Council unanimously approved the report on the private sanitary sewer connection charge in the township of Strathroy-Caradoc, as well as the updated charge increase of $18,555.25, effective July 1, 2023, for all new connections. 

As everyone knows, Strathroy-Caradoc is experiencing rapid growth and development, so the need for new sanitary sewers is urgent. Existing sewers include connections to the property line of each property within the municipality. The current by-law requires property owners to connect their buildings to the sanitary sewer system. Nevertheless, waivers are available for certain existing buildings and septic systems that require replacement. 

On the other hand, regarding the cost recovery, the council has adopted a cost recovery approach to ensure that owners who benefit from the sanitary connection bear the costs of installation, rather than burden existing ratepayers. In February 2022, a mandatory connection fee of $17,500 was approved, considering various payment plans, such as payment in advance, private financing or adding the cost of property taxes over eight, fifteen or twenty years. This current charge of $17,500 covers a variety of aspects involved in the average installation, including piping, labor, equipment, excavation, removal, materials, restoration, utility support, tree-related activities, safety requirements, fees administrative, etc. It should be noted that homeowners purchasing new homes already bear these costs through the purchase price of a serviced lot.

It was recommended, based on the annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjustment, an increase in the charge from $17,500 to $18,555.25, effective July 1, 2023. This adjustment ensures that the charge keeps pace with inflation and allows for continued cost recovery. The updated rate will be included in the annual fees and charges for water and wastewater. Furthermore, the report highlighted the implications of removing the sanitary connection charge. Doing that would result in depreciation of assets, higher costs for residents, and potentially higher fees for existing taxpayers. Thus, according to the report, maintaining the position is essential for sustainable financing and an equitable distribution of costs. The proposal to the council in the last municipal council meeting provides an extensive and complete analysis of the private sanitary sewer connection charge throughout the municipality. The updated fee of $18,555.25 for July 1, 2023 was approved, excluding the residents of Queen St. in Mount Brydges, who will keep the previous amount. According to Jake Strauss, Director of Engineering and Public Works, the council will ensure with this decision the continued growth and development of the municipality, while distributing the costs appropriately among property owners benefiting from the sanitary connection.

By David Gomez, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jul 02, 2023 at 12:32

This item reprinted with permission from   Middlesex Banner   Aisla Craig, Ontario

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