Hamilton City Council will be asked to approve a residential water bill hike of 4.28 percent which will work out to about $32 dollars a year for the average household.
Most of the increase will relate to employee costs. Hamilton Water wants to hire 14 additional employees to operate and maintain the Woodward Treatment plant which is undergoing a major re-build. They also want to engage a crew to supplement the replacement of lead services in to older homes.
The department estimates it will spend about $117 Million in 2021 on construction –$48 Million will come out of water bill revenue and $69 Million will be supported by development charges.
Alectra Utilities who handle the city’s water billing, conducted a study to determine the impact of the rate hike on people’s ability to pay. The report said staff reviewed the number of arrears notifications Alectra has issued when accounts are more than 30 days past due and found that there will likely be 2,000 fewer arrears cases at the end of this year compared to 2019.
Woodward Avenue Water and Wastewater treatment center is in the middle of a major retrofit. Phase one, currently underway, is for improvement of the quality of the wastewater in order to meet harbour cleanup goals. Phase Two is for expansion of the treatment plant to accommodate growth. Phase two will cost $296 Million and is proposed to start in 2026 and be completed in 2028.