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Water bills going up, up, up - annually, for years to come!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013   by: Darren Taylor

There will be a flood of rising water rates for Sault Ste. Marie PUC customers beginning this year.

PUC Inc. Vice President of Operations and Engineering Dominic Parella informed city council Monday water rates will rise by 10 percent beginning in 2013 and keep going up by that amount for the next five years.

Then they will continue rising by another 5 percent for five years annually beginning in 2018.

That’s a total increase of 75 percent.

Parella said the increases are necessary in order to replace aging water mains city wide.

Parella told council the average lifespan of cast iron water mains is about 70 years, and many of those will need to be replaced in coming years. 

Parella said “a significant amount” of water main work will need to be done, especially in the period from 2019 to 2030, when an estimated five kilometres of water mains will need to be replaced annually.

After 2030, it is estimated 15 kilometres of water mains will need to be replaced each year.

Parella said water main replacement “will become an issue in the future, but we’re not quite there yet.”

The price tag for replacement of one kilometre of water mains is about $1 million.

Between $5 million and $15 million will need to be put aside by the PUC annually for the next 30 years for water main replacement.

Basic water rate charges per month for 2013 are $19.87.

PUC customers will then be charged 45 cents per cubic metre of water for the first 15 cubic metres of water used monthly, followed by a charge of $1.30 per cubic metre for the next 250 cubic metres used per month. 

Ninety-five cents per cubic metre will then be charged for further water consumption beyond that mark.

Still, Parella emphasized Sault Ste. Marie is one of the lower cost municipalities in Northern Ontario in terms of water bills.

On another note, Parella reported to council that the PUC is strictly adhering to Section 19 of the Safe Drinking Water Act, which came into effect January 1, 2013.

The Act can slap heavy fines (up to $4 million) and up to five years in prison for violations, and applies “to those with decision making authority over municipal drinking water systems.”

He reported that 160,000 Sault water samples are collected and tested annually at a Thunder Bay testing facility to ensure Sault Ste. Marie drinking water is considered acceptable.

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
elanjoe 1/8/2013 1:07:29 PM Report

I see a surge in well sales coming.
Lo-Cal 1/8/2013 1:14:42 PM Report

Sorry but between City Taxes that are way out of control and now the utilities rising no wonder this town cannot grow its cheaper by way of taxes and utilities to live in OAKVILLE ... and there at least the streets are clean and beautified no pot holes and the city workers arent seen at Mcdonalds at 8:10 am right after their start of shift.

Can the whack of them and contract it all out people cannot sustain these constant increases with all the wage freezing and unemployment....

Comon Debbie reduce the tax rate for SERVICES ACTUALLY GIVEN ...

PUC is increasing the rates to pay for the 20 gallons of chlorine they use per gallon to so called disinfect the water ....

Im disgusted !
NOS2002 1/8/2013 1:16:29 PM Report

well they have to pay off that new shiny building somehow...
beak 1/8/2013 1:18:32 PM Report

So I would love to get everyone's involvement here

Please post an idea on how we can save 5-15 million to replace the water mains -

I have one !!!!


it is currently getting built...

Unkle Kracker 1/8/2013 1:22:03 PM Report

""Still, Parella emphasized Sault Ste. Marie is one of the lower cost municipalities in Northern Ontario in terms of water bills.""

My water charge was $46 dollars last month, I find Parella's statement had to swallow.............yes much like our water.
book-end 1/8/2013 1:24:18 PM Report

This will sink the person on a pension or any fixed income. This on top of the allowed rent increases and the already skyrocketing electric rates, and I may be mistaken but, isn't the increase on a ODSP cheque about 1% per year ? Way to go PUC and city council... guess some will be buying good sleeping bags , so they won't freeze while sleeping on the street.
Truck 1/8/2013 1:24:34 PM Report

From the PUC right to our city coucil...none have acted in the best interest of the people of the Soo....our rates are going up, our service is getting worse....this Parella guy seems to think we should all understand!! All I understand is that this is what happens when the service provider is the only "game in town" it doesn't matter what their customer thinks....we just grin an bear it! Our Mayor should be ashamed!! Same with our council.
This is it 1/8/2013 1:24:48 PM Report

