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Sewer and Water reserves seen to be inadequate

By Tim Davidson Mar 7, 2023 | 1:00 PM

Kenora Sewer and Water department is expected have about $3.4 million in reserves this year…but that’s not enough.

That’s according to the city’s municipal engineer.

Marco Vogrig says he would be happier with an accumulated surplus of $8 to $10 million so the city doesn’t have to borrow when there are unexpected emergencies.

“This is getting, in my mind, a little critical when we’re looking at the amount of reserves,” Vogrid told city council at their budget meeting last week.

“It’s a bit of an oxymoron when we have almost $3 million in reserves for a Solid Waste department that’s fairly stagnant and we have only less than a million dollars, potentially, in a Sewer and Water department.”

The city will once again be increasing water rates by 3.1 percent this year, but Vogrig says that’s not enough to do all the sewer and water work that needs to be done.

“I would say we’re not in an enviable position in Sewer and Water related to the amount of work that needs to be conducted, to perhaps not only make in-roads into the infrastructure deficit, but just to keep our head above  water.”

Mayor Andrew Poirier is concerned about the continued increases in sewer and water rates and suggests local residents can’t afford to pay any more.

He would like to see the city borrow, and extend the number of years the city has to pay for any sewer and water work.

This year’s Sewer and Water budget will be over $11 million.

(File photo)




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