WHITBY, ONT. — Durham Regional council has approved the 2017 water and sanitary sewer user rates with a combined increase of 3.6 per cent, which translates to an additional $2.64 per month, or $31.72 per year, for the average household in the region.
According to a release issued in mid December, in addition to funding capital projects, the rate increases will help to cover operating costs, which are expected to rise due to economic and inflationary increases in utilities, chemicals and supplies; infrastructure, such as large capital investments in order to meet regulatory, asset management and growth-related requirements; and debt repayment costs, specifically related to the Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP) in Courtice.
In 2016, the region completed two significant capital projects: the Port Darlington WPCP in Bowmanville and the Nonquon River WPCP in Port Perry. From 2017 to 2026, debt financing requirements are projected to include upgrades and replacement projects at the Duffin Creek WPCP in Pickering, in addition to expansion projects at the Newcastle, Whitby, Ajax and Bowmanville water supply plants, the release adds.
"The 2017 capital budgets will help to address critical requirements for the water and sanitary sewage infrastructure network, while investing in new infrastructure to address anticipated growth," said Nester Pidwerbecki, chair of Durham's works committee, in a statement.
"It is also important for the region to invest in infrastructure that supports climate change and adaptation initiatives."
User rates are the main source of funding for capital investments for rehabilitation and replacement projects.