I say it's time to start protesting! Everyone else is time for saultites to stand up and fight for what is right. Giving away a hundred thousand and then raising our rates three times that of inflation? Something stinks worse then our water. Come on Deb time to stand up for the little guy.
teancrumpets 1/8/2013 1:34:23 PM Report

So happy to no longer live in Sault Ste. Marie. Love my country air, well water & low taxes.
plasparks1 1/8/2013 1:35:49 PM Report

I can't afford what i pay now and they want more again.with new building and donating money they should be able to keep maintinance up not let it all rot then cry to us
yes wait ago
Wal 1/8/2013 1:45:10 PM Report

with the high price of electric bills for electricity now they want to up the price of water consumption, we pay over 400.oo a month it the winter this year it has only hit 396.00 so far and it hasn't been that cold yet. people are not going to be able a ford to buy houses and pay electric bills like we do thats why we are despretly thinking of selling. how much more is the P,U.C going too be allowed to hit us for money? they need to put a stop to it.
Really?? 1/8/2013 1:45:48 PM Report

I agree, it's time City Council be beld accountable for their role in this!! How much is the city chipping in on that nice new building??? Why do they need all that fancy glass?? What would be the problem with a simple square brick building??

City council has sat back and done nothing in regards to the contraversal $100 thousand donation made to AUC, and are now going to sit back and let PUC raise our rates a whopping 10% per year???

Some posters are right, living in this city is getting less and less desirable with how expensive it is!! The cost to live here seems to increase significantly every year, yet our roads are among the worst I've ever seen!! Almost daily, I'm reading about power outages, yet it's gonna cost us more for the same shitty infrastructure??

I drove by a couple of PUC trucks yesterday in the area of Elmwood Ave!! There was a couple of the heavy trucks, one with a guy in the basket working up high, then there were three guys standing on the ground watching him, and the best part, a PUC pick-up truck with not one, but two guys sitting in it with the motor idling!!

The junior man on that crew was probably making $20.00 per hour, so how much was that costing us???

We can't elect who's running these entities, but we do elect the ones at City Hall who are sitting back letting this shit happen!!

If's funny how Frank Fata got on here earlier and posted how well council is getting along!! That's because they are all a bunch of candy asses who don't have a back bone to speak up against shit like this!!

Rowswell may have been a hard ass at times, but at least he wasn't afraid to hold people accountable!!

There is one thing I can guarantee, and that is Frank Fata and Marchie Bruni will each have one less vote cast for them next election!!!
Ricatoni 1/8/2013 1:47:37 PM Report

Time to move out of this over priced city.........time to move to the outskirts with a well and lower taxes.
The best part is that people just continue paying and sheep led to the slaughter....Idiots that we are.Its time for some civil unrest. For guys like this parrela he dont care hes probably taking 160,000 a year in wages 3 to 4 times what a normal working person earns...... you can have my house you idiots..... Im done with all this crap. Im city idiots can kiss my money good bye.......
Mr. Boboliona 1/8/2013 1:58:07 PM Report

Poor PUC. They must be hurting to need to raise rates. Too bad they didn't have an extra $100,000.00 lying around.
rione 1/8/2013 2:11:27 PM Report

I thought the water delivery service charges on everyones monthly PUC bill are suppossed to cover infrastructure upgrades? I guess we'll have to pay for it multiple times over.

Our electricity went up, our water is going up, wages are being frozen and are quality of water has gone down. Does this make sense? Why should we pay more for a poorer product?

This is the problem with a monopoly!!!!
TankGirl 1/8/2013 2:11:28 PM Report

They have known for 70yrs these pipes would need replacing and this money should have been factored in over that time so the consumer would never have felt an impact like this.

