News

Update on Parrsboro Sewage Rate

In June of this year, Municipal Council committed to the residents of Parrsboro, to have staff undertake eleven steps to improve upon the drastic year-over-year increase in an area sewage rate charge. The following is an update on the status of those eleven steps.

 

Original step for action  Update October 2019 
 1. Base Parrsboro’s per unit sewer charge calculation on previous year's budget, resulting in the deferral of approximately $357,000; These steps were completed in June 2019, with revised bills sent in July 2019 and due August 2019.
 2. Assess properties in the existing service area at the same unit value as the previous year;
 3. Assess unit values to properties with buildings in expanded service area only if hooked-up at time of billing;
 4. Revise Parrsboro 2019/20 per unit sewer charge from $957 to $575;
 5. Continue to charge a flat rate of $50 for vacant land and buildings not connected in the existing and new service areas;
 6. Request financial assistance from Municipal Affairs re: debt costs resulting from market value increase of construction over original budget;  A letter was sent to the Minister of Municipal Affairs requesting transferring transition funding to help cover the debt costs and also requesting that the Minister act on behalf of the Municipality at the federal level to request additional funding.
 7. Develop a capital funding policy to identify how future infrastructure projects are to be funded;  The finance department is working on gathering information and best practices on a capital funding policy.
8. Develop a communications and public engagement strategy for future infrastructure projects; Strategies will be implemented for future projects.All staff have been reminded of the importance of communication with residents and all efforts are being made to be more proactive in communications.
9. Develop one by-law for all county owned sewer systems;

Engineering staff have been working on reviewing all existing sewer by-laws and composing one combined document.

To have a new by-law in effect, the following process must occur:

  • Municipal Council gives first reading at a public council meeting
  • A notice of public hearing is given
  • The public hearing of the by-law is held
  • Municipal Council gives second reading at a public council meeting
  • The by-law must then be adopted by Municipal Council
  • After advertisement in a local newspaper, the by-law is considered in effect
10. Reassess all sewer system service areas based on revised by-law;  This will occur once a new by-law is in effect.
11. Advise property owners in writing of their sewer assessment, appeal process by December 31st, 2019. Once the by-law is in effect, all residents will receive a letter with their new unit assessment and information on how to appeal the assessment.