Flushing, turning on the tap and watering lawns could cost Regina homeowners more in the new year.
Regina city administration has released the proposed 2018 utility budget, and it recommends an increase to the utility rate of two per cent. That works out to roughly $2.70 more a month or $32.37 more a year for the average household.
“This is the lowest utility rate increase for Regina in over a decade,” said City Manager Chris Holden.
In 2018, revenues are anticipated to be $132.8 million while expenses are forecast to be $76 million. A transfer of $49.2 million would be made to the General Utility Fund Reserve and $7.5 million would be made to pay off debt.
A total of $56.3 million would be spent on things such as infrastructure renewal, as well as two key projects. The Trunk Relief Initiative would see $10 million worth of spending and $3 million would be used on the design and construction of the St. Anne’s Park drainage project.
“Service and service levels are maintained. Wastewater and drainage systems are being improved. We are successfully managing growth and we are meeting environmental and regulatory standards,” commented Executive Director of Financial and Corporate Services Barry Lacey on the proposed rate increase.
This year, the utility budget is being unveiled separately from the general budget. During budget deliberations last year, the city originally planned on having a utility rate increase of five per cent to take effect Jan. 1, 2018.
“We’re able to look at things like higher water sales last year due to the hot and dry summer. We were able to look at federal funding that was received for a few projects. Those all make adjustments,” explained Executive Director of Transportation and Utilities Karen Gasmo.
If approved by city council at its Dec. 18 meeting, the rate increase would take effect Jan. 1, 2018.