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 Online Poll
Do you support local residents of multi-unit dwellings calling on Kenora council to address high water rates in the city?
No   65     20%
Yes   267     80%
 Total Votes: 332

Comments   Add Your Own
Cathy  ( December 12, 2018)
I am a senior who is paying more than my share of our buildings water use. I do not have the option of “turning off“ a meter in order to save money when I am away. What the City is proposing is to now charge me an exorbitant amount to NOT install a meter, which could have given me the control of my own usage! I will be paying for something I can’t have because our building would need to be torn down in order to install such meters!
concerned citizen  ( December 12, 2018)
Buildings that have multiple units but only one water meter are already paying for their consumption. To charge each unit for a meter they don't have is ridiculous. Existing multi-unit buildings should be grandfathered with any new builds to have separate meters for each unit if that is the will of the city council.
RD  ( December 11, 2018)
I'm not sure of any municipalities that have deliberately acted "in favor" of such an increase be it levy or fees to service infrastructure or property taxation. This is an astronomical increase, unlike a fair expected increase expected yearly to cover expenditures or inflation rate. Most everyone we have spoken with think this is excessive, unsubstantiated (without investing monies for individual meters and shut offs) and a detriment to future development of this kind. Many of these owners or tenants are seniors on very limited income and/or on disability payments. As elected seats in council they should be representing the interests of their citizens fairly with at least some comprise.
pete  ( December 11, 2018)
When water meters are put into each unit the fairness comes to who is using the water. Why should someone have to split the bill when they don't use the water this is so simple and has nothing to do with your rent or anything else the town has supplied all meters and parts.
Concerned resident  ( December 10, 2018)
Please consider the cost of running water & sewer,installing,billing & maintaining a single meter is less than an individual residence. Further more it has been shown that water consumption per unit is less than a regular household.ie washing cars,watering lawns etc. The multi unit buildings have none of the advantages of a single meter.
R. Michael Reynolds  ( December 10, 2018)
A cost for accessing City water is naturally appropriate. For those of us in condos who met City requirements when our building was constructed, the City is now wanting to change the rules, with no consultation or negotiation. An increase of some 1200% is inappropriate, and, most importantly I contend, not everyone's "access" is in fact the same: I already pay for a portion of water consumption whether I use a drop of it or not, and, conserving my water use would essentially not at all change the shared cost for water which I pay. I already pay my portion of water access via a shared monthly charge for the one meter that serves our building and my water gets shut often often, every time someone in the building is dealing with a plumbing issue. For service to almost 40 units, the City only issues one bill, collects one payment, deals with only one customer, and maintains only one meter as well as only a single water and drainage service infrastructure. Accordingly, I submit, the terms and conditions of my water access is fundamentally different from a private residence with its own metered service. I believe the best solution is a negotiated adjustment for access to City water that respects the interests of both the City as well as owners of condos and multi-unit buildings who have thusfar abided by all applicable City requirements (let's arrive at a 'win/win').
LS  ( December 10, 2018)
Expecting multiple families sharing one water service to pay the same or more as individual homes shows how disconnected Kenora city management is from reality, and the rest of the province.
Sallie Hunt  ( December 10, 2018)
If water rates need to be increased, then increase the rates for everyone - make it a true User Pay system. Don't gouge a select group that the City created with fictional facts so that it can avoid raising rates for everyone. These buildings met all building requirements when they were built and should be grandfathered in with any rule changes. If the City can change the rules and then create a specified group to pay extra because of fictitious meters, they can do it to anyone for anything. Every councillor indicated that affordable housing was a stated goal, yet their actions show how little they really care about affordable housing for seniors, for those on fixed incomes, for those work but who still have high rents, and for those living in social housing.
A Senior  ( December 10, 2018)
When these buildings were erected they were in total compliance with city regulations and should be grandfathered under the new policy. Those of us in the non-profit seniors housing have a rent hike immediately in January however the landlords have huge personal costs as they remain compliant with their regulations. Affordable, attractive housing is lacking in Kenora and this is a terrible move with far reaching negative implications
CF  ( December 9, 2018)
The City says that this new plan will bring fairness to the water system for rate payers but they are only targeting multi-unit buildings with four or more units that, at present, only have one meter per building. If fairness is the reason then why aren’t two and three unit buildings and commercial spaces being targeted as well?
This plan was hatched without any thought or research into the negative ramifications for the rental system in Kenora. There are not enough rental units at any price available in the city. Why is that? Why aren’t investors developing new rental units in a market that clearly needs them? Adding a huge increase (600 - 1200% depending on the number of units) in water to that already burdened system will only serve to intensify the problem.
The City and our new council need to take a step back and throughly investigate this issue. If they truly want to help with the housing crisis we are currently suffering from, they will consult with those in the field that understand the problem and find a better solution.