The great debate over your water rates at City Hall on Friday ended with a unanimous to delay the vote until May.
The Water and Waste department wants to increase rates by nine per cent in 2016, with similar increases also planned for 2017 and 2018.
The hike would force an average family of four to pay $23 more on their quarterly bills.
The city hall committee responsible for water and waste took tough questions from several delegates including a pair of city councillors.
St. Boniface councillor Matt Allard opened the committee and argued that there hasn’t been enough time to review the report. He also wasn’t happy with the three year deal and suggested the increases should be voted on every year.
Transcona councillor Russ Wyatt took it a step further suggesting the committee not even vote on it and in an unlikely turn of events, he got his way.
Another one of the big questions is exactly what this new revenue would be used for.
City staff and some councillors say most of it would go to upgrades for the sewer system but some would also be used to fix roads.
That’s not sitting well with the Manitoba government. The province says the city should have to go through the Public Utilities Board to get a huge rate increase like this approved. Crown corporations like Manitoba Hydro have to get their proposed rate increases approved by the PUB.
Manitoba Conservation Minister Tom Nevakshonoff says the idea of jacking up rates to pay for roads is “shameful”.
This proposal, along with proposed increases to property taxes and frontage fees all still need city council approval before taking effect.