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County of Annapolis makes water utility rate increase application to UARB

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The County of Annapolis is making an application to the Utility and Review Board to have rates for its water utility increased. - File photo

Customers invited to submit written comments, speak at upcoming hearing

ANNAPOLIS ROYAL, NS - Customers of the County of Annapolis water utility are being invited to weigh-in on proposed rate increases.

The Municipality of the County of Annapolis has made application to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (UARB) on behalf of its water utility for approval of amendments to its schedule of rates and charges for water and water services; and amendments to its schedule of rules and regulations.

A public hearing on the application is scheduled for April 3 at 11 a.m. at the Annapolis Royal Fire Hall. The hall is located at 5 Saint Anthony St., Annapolis Royal. The hearing is open to the public. After reviewing the application, the board may determine in its decision that the proposed amendments should be approved as requested, set higher or set lower.

For a 5/8 meter residential customer, the average current quarterly water bill is $132.51. This is proposed to remain unchanged in 2019-2020; increase to $140.67 – a 6.2 per cent increase – in 2020-2021; and to $151.74 – a 7.9 per cent increase – in 2021-2022.

For flat rate charges (based on no consumption charge due to low water pressure), the current quarterly water bill is $81.78, which is proposed to remain unchanged in 2019-2020; increase to $92.33  - a 12.9 per cent increase – in 2020-2021; and increase to $101.59 – a 10 per cent increase – in 2021-2022.

For all other metered services, the utility is requesting no rate changes in 2019-2020; amendments ranging from -3.8 to 3.0 per cent in 2020-2021; and 4.1 to 6.9 per cent in 2021-2022.

Wholesale quarterly rates for the Town of Annapolis Royal, currently consisting of a base charge of $9,266 and a consumption charge of $0.40 per cubic metre, are proposed to increase to quarterly base charges of $11,963 – a 29.1 per cent increase – in 2019-2020; to $12,522 – a 4.7 per cent increase – in 2020-2021; and to $13,749 – a 9.8 per cent increase – in 2021-2022. Consumption charges per cubic metre would increase by $0.43 – a 7.5 per cent increase – in 2019-2020; by $0.45 – a 4.6 per cent increase – in 2020-2021; and by $0.48 – a 6.6 per cent increase – in 2021-2022.

The annual fire protection charge paid by the Municipality of the County of Annapolis, currently $145,069, is proposed to increase to $163,654 – an increase of 12.8 per cent – in 2019-2020; to $180,557 – a 10.3 per cent increase – in 2020-2021; and to $201,044 – an 11.3 per cent increase – in 2021-2022.

Those wishing to speak at the hearing must notify the UARB by April 2. Members of the public may submit written comments by sending a letter to the Clerk of the Board at P.O. Box 1692, Unit “M”, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 3S3; by email at board@novascotia.ca or by fax at (902) 424-3919 by April 2.

Members of the public may also request formal standing as an intervenor, subject to board approval. Intervenors are allowed to present evidence or cross-examine witnesses. The board must receive intervenor requests by Feb. 4 and copies of written evidence by March 4.

A copy of the application and timetable applying to this matter may be viewed at the Offices of the Board, Summit Place, 1601 Lower Water Street, third floor, Halifax, Nova Scotia; on the board’s website at https://nsuarb.novascotia.ca/ by clicking on “Matters & Evidence”, and entering Matter Number M09018 in “Go To Files and Documents”; and at the Municipality of the County of Annapolis, 752 Saint George, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia.

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