Terrible management at the PUC. Parrella should be FIRED!
whitefeathers 1/8/2013 2:14:15 PM Report

We agree with both Taylor & Ricatoni 101% about PUC costs.
whitefeathers 1/8/2013 2:15:39 PM Report

Thank you Tankgirl. You go girl.
zartan 1/8/2013 2:17:44 PM Report

Just tell puc you no longer require their water service and handle your own water and sewage; 5 gallon buckets and a pick up truck and you won't have to contribute to maintaining the infrastructure. Problem solved,
you're welcome.
The Freq 1/8/2013 2:18:07 PM Report

Well, it looks like my wife and I will each have to get second jobs to pay for all this wonderful PUC greed. I think it's totally wrong to build a new PUC building and then have them say we need new sewers. Sewers first no? I think the day of the outhouse is coming back. :-)
whitefeathers 1/8/2013 2:23:42 PM Report

To save on water first we need a waterwitch, vein of water, lots of our own pipes, a drill bit, brigs stratton motor and big piece chain. And go for it.
whitefeathers 1/8/2013 2:27:24 PM Report

Oh yes, plus you need 50 gallons regular gasoline for motor. Plus 2 Five gallon shiny tin pails.
Tom_Bom 1/8/2013 2:39:38 PM Report

I'm buying a water cooler with those big jugs. In 5 years, it will be cheaper.
Number One Son 1/8/2013 2:43:10 PM Report

The city won't let you drill a well on your property, but you do have an alternative. You could have rain water and snow melt from your house fed into a holding tank. Install a duplicate water system in your house to have this water pumped in your house through a filter and use it for washing clothes and flushing toilets etc, .... not for consumption. Laundry, toilets etc. use the majority of or water. This system would be relatively in-expensive and easy to install.
opinionated 1/8/2013 2:51:42 PM Report

This is more like a 100% increase! Work out the numbers, you don't simply add 10 % each year, that's compounded (at least its made to sound like that).

$50 water bill turns into over $100 after the ten years!
Clean Crazy Cleaning Service 1/8/2013 2:52:56 PM Report

my water coming out of my taps tastes like a cup fresh from John Rhodes, every second home on my street has a water main that has blown in their lawns or driveways that have the traditional crappy shovel and slap patch job (including mine, that they only half finished 2 years ago with promise to come back and finish their job) to pay for a big shiny new building and new puc trucks. Stop screwing with stuff puc and fix the real problems. Geee I wonder whose idea it was to quickly build a new office building before taking the money to fix the pipes!!
irishfey 1/8/2013 2:53:05 PM Report

Hats off to zartan and friq...ohhh i so agree with you. I had an outhouse built that would put indoor bathrooms to shame,lol... Country living?? hmmmm,, Have some cows, couple beef cattle, some chickens, few pigs , a huge garden, a well with a pump in the house,, like what more do you need?? All good healthy food and water at half the expence. Your kids might not like the "" extra "" work, but it would get their eyes unglued from the t.v. etc. I encourage all the younger generation to start their plans of making this their first home,, and the drive to work to the smog infested city can be so peaceful.... bon fires at night, fishing , hunting on your own land.. hmmm, can"t do this stuff in Town! Things are going to get worse.. food prices, higher taxes etc. and it"s not even safe to go for a walk at night anymore! Go for a walk on an old Country road in the evening, guided by the light of the moon, the only thing that might jump out at you may be a Rabbit,lol [ there"s supper ] Just something to think on folks!!
irishfey 1/8/2013 2:56:14 PM Report

Opps,, sorry,, i forgot to add the "" woodstove ""... power goes out??? no big deal,,, so toasty warm and the smell of Rabbit stew cooking,, yum, yum lol
garllic 1/8/2013 3:05:07 PM Report

People on fixed income cannot keep up with these high rates.They never should have built that new building what a waste of money that is.Can anybody stop the puc from doing this. Is there no law to help us?
cooper2006 1/8/2013 3:05:48 PM Report

@ Beak

Actually...the new building cost 23 MILLION, but who is counting....

The PUC applied to the OEB to increase electricity rates to cover increased costs to cover new assets of 45 million dollars, of which $23M is the new building!

Our electricity rates are actually increasing by 9%, but they are using one time temporary funding to offset this cost. Our rates WILL GO UP IN 2014! read the application made to the OEB.....
whitefeathers 1/8/2013 3:16:36 PM Report

Number One Son and Irishfey to you both what if we have too many more dry summers and less snow as is already, happening next option is Country life coming around the corner for the meek and mild persons again.

