Kenora city council is being asked to review how it calculates water costs for multi-residential buildings like condos or apartments.
Wes Siemens owns several buildings and says the new system that was implemented three years ago has resulted in much higher water costs.
“I’m not asking that we have to be the cheapest, but we can’t be double,” Siemens told city council during a deputation this week at the Committee of the Whole meeting.
“Before this whole billing model came in, my building would pay $250 per month for an actual meter costs, so about $3,000 a year. After the new rate structure came into effect, my costs jumped to $21,000”.
Siemens says the city is out of line compared to the rest of the communities in the region and even across Canada.
He gives an example of a new 57 unit seniors complex being built by the Kenora District Services Board.
“If they built that same building in Dryden, their water costs would be $34,000 a year cheaper per year, to operate that building in Dryden for water than it is in Lakeside.”
Under the new billing system, instead of charging building owners the amount of water they use, each unit in the building has to pay a flat fee plus water usage.
The rates have been phased in over three years, with this being the third year of the phase-in.