of comment received by the board.
The board approved the schedule of rates for water and water services with the effective dates of Oct. 1, 2018, April 1, 2019, and April 1, 2020. The approved public fire protection charge for 2018/ 19 is based on prorating six months at the existing rate and six months at the new rate.