Bancroft residents are about to see increases to their water rates.
The town’s council approved a report Tuesday that calls for a 4.5 per cent increase for water and wastewater, effective in the new year.
But, officials say “it’s an interim increase.” A report that fully analyzes water and wastewater costs is expected to come out in early 2023, after which new rates can be proposed.
Bancroft Treasurer Wendelin Lonergan says the town’s water system requires new infrastructure, which is bringing up costs. She told council that staff “will look at everything we can do to keep costs down.”
Mayor Paul Jenkins said the town had no choice but to raise rates, so it could pay for upgrades to infrastructure.
He says the town’s water infrastructure is aging, and there’s provincial and safety regulations that must be adhered to, so the work must be done.
He acknowledged Bancroft residents have a history of paying high water rates compared to provincial averages, but says the town has worked hard to lower the rates.
“We’re still one of the higher, but we’re definitely not the highest anymore,” he says.