Prince Edward County Mayor Robert Quaiff says he disappointed but he understands Belleville City council’s decision to increase water rates for Rossmore customers by 5% in 2017.
During Belleville budget discussions this week, the City denied a request by the County to give Rossmore water users, who currently pay $3.73/m3, a break on their bills. Instead council opted for the 5% increase as it is consistent with the rate adjustment requirements of the 2007 Agreement with the County. The increase will be retroactive to January 1, 2017.
On Wednesday, a report was provided to council with four options. In a vote of 8-1, with Mayor Taso Christopher the only one to oppose, council opted for option one to adjust the current rate of $3,729.44 per megalitre by 5% to $3,915.91. This is the same percentage increase approved and applied to the City of Belleville customers for 2017.
Mayor Robert Quaiff said he’s not the first mayor and probably won’t be the last to ask Belleville council to lower rates for Rossmore customers. He said when they compare the $3.73/m3 rate from Belleville to Quinte West’s $1.17/m3 rate for Carrying Place customers, ‘it’s expensive.’
Ameliasburgh councillor Dianne O’Brien said she was also disappointed that Belleville opted for the 5% increase. She praised Mayor Christopher for voting against it.
In 2016, Rossmore water rates increased by 5.7%.