PS Hard working to life but healthy living.

PSS If you have a place already started your half way there.....

Oh yes, Rabbit stew is good but Moose/fish are better and goes a woodstove.
Berty 1/8/2013 3:16:39 PM Report

Parella will probably get a raise for working this deal!!!
People have to start standing up for decisions that affect them.
Nowadays, Full Time jobs are very slim to none! I really feel bad for our younger generation. But yet we all sit here and do nothing about it.
From Harper, to McGunty, to City Taxes, to PUC...we might as well hand them our pay checks!!! Let them fight over it!
ofrex 1/8/2013 3:36:35 PM Report

Well you might as well raise it, Puc been to busy donating money now and building Taj Mah halls to worry about people on \pension, but then cant really blame Puc because it is the city that actually oversees it...........
murcor 1/8/2013 3:46:07 PM Report

Maybe Parella should be the one going to jail.
Just Curious 1/8/2013 3:50:04 PM Report

Wish I still had my cottage/home in Goulais,would be moving out there as soon as the snow goes and staying there this time. Makes me kinda glad I'm coming to the end of my race,used to love the Soo and was planning on coming back after my procedures down here but now maybe not...
ThinkAgain 1/8/2013 4:10:32 PM Report

Sounds like Algoma U may get another $100,000.00 donation soon
right wing 1/8/2013 4:16:41 PM Report

Would it ever be refreshing to read something based on facts and an educated position instead of reading the same regurgitated moot points.
whitefeathers 1/8/2013 4:28:11 PM Report

If anyone isn't Happy with any of the facts and information on this site please don't read.!! TY
happy camper 1/8/2013 4:30:08 PM Report

I would like to know who owns the puc . If it is owned by the city or the city is the sole share holder then it belongs to the city , and if the city owns it who owns the city is it the tax payer? If it is the tax payer then isnt the tax payer entitled to have some say in what goes on with the city and puc? If so where is the profit moneys going to? Is it city hall? If so are they into profit shareing ? If so can the tax payers get some of this profit shareing money? Any answers or am I out to lunch?
right wing 1/8/2013 4:37:04 PM Report


Hahahahahahaha....thanks, that was funny!
I'm In 1/8/2013 5:22:25 PM Report

Here is my thought alot you on this site get a PUC bill every month, there is only one way to boycott this increase, don't pay it, if we all stick together, what are they going to do cut us off, just look at "idle no more" they mean business and so should we, because I can tell you every one that works in the private/public sector will have their wages frozen over the next 2 to 3 years.
Forever Soo 1/8/2013 5:26:27 PM Report

Why can't the city issue tenders to the private sector to do the work? Right off the bat, labour costs would be cut by at least 80 % (all 5 of crew working instead of one working & 4 watching him/her).
Canadien 1/8/2013 5:36:12 PM Report

They tried to do this in Windsor. They were going to hike our rates by 86% right after they hiked them some 30% a few years earlier. We had enough. We all started calling our city councillors. It was also election time. The one councillor leading the charge was turfed from office.Unfortunately we are stuck with fixed charges and sewer surcharges and that's what they use to increase our rates. There are other ways of finding efficiencies. But our cities are now fortresses. We have the same problem with our PUC. Unable to get answers from anyone. The politicians have become our enemies and the poor person trying to make ends meet can no longer do it.
irishfey 1/8/2013 5:48:25 PM Report

ok.. right wing... we are all waiting for your facts and your educated opinions on all of this..... hmmmm,.... thats what i thought!...
whitefeathers 1/8/2013 5:52:01 PM Report

Well lets just realize that it's coming down to (Country life) or living in the city with no water or heat. The low-income people will have to choose heat or food not both. This will effect the building's structure with out heat which in turn will put people lives in danger.

No question......


PS Maybe everyone's wages should be frozen and start again, then there will be no Low, Average or High incomes all equal, no more fighting....
TankGirl 1/8/2013 5:54:16 PM Report

I posted this once already and I'm saying it again.

They have known for 70yrs these pipes would need replacing and this money should have been factored in over that time so the consumer would never have felt an impact like this.

