Champlain Township council reviewed user fees for all of its departments at a recent council meeting on October 8.

A noteworthy change will take place for water and sewage billing. Users could be billed quarterly, or every three months, instead of every two months, suggested township treasurer Kevin Tessier. Council approved the change to billing frequency.

Tessier pointed out that Champlain Township was the only municipality not billing every three months, adding that the change would save the township $9,185 per year. The minimum consumption of water and sewage would remain the same per month, he noted. The minimum amount will show as higher on each bill, but it is the same minimum per-month cubic-metre charge.

The new user fees set for 2021 to 2025 will be (per quarter), a flat rate of $227.58 (up to 14 cubic metres of water consumption per month). This represents $93.58 for water and $134.00 for sewer services. On January 1, 2022, the quarterly rate will increase to $236.24 for the minimum charge and on January 1, 2023, the minimum charge will increase to $245.25 and on January 2, 2024, the quarterly amount will be $252.62 and on January 21, 2025, the quarterly minimum amount will be $260.20.

The increase from 2021 to 2023 is 3.8 per cent per year, while rates increase by three per cent for each of 2024 and 2025. Between 2021 and 2025, the four-year increase is 14 per cent.

Tessier points out that Champlain Township water and sewage users will have to pay a share of capital expenditures for improvements at the Hawkesbury Water Treatment Plant. Water and sewer users will have to invest $2.5 million over the next eight years as their share of the rehabilitation costs of the Hawkesbury Water Treatment Plant.

Library fees for non-residents will increase from $35 per year in 2021 to $40 per year in 2023 through 2025.

Day care fees for residents with one pre-school age child will be $37.50 in 2021, $38 in 2022 and 2023 and $39 in 2024, rising to $40 in 2025.

Non-residents will pay $38.50 for one pre-school age child in 2021, $40.50 for 2022 and 2023, $41 in 2024 and $41 in 2025.  Other comparable increases are in place for toddler-age children and school-age children.

Beginning in 2021, non-residents may have to pay a user fee to access the L’Orignal Beach and boat launch. This will be discussed at the township’s committee of the whole meeting on November 3. A non-resident fee of $8.85 for access to the beach and boat launch is listed in the proposed user fees included in the township agenda for the October 8 meeting.

A short discussion took place on the no-charge entry for burial permits. Treasurer Kevin Tessier said that the township provides between 80 and 100 certificates per year in Champlain Township.

“If there is one time we shouldn’t have to pay taxes, it’s when we’re dead,” said Champlain Township Mayor Normand Riopel. “We pay taxes all our life,” he said.

Councillors also changed the amount that must be paid when a building permit is cancelled for any reason.

The complete list of user charges and changes can be found on Champlain Township’s website, by viewing the agenda for the October 8 meeting.