Winnipeg city authorities taking care of its citizens in many ways and one of them is controlling the utility rates. The constant raise of household bills will make a negative effect on every Winnipegger, future voters. City council voted Thursday to scrap a planned $60 hike for homeowners this year.
The proposed increase and future hikes are needed to pay for wastewater projects, including the estimated $1.8 billion for upgrades at the North End sewage plant.
Winnipeg mayor and a few members of the council say they can’t raise the rates until they get confirmation from other levels of government on funding support for the upgrades.
To remind you, the province’s Public Utilities Board (PUB) announced that natural gas prices would increase from February 1st, 2019.
PUB approved the application of Centra Gas Manitoba Inc. on the rate hike. New tariffs will come up to $0.091 per cubic meter compared to the current $0.083 per cubic meter.
This means an increase of about 2.3 percent or about $16 a year for the average consumer, PUB said.
Natural gas prices are revised quarterly by PUB and next time they will be revised in May of 2019. So the next natural gas price hike will possibly happen in a couple of months.
Bowman announced that the new city budget could feature such an increase in property tax, for reducing $40-million gap which was formed due to the violating of financing agreements by the province government. This increase is 7.1% higher than he promised during the election race.
The mayor noted that the reduction in provincial funding left the city only three options - hike property tax rates, cut planned infrastructure projects or add debt to cover the shortfall.
So the water rates will stay at the same level as we have now throughout 2019.