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Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Council to Talk Water Rates and Other Money Matters

As previously reported, the budgeting season has begun and everything that costs anything in the City of Guelph is going to be up for bids. At a meeting at City Hall on October 24, community members are being invited to give input about non-tax supported budget items.
So what all does that include? Primarily the release is about proposed increases to the water and waste water rates, but there are also proposed changes to court services and building services to be considered. In the information below, you'll find all the pertinent links and documents you'll need to get into the money matters to come before council on the 24th.
Here's the press release from the City of Guelph:
Council to discuss proposed water and wastewater rates
Non-tax-supported budget presentation takes place October 24
Guelph, ON, October 11, 2013 – Community members are invited to comment on proposed changes to the City’s Water and Wastewater Services, Building Code Administration and Court Services budgets. The City will present the Non-tax-supported portion of Guelph’s Financial Strategy on Thursday, October 24 at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.
“As part of Guelph’s Financial Strategy, the proposed Non-tax-supported Operating and Capital Budget continues to focus on taking care of what we own, and enhancing City services in a way that is affordable for residents and businesses in Guelph” said Al Horsman, executive director of Finance and Enterprise Services. “Investments in infrastructure renewal, system optimization and technology upgrades are strengthening how the City works, and improving service to the community.”
Water and Wastewater Services
By optimizing water and wastewater systems, and using waster wisely, Guelph has made the most of its existing infrastructure and deferred millions of dollars in capital investments. In 2014, the City plans to invest approximately $9.2 million to renew aging water and wastewater infrastructure, and another $18.6 million in growth-related upgrades and expansions to water and wastewater storage, treatment and distribution systems.
The City also plans to continue building reserve funds to ensure a safe and reliable water supply as the City continues to grow. Continued infrastructure upgrades will further reduce the risk of system failures, and expensive emergency repairs.
“Successful water conservation and infrastructure renewal programs allow us to bring in the lowest rate increase in more than 5 years,” said Janet Laird, Executive Director of Planning, Building, Engineering and Environment. “In 2014, we’re reviewing and refining our forecasting methods as part of the update to Guelph’s Water and Wastewater Long Range Financial Plan, and will establish affordable and predictable water and wastewater rate forecast for the years ahead.”
Average residential annual bill (200 m3* consumption, January 1 rate change) changes from $781 to $808 (a $27 or 3.5% increase). *City estimate of average annual volume of water consumed by a Guelph household of 3 people. View more information about water and wastewater rates.
Building Services
The proposed $2.9 million operating and $7,400 2014 capital budget includes continued investments to improve the City’s online building permit application system, and enhance service to residential and commercial customers.
Court Services
Court Services found efficiencies in its operations which allow the department to make better use of staff resources. The proposed $3.6 million operating and $63,000 2014 capital budget includes plans to implement convenient e-ticket processes.
View all budget documents at guelph.ca/budget. Residents planning to address City Council regarding the proposed budget for Water and Wastewater Services, Court Services and Ontario Building Code Administration are invited to call 519-837-5603 or email clerks@guelph.ca by 9 a.m. on Friday, October 18.

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