Amherst still has among lowest water rates in province
Amherst's proposed water rate application has been approved by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board. While water rates are climbing over the next three years, they remain among the lowest in the province.
AMHERST – A plan to supply town water to Maccan has taken another step toward reality.
The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board announced Friday it is approving Amherst’s water rates for three years through 2015-16. The rates include adding Maccan to the town’s water utility for the final year.
“It’s good news that the application has been approved. There are no major increases and it enables to continue to offer what are among the lowest water rates in the province,” Amherst CAO Greg Herrett said Friday.
Under the proposal approved by the utility and review board, water rates will increase by 2.6 per cent in the first year, 4.7 per cent in the second year and 4.1 per cent in the third year. Based on average consumption (5/8-inch metre), quarterly bills will rise to $57.63 in 2013-14, to $60.32 in 2014-15 and $62.90 in 2015-16.
Other metered customers will see increases of between 2.6 and 3.5 per cent in 2013-14, between 5.1 and 7.8 per cent in 2014-15 and between 4.5 and 6.1 per cent in 2015-16.
Unmetered customers will increase by 2.9, 5.8 and 5.2 per cent over the three years.
Water bulk rates will be $1.89, $1.99 and $2.15 per cubic metre each year.
The town announced in January it would be supplying proposed water rates to the board in January with a one-day hearing held in Amherst on April 11. The application was based on a rate study by G.A. Isenor Consulting Ltd in consultation with W.H. Gates Utility Consultants Ltd.
Amherst’s water utility presently serves 3,436 customers. It expects to add 15 customers in the first two years and another 100 by the third year, when Maccan is added to the system.
A capital plan for extending the water system to Maccan still has to be approved by the utility and review board. It’s estimated extending the system will cost about $2.6 million to install. The county will pay for the project, while the water utility will operate the system once in place.
Bringing town water to Maccan will address a longtime concern in the community.