During yesterday's debate, councillor Andrew Poirier emphasized the importance of finding affordable ways to maintain the city's water system.

"I understand it's not something that can be done overnight, but even over the next couple of years, if it is approved in that direction, to begin to see some positive results," he said.

After five years of 10 per cent increases from 2012 to 2017, a lot of ratepayers haven't been in a good mood. Water bills are expected to increase by 5.5 per cent January 1, so the average monthly bill will increase close to $7 to about $134.

Rather than making piece-meal repairs, Poirier says he'd like to create a plan for financing the system over a longer period of time. Since water lines can last 40 or 50 years, Poirier suggests financing them over a longer term can ease the burden on ratepayers.

Staff say some of the water lines under the city are well past their life expectancy, and Poirier would like council to be more aggressive in tackling overdue repairs.

For more information:

Water rate increases easing

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