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Water deal saves more than $1M

Council praised the successful work of CAO Marcia Wallace and staff who doggedly pursued a better deal on water rates that Belleville charges Rossmore and Fenwood Gardens customers.

CAO Marcia Wallace

The new 10-year agreement with an option to renew, said Wallace, means more than $1 million in savings that will be passed along to all water users as part of the next rate study. The savings, she added, also stops a drain on reserves.

As council prepared to approve the new bylaw, Mayor Steve Ferguson chimed in with councillor Kate MacNaughton to offer congratulations to the CAO for overseeing the process, along with staff, and former and retired councillors who worked for a better deal.

The mayor expressed appreciation to the CAO “for what she endured. She was a strong believer to get a win and we got more than we had hoped. It has not gone unnoticed,” he said.

The County was paying 3.91 per cubic metre and sought to pay 2.41/m3 – the rate that other Belleville water customers pay.

The County had been seeking a better rate for the better part of the three decades Rossmore and Fenwood Gardens residents have received water from Belleville.

Last year an arbitrator was appointed to adjudicate the dispute as Belleville argued to maintain the rate.

Arbitrator William G. Horton rendered his award that as of May 8, 2023, the bulk water rate be set at $2.17/m3, from 3.91/m3 – 10 per cent less than the County was seeking.

Belleville council officially authorized the agreement earlier this month.

 

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