At the September 24 Council meeting, Council adopted changes to By-Law 2014-255, known as the “Mandatory Connection By-Law.”
The changes involve the fixed rate fees assigned to properties which are not currently connected to municipal water or wastewater, when such properties fall within servicing boundaries. There are currently 134 properties that meet the criteria for mandatory connection.
Council had previously lessened the by-law requirements for these residents to connect to municipal services, allowing them to wait until such time as their drinking water well and/or septic system fails.
In the interim, they were subject to fixed rate fees to help maintain the infrastructure until such time as they were required to connect. These fees were set at approximately $366 per year (water) and $352 (wastewater) per year for services. These fees will be reduced to $200 per year per service, billed quarterly, beginning January 1, 2020.
Mayor Letham commented, “This is compromise that will provide relief, but will also help to maintain the water and wastewater system. We have many examples of services that are paid for by residents and not actually used: everyone pays for roads and not everyone drives, we all pay for arenas and not everyone uses them, people without children still pay school board taxes. In Lindsay, the area rate for Lindsay Transit is paid for by all property owners in Lindsay, but not everyone takes Lindsay Transit. We can’t do selective taxing. We can’t offer the water/wastewater service without the fees to support it.”