Citing Billing Errors – Town of Cobourg Suspends Stormwater Billing – For Now

In City Hall, News

LUSI pausing billing distribution after flagging billing errors with Town of Cobourg
The Town of Cobourg and Lakefront Utility Services Inc. (LUSI) would like to inform residents of the temporary suspension of the Town of Cobourg stormwater bills.

As per the Town of Coboug Bylaw 048-2022, stormwater bills are to be issued to the property owner via their monthly utility bill. Following the first two months of stormwater bills, Lakefront
Utility Services informed the Town of issues discovered in certain billing cycles. As part of their commitment to transparent and accurate billing, LUSI has made the recommendation to pause
all stormwater billing until these issues are corrected.

Cobourg property owners can expect stormwater billing to resume in the new year once the necessary adjustments have been made following a comprehensive process review of
stormwater accounts.

Stormwater charges not billed during the temporary suspension will be billed to customers in 2024. LUSI is exploring billing options for 2024 to lessen the impact per individual bill. The Town of Cobourg will provide further notice to all residents in advance of stormwater billings to resume.

About Stormwater:
Stormwater is a form of wastewater whereby rainwater and snowmelt runs off properties and often makes its way through the storm sewer system and/or a stormwater pond before discharging to the environment. Even if water does not directly flow from your property into our stormwater system, all the lands and roads in Cobourg are serviced by stormwater infrastructure. The purpose of stormwater management is to maintain the health of streams, lakes and aquatic life by mitigating the effects of urban development.

About dedicated Stormwater billing:
Past practice in the Town of Cobourg was to fund stormwater infrastructure through property taxes. Through asset management planning it was noted that that Stormwater Management
was under funded and an additional 1.2 million annually was required to properly fund the Town’s stormwater infrastructure.

In June 2022, Cobourg Council adopted a Stormwater Asset Management Plan and approved the implementation of a dedicated funding source for stormwater management, similar to the
full cost recovery system that is in place for water and wastewater assets in Cobourg.

Stormwater fees are based on the type and size of the property, therefore, allowing the Town to apply a more equitable distribution of fees. With this system, more impermeable properties,
such as commercial and industrial lands will be paying a heavier percentage of the costs than low-density residential lands. Therefore, lessening the burden on residential property owners.

Payment Plans Available:
Residents experiencing issues paying their stormwater bills can contact staff at Lakefront Utility Services Inc. at 905-372-2193 to set up a payment plan.

Think Your Property Area is Incorrect?
The Town of Cobourg received all property sizes from MPAC. The appeal process for stormwater rates is related to the property area listed on your MPAC assessment.
If you believe your property size needs to be confirmed, submit a property confirmation request form through the Town website Cobourg.ca/stormwater and a Town of Cobourg staff member
will follow up with you.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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