Terrible management at the PUC. Parrella should be FIRED! Kick his A€$ to the curb!
j.r.98 1/8/2013 7:09:39 PM Report

My water consumption costs were $2.87
My sewage charge was 20.93.
My electrical charge was $60.70
My PUC bill total was $139.94
l work at least 5 hours every month just to pay fees and charges such as "basic service charge", "Delivery charge" and "regulatory charges"
Delivery costs were almost half of what my household consumption of electricity was and so i think that with the PUC collecting more than $50.00 every month in fees and/or charges, multiplying that by about 34,000 households in this city i came up with about $1'700'000.00 every month , JEEZ... i work at least 60 hours a week just to own my own home in the west end. l barely make it as it is and now this.....On my salary i needed to take on a 30 year mortgage. As i see it my PUC Bill is already more than 50% of my mortgage every month.
l don't even want to take a look at my heating bill!!!!
Luke1984 1/8/2013 7:18:14 PM Report

I smell bullshit. Perhaps the increase in costs is to pay for their beautiful new building on Second Line. But the taxpayer always eats it, right?
Ricatoni 1/8/2013 8:06:50 PM Report

The problem is us and them the 1% rich versus the 99% not rich .... I ask you all who should win this battle????
should money and power run our lives???
Or should the people have a say in how we live our lives????
Its time to stand up people enough is enough.....
This is simply power and money 1% dictating to you the 99% how YOU will live ........get it!!!!!Dictatorship!!!!!!!!
Ricatoni 1/8/2013 8:10:44 PM Report

TankGirl 1/8/2013 5:54:16 PM Report

I posted this once already and I'm saying it again.

They have known for 70yrs these pipes would need replacing and this money should have been factored in over that time so the consumer would never have felt an impact like this.

Terrible management at the PUC. Parrella should be FIRED! Kick his A€$ to the curb!

I dont usually see things the same as tank girl: LOL.... however she is totally right about this .were is the money Curran and Parrella??? maybe we should be getting some lawyers looking into this??? I smell a cover up here !!!!were is the money boys????
northerngentleman 1/8/2013 8:43:35 PM Report

If the sewage charge is equal to your water consumption charge does that mean we will be paying 20% more. I'm 68 and was hoping to retire this year but I guess between tax hikes & PUC hikes I'll have to work til I'm 80. I guess 50 years in the work force is not enough. My kids want to move home but I tell them they can't afford to live in the Sault. Thank you our great white fathers
Firefly7 1/8/2013 9:00:46 PM Report

What was wrong with the old PUC building apparently the heating was replaced in this building not too long ago I agree with the other readers the money should have been used for infastructure not an unnecessary building which apparently is way over budget already($43mil). Paying more for this water is ridiculous you can't even drink it -been buying bottle water ever since they changed it and still have chlorine in my body from washing in it and breathing it- spoke to someone that tests water and they said it's way over the limits. Maybe the PUC should buy us all water filters so we don't have to bath and wash dishes in chlorine or smell the stench of chlorine thru our homes every time you turn on the tap - they should be charged for murder as that's what they're doing killing us. City council is useless as they let this all happen - this town is a dump - there is no pride from council to make this city a nice place to live - they should all be fired & I'm positive that there are PUC employees that don't have to drink the water as they don't live in town. It is definitely time to take action. We can't take this anymore. We voted for council and should be able to get rid of them all.
missadie41 1/8/2013 9:20:15 PM Report

As usual the old boys club is turning a blind eye...I have complained to PUC and EVERY city councillor in this city about the water and how since they have changed it to the oh so wonder alternative my skin itches and my water smells like l live in the John Rhodes Center.I still have a copy of every one of their replies..I should post them..what a joke! I am really considering leaving this city and moving to my camp. I thought the reasoning the PUC tried to feed us was the new process for water treatment was supposed to be a cheaper way to treat the water...but yet not long ago our water costs just went up, can someone please explain that to me because it makes no sense to me....I am beginning to become very jaded about the way this city operates and how sad it that?
tronx 1/8/2013 9:22:36 PM Report

I'm sure no one is interested in facts or comparisons to other provinces, but just in case

These increases are not isolated to our community, it's nation wide. Sorry to interject facts to the PUC witch hunt.

