Residents will still have to pay higher water and sewer rates in 2013.
During Monday’s regular council meeting, the majority of council defeated Coun. Brian Swanson’s motion to rescind the nine per cent water and sewer rates to be implemented effective Jan. 1, 2013.
“I do think it’s time the citizens of Moose Jaw get a breather from the rate increases for water and sewer and no one likes to raise water and sewer rates,” said Swanson. “I don’t think it hurts to take a year off. People have been paying pretty steady … We need to develop a better plan on how we’re going to approach this.”
He said over the past six years, water rates have increased 67.2 per cent and sewer rates have increased 91.5 per cent. On March 28, 2011, council approved a motion to amend the water and sewer rate schedules to reflect nine per cent rate increases for 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
But Mayor Deb Higgins said the city should have more information to address the issue before rescinding rate increases.
“We have a responsibility to prove not only services to the people of this city, but quality services to the people of this city and that includes water,” said Higgins. “To rollback an increase that was put in place a year ago with a long-term plan in place for replacement of these vital services in our community without any additional information … is irresponsible on our part.”
For more information, see an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.