MULGRAVE: The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (UARB) has greenlit an application from the Town of Mulgrave to increase the cost of water over the next three years.

“We have a big increase in water rates, and I’m not happy with it but I don’t know if there are any other options at this present time,” said Mayor Lorne MacDonald, speaking to The Reporter following council’s October 3 meeting.

The board released its decision on September 27, as a result of a hearing on August 16.

“We’ll have to increase the water rate as of October 1, and next year on April 1. We’ll also be raising it on April 1, 2018,” he said.

The UARB decision will see the annual rate for unmetered residential customers (based upon a quarterly consumption of 13,750 gallons) increase by 17.6 per cent (in 2016/17), 15.5 per cent (2017/18), and 12.3 per cent (2018/19).

“Non-metered is going to be $223 starting out [on October 1],” MacDonald said. “That’s quite an increase from $190. It’s a hard hit.”

For 5/8-inch meter residential customers, based upon average quarterly consumption, the proposed increases for the next three years are 16.4 per cent, 13.9 per cent and 12.8 per cent respectively.

For all other metered customers, based upon the average quarterly consumption of each meter size, the proposed rate increases are between 15 per cent to 20 per cent (2016/17), 11.8 per cent to 18.8 per cent (2017/18), and 11.5 per cent to 13.9 per cent (2018/19).
During council’s October 3 regular meeting, several councillors agreed that Mulgrave’s water rates are now the highest in the province.

CAO Kevin Matheson said only Mahone Bay was in Mulgrave’s league.