Average volumetric rates for water and sewer are on the rise

As in previous survey cycles, average residential water and sewer rates were calculated for various levels of consumption (10 m3/month, 25 m3/month and 35 m3/month). Chart 5 shows the average volumetric rates for water and sewer services at these consumption levels. The 2006 results are included for comparison. At a consumption level of 25 m3/month (approximately the average consumption of a three-person household), volumetric rates rose by 24% over the period from 2006 to 2009, from $42.91 to $53.39. As Chart 5 illustrates, average rates rose more sharply at higher levels of consumption.
TankGirl 1/8/2013 9:23:58 PM Report

Everyone is worried about "their" money when it involves Aboriginals but, here we are with less comments on this story and barely any demands for accountability on a CITY owned corporation that directly provides a service that YOU pay for monthly and yet, see know profit shares or "donations" in return. WAKE UP PEOPLE!

(I used "their" in quotes because I don't agree but, is the terminology used by many when discussing treaty funds)

kjw79111 1/8/2013 9:26:54 PM Report

hey other than our personal ramifications this may cause, the puc needs to look at other options, as the domino effect will have a distinct effect on everything we do, restaurants , stores, and most effected is small businesses. We already have a problem with ma and pa operations in the soo, and this will just put them under the table. As someone who likes to have a nice lawn and garden in the summer and save extra money just to pay the extra costs including the almost doubled water consumption are going to be no more.
Sam C 1/8/2013 9:33:10 PM Report

Some of you crack me up!

You gripe that the PUC isn't doing enough to replace aging electrical infrastructure. Then when you see a crew out doing just that, you complain about how many workers were there, and that two were sitting in a running truck warming up.

Now that the PUC has announced plans to replace aging water infrastructure, you're balking at the fact that it will cost millions.

Water is delivered to our homes at a fraction of the actual cost. These increases will bring what we pay more in line with the cost, and give the PUC money to replace the infrastructure (which, btw, is likely part of the reason for the taste issues).
TankGirl 1/8/2013 9:34:34 PM Report

Tronx - the article you are sharing your facts under states the reason for the increased fees are due to aging infrastructure. This aging process was known from the day the pipes were put in 70yrs ago. Any knowledgable and diligent manager/vice president/president knew this all along and never bothered to do anything about it until now which is not the consumers fault or problem. The public trusts a Corporation owned by the City has enough eyes on it that something like this at the worst economic time in my and other generations would have been dealt with wisely and timely to prevent the increases just announced.

These increases are absurd, untimely and a blatant disregard for the majority of consumers who they well know can't absorb further costs such as this.

And to defend the increases they say we are still cheaper than other municipalities like that somehow justifies it is insulting to our intelligence.

People need to stand up and call "bull$h!t" on this one and fast.
TankGirl 1/8/2013 9:36:51 PM Report

Really Sam? Disappointing.
kjw79111 1/8/2013 9:40:42 PM Report

i here this "cheaper than other communities,,,,, what are these other communities, Wawa, Cheapleau, Hurst,??? if doing by comparision what are they being compaired to?
Longlake 1/8/2013 9:51:14 PM Report

This huge increase is an insult to the taxpayers. Surely past administration knew about the timeline and funding required to replace old watermains.

In the space of one year the PUC has managed to spend 23 million on a new building, donate $100M of our money to AUC, completely botch the water file so that the water now tastes like crap, and now blatantly announce a rate hike fax exceeding the average taxpayer's ability to pay!

It's time to put the pressure on city hall and PUC administration, lets not let them get off the hook so easily. No way that a guy who messed up the water file so badly should have been appointed chairman.
scotty2hotty13 1/8/2013 9:59:28 PM Report

So they build a new building that they did not need,nor did any of us want them to build,they screw with the best tap water around,and now are raising our water rates? The money that could have been saved on the building and chlorinated tap water could have replaced the aging water mains,no?
tryagain63 1/8/2013 10:05:50 PM Report

Just curious, every time you hear of problems with the water they tell you to run your water for 15 minutes...who is suppose to pay for this....when we buy a product from a store and it doesn't work we go back to the store and get a do we go to get a refund for our PUC and city council...if these elected people are suppose to represent the voice of the people that vote them in...then whose voice are they listening to...i guess i should have listened to my parents when they said beware of those that tell you what you want to hear...i am not saying there aren't problems, but one guy working and several others looking on says that maybe there is not enough work to employ all those some and save the consumer some money by not having to pay their wage -
caper 1/8/2013 10:29:17 PM Report

It's another item where our service providers in the public domain keep managing as if there is a never ending pool of dollars available to them unlike in the private sector.

