By Jennifer McIntosh, Ottawa Community News
Residents trickled into the city’s public consultation meeting on new options for the city’s stormwater, water and wastewater rates at city hall on March 30.
The city’s proposed changes to water rates haven’t drawn much ire from residents in the core, said Capital Coun. and environment committee chair David Chernushenko.
“People may not like the change, but they can live with it,” he said.
While the city’s proposals include tweaks to the water rate, many residents have taken issue with the new stormwater fees.
A meeting held in West Carleton the day before was standing room only, and 50 people were turned away because there wasn’t room at the West Carleton Community Complex.
Dixon Weir, general manager of environmental services, said residents hooked up to the city’s water have been subsidizing the work on ditches and culverts, which are primarily located in rural areas.
That’s one of the reasons that the proposed rate restructure would include added fees for rural residents on well and septic.
Rural residents would be on the hook for $2 million for stormwater management.
The city’s total stormwater management annual budget is $42 million, with $8.4 million allocated to the rural area.
Currently, the wastewater and stormwater fee is combined into the sewer rate, which is only funded by people connected to city pipes.