Moose Jaw Water Fair Share

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If you live outside of Moose Jaw and your rural water comes from the City be prepared to pay a lot more.

Budget Committee approved a motion to renegotiate the 1996 agreement and see water rates charged to out of town users by 50 percent.

The 50 percent increase or moving from 1.5 times to 2.25 times what a City water user pays is to reflect the capital infrastructure subsidy Moose Jaw property taxes are subsidizing rural water users at.

“The citizens of Moose Jaw have been subsidizing that,” Mayor Frasier Tolmie said.

City Manager Jim Puffalt said the old rates negotiated in 1996 do not reflect Today's realities and costs in providing water to rural customers.

“It’s only fair and reasonable and request a reasonable increase,” Puffalt said. 

Councillor Brian Swanson mentioned he had brought up the issue months earlier especially when it comes to servicing large commercial projects in the RM which do not benefit Moose Jaw's tax base. 

Mayor Tolmie said the initiative was not to punished the RMs but to recognize there is a cost subsidy occurring. 

“They got a year free,” he said.

The measure passed unanimously to have out of town water users pay their fair share. 

With the new rates projected to start on June 1st it will mean a projected extra $100,000 revenue in the Operating Budget. 

In response to the revenues being assigned to the General Revenue and not Waterworks Revenue Councillor Swanson called it inappropriate.

“That’s just smoke and mirrors,” he said. 

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