Cumberland residents will see their first ‘mock’ water bill — featuring new volumetric water rates, rather than flat rates — in August.
Village council approved rates for the mock bills last week and the first mock bill will be based off April to June meter readings.
The mock water bills are designed to “give customers a chance to see how their water rates will change without actually paying the new rate yet,” according to a Village staff report to council.
Volumetric rates won’t actually take effect until January 2014, and the mock rates are unofficial.
The rates which will show up in the mock water bill in August are: a fixed charge of $31 per quarter year for single family residential, plus a uniform rate of $0.42/m3; a fixed charge of $27 per unit per quarter year for multifamily, plus a uniform rate of $0.44/m3; a fixed charge per quarter year based on meter size (meter size charges range from $24 for 5/8″ to $230.40 for 6″) for commercial, plus a uniform rate of $0.68/m3.
Village staff will bring water rate bylaws before council for approval before the end of this year so they’re in place when volumetric rates come into effect in 2014.
According to the staff report, multifamily customers, and to a lesser degree, commercial customers are subsidizing residential single family customers; the volumetric water rates are designed to make rates more fair as they’re partially based off usage.
Council adopted two bylaws last week to allow the Village to borrow money for three water improvement projects.
The proposed projects are: reconstruction of the Stevens Lake dam ($560,000), reconstruction of Cumberland No. 2 dam ($450,000), and construction of an ultraviolet sterilization water treatment system ($290,000).
Village staff must wait one month from the date of the bylaw adoptions to give electors a chance to apply to set aside the water improvements loan authorization bylaw before applying for a certificate of approval from the Province.
According to Village deputy corporate officer Rachel Parker, work on the Stevens Lake dam project is expected to begin late this summer. The No. 2 dam project is slated for 2014 and the water treatment project is scheduled for 2015.