City council calls meeting public hearing on proposed water increases

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At the request of Brandon City Council, the province’s Public Utilities Board (PUB) will come to Brandon to hold a public hearing on proposed water and wastewater increases.

All Brandon residents are invited to participate on Wednesday, September 13, 2023 at Brandon’s City Hall Foyer (410 – 9th Street) from 6 to 8 p.m. 

“This City Council wants Brandon families and businesses to make important decisions like this together. Everyone should have a chance to be heard,” said Mayor Jeff Fawcett.

The City of Brandon has an application before the PUB which would see rates double over three years. To continue to have an effective water and sewer system, the City of Brandon must collect for many years of deficit operations, as defined by unique accounting formulas, as well as fund proper operations and appropriate capital upgrades. The city must tackle a revenue shortfall in budgeted water and wastewater revenues which will continue to grow beyond $1.35 million in the final quarter of 2023.

City Council was concerned with miscommunication and delays on this rate review in July but has since received clarification. Councillor Luebke says, “After reviewing the information provided by Administration and being given a comprehensive explanation, I have a better understanding of where communication went sideways. I feel confident on the matter going forward”.

City Hall has worked effectively with the provincial and federal governments to secure investments and keep Brandon’s costs down, but the City must expand and upgrade the water treatment plant to meet provincial standards and continue to deliver clean water to existing households.

“Families have always been able to count on Brandon’s water systems. We want to keep it that way. You should always be able to trust that the water that comes from your tap at home is clean and safe,” said Fawcett. “But we also know that inflation has put pressure on everyone. So, before we move ahead, City Council has unanimously voted to ask the PUB to come to Brandon and hear directly from the people affected. I’m listening, and I’m asking the PUB to listen, too.”