It's that way at the PUC and at City Hall where we have a lame duck council afraid to hold anyone accountable or perhaps they collectively don't have the smarts!

Everyone looks at the rate of water consumption but our fixed cost of the sewage charge and the basic service charge which by the way is going up by $1.80 per month make up a significant portion of our cost.

These fixed ongoing costs to us which is a steady stream of income for the PUC, one would have thought was being placed into reserves for the purpose of upgrading the infrastructure such as replacing the 70 year old water lines.

To me this is another indication of poor management
and misguided sense of priorities...a brand new office building ahead of the infrastructure.
buddyjewel 1/8/2013 10:31:11 PM Report

Funny how this financial shortfall came to light after council appoved the construction of their new building. Would the new PUC building been approved had council been made aware of the upcoming shortfall? Would PUC have to scale down the size of their building if the public was made aware funds were needed for future infrastructure shortfalls?
When you are looking for money I guess timing is everything!
harry dick 1/9/2013 1:13:29 AM Report

to start with , the writer , sam c states that the bad taste of the water is probably due to the old pipes. was he asleep in 2012? we had some of the best drinking water in the country until the puc changed the way of disinfecting it. to make more money , they took the way the big cities disinfect their water. it is a cheaper way , therefore more money in the puc's pocket.that is proof enough that these are BUSINESS PEOPLE. they couldn't give a tinker's damn about the people in this city , or what we think about their plans. again, these are BUSINESS PEOPLE. they are paid to make MORE PROFIT than last year, no matter what it takes. this was once a quiet little city that helped each other, but since the provincial government privatized electricity and water systems , big business has moved in and will continue to gouge the consumers as much as they can to make as much profit as the market will bear. the law states that if the water line runs past your house , you have to pay a monthly rate for it , even if you do not use water from it.the law was instututed when the water system was installed many years ago, and everyone was on well water.that law should be repealed and the saving passed on to the consumer. that would equal about $18.00 a month. think of it by itself, every house in the city is paying around 18:00 a month for absolutely nothing . it is pure profit in the puc's pockets.
and the people that said about country living, try to find affordable land in the country. it is not easy.
sad to say it ,but they have us over a barrel!!!!
tdottothec 1/9/2013 1:17:24 AM Report

I was talking to a worker that did installations of some of the lighting in the new Puc building. Did u know that hey spent 120 000 on the one large chandelier in the front entrance.

Now my bill goes higher.
Grace 1/9/2013 6:03:42 AM Report

You know whay I find funny...all these complaints yet Monday night council meeting the chamber was void of all those that are complaining in these posts and yet PUC was the topic two times that night!
cooper2006 1/9/2013 7:21:11 AM Report


52% of the rate increase for electricity was for the NEW BUILDING, while 48% was for infrastructure! same with water!

Come on you know this, check your rate app(s) when you go to work this morning!

rocky312 1/9/2013 8:41:15 AM Report

Unbelievable. Did this fellow running PUC not know about these projected costs at the time he authorized the donation of taxpayers $$$ to AUC? Where is the accountability to the taxpayer? I am embarrassed that city council really believes they are working in the city's best interest. I would bet if people were to contact the old bull Manzo and get behind him on this one, we might get some answers and action.
There will be a lot of brown grass in the Sault in coming years, and not just because of our brown drinking water. ( council must have pretty well ignored those complaints as well as I still smell like a rusty nail while showering some mornings).
Can any parents really see their kids coming back to the city after universtiy. I'm sure lots will be considering moving to where the kids are instead in years to come.
habsfan 1/9/2013 10:02:16 AM Report

