Council approves budgets, rates for municipal utilities

February 21, 2019

Council approves budgets, rates for municipal utilities

On February 19, 2019, the council of the City of Kingston approved the two-year operating budget and four-year capital budgets for its municipally-owned utilities, which include water, wastewater and gas utilities, and an appliance rental business. In addition, council approved the four-year rate schedules for the water and wastewater utilities, two-year rate schedules for natural gas local distribution rates, the federal carbon tax charge, and the Corporation of the City of Kingston Drinking Water Supply System 2019-2023 Financial Plan.

Impact on Residential Bills

  • Water and wastewater: the average monthly water/wastewater residential bill will increase by 3.4 per cent or $3.17 in 2019; by 2.8 per cent or $2.67 in 2020; by 2.7 per cent or $2.58 in 2021; and by 2.0 per cent or $2.00  in 2022 (all based on 16.67 cubic metres monthly usage). Utilities Kingston provides water and wastewater services to more than 37,000 homes and businesses city wide.
  • Gas: the 2.5 per cent increase in the portion of the natural gas bill that represents local distribution costs means that the average residential customer will see a $0.97 increase on their monthly gas bill, effective on March 1, 2019, and a 2.0 per cent or $0.79 increase in 2020. Effective April 1, 2019, a typical residential customer will additionally see an initial monthly increase of approximately $7.78 plus HST for the federal carbon charge. Utilities Kingston provides gas services to approximately 14,000 homes and businesses in central Kingston.

Two-year Operating Budget

A two-year operating budget for the municipal utilities was approved, providing increased certainty in operational planning and improved administrative efficiency. In addition to general inflationary increases, there is an increase in operating expenses as the expanded Cataraqui Bay Wastewater Treatment Facility is brought online at the end of 2019.

For 2019-2020, council approved total operating budgets of $36 million, and $37.3 million respectively, up from $35 million in 2018. This budget includes $14,240,000 for water, $16,436,000 for wastewater, $4,789,000 for gas (excluding commodity charges) and $538,000 for the appliance rental business in 2019; and includes $14,701,000 for water, $17,128,000 for wastewater, $4,895,000 for gas (excluding commodity charges) and $550,000 for the appliance rental business in 2020.

Operating expense increases continue to be driven mainly by inflationary pressures and expected increases as the result of recent facility upgrades.

2019-2022 Capital Budget

Council also approved the four-year capital and financial plans for 2019-2022, which set out the budget for infrastructure construction projects. 

  • Water: $64,789,764
  • Wastewater: $69,073,264
  • Gas: $15,279,264
  • Appliance rental business: $4,500,000
  • Total: $153,642,292

Major projects are focused in the areas of water and wastewater facilities, and pipe networks, as well as natural gas regulating stations and construction. 

Rate Schedules

In accordance with proposed rate schedules, council approved:

  • Rate changes for the water and wastewater utilities for 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022.
  • An adjustment to natural gas local distribution rates for 2019, 2020 and the addition of the federal carbon charge.
  • Rate changes for the miscellaneous charges for water, sewer, and gas utilities and the appliance rental business.

Contact

For further information, contact Randy Murphy, Chief Financial Officer for Utilities Kingston at rmurphy@utilitieskingston.com or 613-546-1181, extension 2317.