Cavendish Sewer Utility applying for rate increases

Dave Stewart
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Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission

The extra money would cover need for new infrastructure in the area

About 400 commercial and residential establishments on the province’s north shore could soon be paying more for sewer services.

The Cavendish Sewer Utility has applied to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission for a $61.32 hike for unmetered customers and a $37.87 increase for those on a metered system.

RATE CHANGE FACTS

Residents affected would be those in Cavendish, Stanley Bridge, Hope River, Bayview and North Rustico.

Harry Yeo, chairman of the sewer utility committee, said upgrades are necessary in some cases.

They have installed, or are in the process of installing, auto dialers. If something goes wrong at one of the lift stations the auto dialer alerts a company monitoring the system which would then contact the utility.

Yeo said it’s designed to prevent problems with lift stations that may result in effluent escaping.

“We also have high water float alarms in the systems, too. If, for some reason, one alarm doesn’t go off when the water gets to a certain height in the pump station it will trigger that high water alarm,’’ Yeo said.

Generators have also been purchased. Since the utility covers such a large geographic area, a power failure in one part of the resort municipality could cause problems for others and cause overflows.

Removing sludge from the lagoons is another cost the municipality needs to deal with and there is always ongoing maintenance and aging infrastructure.

The utility needs infrastructure in the form of sewer lines, equipment and lagoon facility that services the Seawood Estates and the resort area. These capital expenditures are expected to begin this year and be completed by the end of 2015.

Development of this new common infrastructure is expected to be partially funded through government infrastructure initiatives with the residual amount being financed through a commercial bank loan. This loan is is expected to bear interest around 3.17 per cent with an amortization period of 25 years.

The corresponding debt service costs are expected to be covered, based on an increase in utility rates.

“We’re trying to improve the system and keep it in good working condition. If we have a problem it can be a very serious problem because we have a lot of salt water bays around us.

“The system has to run according to government standards. It’s the simple. In order to run to those standards we need money. It’s been quite a while since (a sewer utility rate) increase.’’

The application for the rate increases is available on IRAC’s website at www.irac.pe.ca/utilities.

Anyone who wishes to comment on the rate increase application is asked to do so no later than Friday, Aug. 8.

dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart

Organizations: Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission

Geographic location: Stanley Bridge, Rustico

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