Stormwater Billing to Resume February 2024 in Cobourg

In City Hall, Local

Customers requiring more time to pay stormwater charges are asked to contact LUSI

The Town of Cobourg and Lakefront Utility Services Inc. (LUSI) would like to inform residents that Stormwater Management charges will resume February 2024.

As per the Town of Cobourg Bylaw 048-2022, stormwater bills are to be issued to the property owner via their monthly utility bill. In December, Lakefront Utility Services informed the Town of
issues discovered in certain billing cycles. As part of their commitment to transparent and accurate billing, LUSI made the recommendation to pause all stormwater billing until these
issues could be corrected. Following a comprehensive review, accounts have now been reconciled and tested and billing is scheduled to resume in February 2024.

Annual stormwater rates are calculated per hectare of property and divided evenly over the 12 months of the year. Stormwater rates are not billed based on water or hydro usage and are
listed as a separate fee on customer billing. The February stormwater bill will reflect all unbilled stormwater charges to date. March 2024 billing will begin the return to regular monthly billing.

Payment Plans Available:
The Town of Cobourg and LUSI recognize that the first stormwater bill of 2024 will be higher than anticipated. In response, all interest on overdue stormwater amounts will be waived until
June 2024. Customers requiring more time to pay stormwater charges are asked to call Lakefront Utility Services Inc. at 905-372-2193 to make payment arrangements.

Council to Review Stormwater Charges

At the Wednesday January 31, 2024, Regular Council Meeting, Council passed a motion advising staff engage Stormwater Management consultants, Watson & Associates to review
the stormwater rate study and report back to Council with alternative approaches. Council has also asked staff to review the impact of a $200.00/year residential cap on Stormwater charges
as recommended by a resident delegation to Council. The timing of this review process is currently unknown; however, the Town of Cobourg will continue to keep residents updated on
any changes to stormwater billing.

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.

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 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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