Wastewater tax increases floated to South Stormont Council

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By Shawna O'Neill
Wastewater tax increases floated to South Stormont Council

SOUTH STORMONT, Ontario - South Stormont Council met with Watson & Associates Economists LTD. on Tuesday, Nov. 26 to discuss future water and wastewater rate adjustments, considering the proposed implementation of a $30 million Ingleside wastewater treatment plant, projected for 2023.

“We want to ensure that this will be sustainable for future years,” said Mayor Bryan McGillis. “It's all about strategic planning...trying to do it knowing in advance what costs could be.”

The extensive study conducted by Watson & Associates projects funding needs, water consumption, annual water bills and more within the township over the next 10 years. The study can be viewed here.

Although Council has yet to approve any recommendations outlined in the study, Mayor McGillis feels that proposed increases in wastewater bills are “still very fair and comparable to the City of Cornwall.” A recommendation will be presented to Council during the December 11 Regular Council Meeting, which will include a communication plan to better help residents understand any proposed changes to property tax and utility bills.

Proposed tax changes include a six per cent increase in the hamlets of Ingleside and Long Sault annually over the next 10 years. The area of Eamers Corners (including Rosedale Terrace) and St. Andrews would be set to see a delayed increase, beginning at 1.9 per cent in 2026 and 6.8 per cent annually between 2027 and 2029. The community of Newington would not see any proposed tax change over the next decade.

“Currently, homeowners in Ingleside and Long Sault are charged a ‘Special Area Tax' included in their property taxes, which is associated with the wastewater systems within the two hamlets. Under the proposal presented to Council, residents in Ingleside and Long Sault will see the Special Area Tax removed from their property taxes and allocated to their utilities bill,” read a Township of South Stormont statement, clarifying the six per cent increase in both areas.

“I would like to see personally, if any increase, do it on an average base...things are expensive today, we need to make sure we do it right in terms of costs,” said Mayor McGillis.

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