On December 8, 2022, Haldimand County Council reviewed and approved the 2023 Rate-Supported Operating & Capital Budget. Otherwise known as the Water & Wastewater Budget, this important strategic document ensures that reliable, safe, clean and affordable potable water is available to residents across the County.
This Rate-Supported Budget deals exclusively with water and wastewater treatment initiatives & is funded directly by user rates (with no financial support from property taxes).
The 2023 budget includes average annual gross expenditures of $11.9 million in capital expenditures on the water side and $8.7 million on the wastewater side. These expenditures are to maintain, improve and optimize the operation of existing systems and to add capacity in response to growth.
The average residential combined water & wastewater user will see a slight increase of about $1.54 (1.83%) on their average monthly bill and despite rising inflation all bulk services (i.e. water depot, septic holding treatment, etc.) have been capped to an increase of 3%.
Overall, Haldimand’s water & wastewater rates still remain below the provincial average and lower relative to nearby comparable communities due to ongoing strategic planning efforts and diligent asset management practices.
New water & wastewater rates take effect on January 1, 2023.
Over the 10-year capital forecast period there is a total of $206 million allocated for enhancements to municipal sewer and water infrastructure.
Major projects slated to begin in 2023 include the construction of a secondary Highway 6 Water Transmission Main and the construction of a new elevated water tank and in-ground reservoir in Caledonia on the sites of existing infrastructure.
Factors impacting the 2023 rate-supported budget and user rates include:
- rising costs of materials, chemicals, supplies and contracts with water and wastewater treatment plant operators;
- rising insurance costs due to limited providers and provincial liability legislation;
- increases to the rate the City of Hamilton charges Haldimand County for water and increased consumption of water (due to growth).
Over the Term of Council (2023-2027), staff will be actively monitoring external pressures on water & wastewater services in order to properly plan for any potential mitigation that may be required. While rates have remained relatively stable, changes to provincial legislation has the ability to significantly impact municipal operations. As such, senior staff will continue to monitor the political environment & lobby against changes that may impact the affordability of water rates in Ontario.
Council will next review the Tax-Supported Operating & Capital Budgets on the following dates:
Tax-Supported Capital Budget: February 2, 2023 & February 3, 2023* (*if required)
Tax-Supported Operating Budget: March 2, 2023 & March 3, 2023* (*if required)
More information about County budgets, user fees/rates and taxes is available at HaldimandCounty.ca/financials.