Kawartha Lakes Eliminates Water Infrastructure Deficit

With the approval of its 2018 Water and Wastewater Capital Budget, Kawartha Lakes, Ontario will no longer have a water infrastructure deficit.

City council approved the proposed 2018 Water and Wastewater Capital Budget at their October 31st Special Council meeting. The budget is supported by the property owners who use the City’s water and wastewater services and is not part of the tax-supported Capital Budget.

“I’m thrilled that we’ve turned the corner on our water and wastewater budget. We are now spending what we need to maintain and upgrade our systems, and with the support from other levels of government, we can look forward to lower user rate increases,” said Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham. “Going into the operating budget, we’ve already reduced our projected user rate increase for 2018 from 4 per cent to 3 per cent, and we’ll finalize the numbers next month.”

At the meeting, council was presented with the good news that due to a multi-year grant for over $5 million from the federal and provincial governments, and other cost saving measures, the city’s water and wastewater systems are now fully sustainable. Due to investments and despite the extensive requirements of a network of 21 water and 6 wastewater systems, as of 2018, Kawartha Lakes will no longer have an infrastructure deficit.

water, wastewater, budget2018 Water and Wastewater Capital Budget for Kawartha Lakes. Courtesy of Kawartha Lakes, Ontario.

“There are only about 13,000 ratepayers that are connected to our water and wastewater systems, out of a total of about 40,000 ratepayers across the municipality,” wrote Letham in an article for the local publication, The Promoter. “The rest are on private wells and do not pay for water and wastewater systems. We have been actively working to ensure plans are in place to keep up with mandated upgrades and routine maintenance.”

Highlights from the Water and Wastewater Budget include:
•Spending $930,000 more in capital replacement over 2017;
•Immediate elimination of the infrastructure deficit;
•Grant contribution of $1.1 million in 2018 from the Small Communities Fund; and
•User rates will be favourably impacted by the Capital Budget and will be finalized next month with the Operating Budget.

Council will deliberate the 2018 Operating Budget, including the Tax-Supported Operating Budget and the Water and Wastewater Operating Budget, on December 13th at 9am in Council Chambers. City residents are invited to attend and provide comment. Operating Budget documents will be posted on November 10th at www.kawarthalakes.ca/budget.

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