One year ago i sold my home on Shannon rd because i could no longer afford the taxes and puc rates that were being charged in the city. I bought a house in Goulais and here is the difference. I am on a well that costS ABOUT 1 HUNDRED DOLLARS a year for filters. My taxes went from 4300.00 a year to 650.00
The savings in taxes alone pays for the wood i burn, the gas back and forth to town and my insurance for my house and cars. I live a country life and it is so relaxing. I feel everyones pain but the only way to stop the madness is either move or stand up in council chambers. But i will bet that as soon as that happens you will be treated like Manzo and will probably be removed. I wonder if PUC will have a Open House to show that they really have the residents best interest at heart. Doubt it. Another thing that bothers me is if they have plans to change all these pipes, aren't they under the roads and dont they do this already when they redo a road like Shannon rd. Oh ya, that cost me 3000.00 when they redid that road. All in all, you will never win as long as you keep paying. Ya, i might be a Gouligan but i am not controlled by spineless people who you vote in to represent you and are supposed to protect you. Good Luck Saultites in your battle with corporate Canada.
habsfan 1/9/2013 10:48:27 AM Report

Let's take a look at your tax dollars at work.
Whats with the beeping intersection crosswalks. What do those cost for the 5 blind people in the sault.
Pine St extension. Nothing was mentioned about Second Line reconsrtuction at the t
time that was proposed. Does the School board Pay their share for that construction seeing it was done for the new school.

Look into how much we pay for snow removal when it is not snowing. You would be amazed.
Who pays for the streetlight power. Drive down Pine st and see the new led street lights. Now theres savings.
Anyone can add to this and you will see the money wasted in the Sault. Just remember the politicians make alot of money to spend your money.

kjw79111 1/9/2013 2:20:03 PM Report

k so as water consumers whats the plan. we will all complaine (like myself) but in all honesty we should just stop complaining about it and pay up, cause just like anything else on here that many of us didn;t like nothing ever gets done we just whine and complian but never do anything about it. so let it be put to rest and just go about our little buzy lives and pay out our noses!!!
IB-fine 1/9/2013 5:18:48 PM Report

Just got in my PUC bill and it shows actual water used cost $3.28 but then add on the city sewage charge of $21.34 ( put in when Fratesi was mayor to cover the costs of the new west end treatment plant then the upgrades to the east end one), plus "Basic Service Charge of $18.06 for a total of $42.68!
So for actually using $3.28 worth of water I get nailed for another $40 now.....can you imagine in 10 years?

Why not instead of increasing, just use the sewage charge to cover the costs? Surely the west end plant is paid off now and the east end at least half paid off!?!

Between MPAC letting the city increase our property taxes annually and the ever increasing PUC charges, yes those of us on pension/disability have no choice but to sell and hope we can find something in the country with well water, lower taxes, and put in solar panels and an outdoor wood stove for heat....would be nice if I could afford that with my big 1% increase from ODSP!

I encourage all to write all of the counselors and ask them to rescind this motion, and ask them to get real! We pay enough now (too much actually) for power and water. Actually charge sewage charges when watering the lawn or washing the car, when not going down the drain??? This is ridiculous! People are not going to be able to afford to stay in their homes and eat! Where are they going to live after they sell?? 1/9/2013 5:28:48 PM Report

Pretty dumb how they are rising the prices on the water even though the majority of us in the Sault can't even stand to drink it with their recent changes.
happy camper 1/9/2013 5:44:15 PM Report

I too used $4.92 worth of water and also got charged $22.98 for sewage and $18.06 for basic water charge for a total of $45.96 for $4.92 worth of water tooooo much!!!
Kristel 1/11/2013 8:05:29 AM Report

Can't believe how this city has changed over the years. Thought by now they would have elected responsible members at City Hall. The news of rising water rates makes me sick!!! The elderly are going to suffer more than ever, and I hate to think of the poor kids growing up. They'll all have to become rocket scientists to afford living in this shit city....There's no excuse for the PUC's mismanagement of funds and making the consumer pay such an extreme increase for their God-given right to water. It's time we all stand together and grow some balls.
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