© Town of Cornwall
Town presents 2014 operating, utility budgets
Residents of Cornwall will be paying more for sewer and water service in the new year.
The announcement came at a special public meeting of council Wednesday to present the town’s 2014 operating and utility budgets.
“We are still maintaining the same commercial and non-commercial tax rates that were established in 2013, so no increase there,” said Councillor Minerva McCourt, chair of Cornwall’s finance committee.
“Our utility customers will see a modest increase of $18 per year in the water and sewer bill for a single family,” she said.
The increase of the utility rate is only the second since amalgamation in 1995 and covers the rising cost of operations which includes increased staffing levels, she said.
Also on the increase, Cornwall is facing an 18 percent jump in policing costs this year compared to last, said McCourt.
“We are cost-sharing a civilian position,” she said.
Working jointly with Stratford, an RCMP clerk will free up officers for more patrolling.
“The RCMP will be more visible because the clerk will be able to do more of their paper work,” said McCourt.
Cornwall’s capital budget includes several projects for the coming year.
“They include sidewalk installation on MacArthur Drive and James Street, as well as sewer upgrades in the James Street area,” said McCourt.
The 2014 budget includes using grants from the Gas Tax program to help fund planning studies for the town, looking at the future of transportation, storm water management, trail development and water service to create long term strategies for each.
There is also money in the budget to upgrade the town’s skateboard park and add play equipment to a park on Penzie Lynn Drive.
The budget does not include a system to boost low water pressure on Appleby Lane and Sobey Drive behind the Tim Hortons. The town has found that its water tower was not designed to cope with all areas of the town, especially those that were not set to be hooked up the year it was commissioned.
The town, however, has already budgeted out of past and pending federal grant money for a lift station to address water pressure issues at Elliot Park subdivision, and while work on that project is underway, completion is delayed.
“Due to unforeseen delays with the manufacturer, the Elliott Park Booster Station project schedule has been delayed,” says Cornwall’s web site.
Water pressure issues have brought irate citizens to town council meetings over the past few years.
“Pipe work and building construction has been completed,” says the town. “We are now waiting for delivery of the booster pump. Delivery date is now anticipated the week of March 31st, and the station activated the week of April 7th.
“The Town regrets this delay and appreciates the patience and understanding of residents waiting for improvement in service,” said the town web site notice.