On Monday night, Moose Jaw City Council passed all three readings of an amendment to the Sewer and Water Utility Bylaw to pave the way for the 2024 water and sewer rate increases. 

During budget deliberations last month, city council agreed to a four per cent waterworks utility rate increase and a four per cent sanitary sewer utility rate increase. 

Councillor Heather Eby said the funds from the utility rates go towards more than what meets the eye. 

“I think it’s so important that everyone remembers that this isn’t just about the water that comes out of your tap or the water that goes down our drain. It’s about everything that gets that water to your house and away from your house,” said Eby. 

The rate increase will go towards funding capital renewal projects for sewers and waterworks. 

The city has a few major waterworks projects on the go, including upgrading the Crescent View Lift Station. The Crescent View Lift Station upgrades are expected to cost the city about $27 million over the next three years. 

Eby said infrastructure projects like this cannot happen without utility rate increases. 

“We have very few options on how to fund it, so as unpopular as this is, I really feel that it would be more unpopular to leave those repairs and upgrades for future generations,” she said. 

The rate increases are expected to increase the average property owner’s utility bills by $5.35 per month or $64.20 annually.