CALGARY – Calgarians are facing steep price hikes for water services as the city tries to raise funds for projects related to flood prevention.
While the cost of actual water used will stay the same over the next three years, wastewater fees will rise by almost 52 per cent and stormwater drainage fees will jump by 69 per cent.
The city said Monday rates will fund community drainage projects, such as the Rosemont Drainage Project.
It will twin stormwater pipes that run through communities near Confederation Park, an upgrade that aims to stop homes from being flooded after heavy rainstorms.
“It’s about time that it gets done,” said Leo Hardt, a Rosemont resident who has been dealing with flooding on Rosehill Drive since the 1970s.
Stormwater drainage fees will rise from almost $11/month this year to $18.51/month by 2018 for a one-person household.
“Drainage is something you don’t really think about until things go wrong,” said Druh Farrell, Ward 7 councillor.
“In communities like Rosemont that are seeing some reinvestment in their drainage, they’ve experienced several floods to the point that some homeowners haven’t been able to get home insurance.”
In addition to the upgrades that address local flooding, the drainage rates are increasing to bring infrastructure up to modern standards.
The budget for community infrastructure projects nearly doubled last year, but that $11.5 million/year does not come close to covering the estimated $255 million the city needs to fix all the neighbourhoods that need renovations.
One of the biggest projects on the list is the Sunnyside Community Drainage Project.
The city hopes to have a final study on it by the end of year, and is asking the province for money to help address the neighbourhood’s flooding problems.