Septic permit fees anticipated to jump
Mary Beth Hartill
January 31, 2013
ALMAGUIN – Sewage permitting costs may be going up.
The North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority is looking at increasing some of their rates. The board of directors will consider increases to the Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses (DIA) Program and the On-site Sewage System Program at a public meeting slated for Feb. 27. It is anticipated that they will vote at this meeting and, if approved, the changes will come into affect on March 1. The fee changes are part of the 2013 budgeting process.
The proposed fees would increase about 5 per cent.
“Within the NBMCA’s jurisdiction people who are doing work around wetlands, watercourses and steep slopes have to consult with us and then get approvals,” said NBMCA spokesperson Sue Buckle. “Our septic boundaries are bigger and that includes south into Almaguin.
The conservation authority’s DIA program encompasses areas in the north of the region including Callander and the Township of Chisholm. Those fees have not increased since 2008.
“But the septic supply includes East Parry Sound and West Parry Sound,” said Buckle.
The NBMCA has three jurisdictional boundaries, dependant on legislation, including The Conservation Authority Act, the Ontario Building Code, and Drinking Water Source Protection.
Sewage system program permit fees have not increased since 2009 and are also increasing, on average, about 5 per cent.
“This is part of our fee review process. We did comparisons with other jurisdictions within Ontario,” she said. “We looked at ones that operate septic systems on a cost recovery basis, similar to us, because legislation requires that we not make a profit.”
A class 4/5 septic, residential with daily design sewage flow, less than 3,000 L/day, is currently $700. The proposed change would increase that to $735.
In some comparisons with other areas fees range from $700 to $933, an average of $785.
“Our fee of $700 was the lowest of all of the agencies reviewed,” said Buckle.
Comparisons were conducted using fees from the Porcupine Health Unit in Timmins, the Northwestern Health Unit in Kenora, the Thunder Bay Health Unit, Timiskaming Health Unit and the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit. The highest was Timiskaming at more than $933. The increase to $735 is lower than the lowest comparison, Thunder Bay, at $750.
Residential, daily design more than 3,000 L/day, is anticipated to increase from $800 to $840. Class 4/5 non-residential, commercial/industrial use, will increase from $800 to $840.
Buckle says the rate comparison wasn’t the only incentive for the proposed fee increase.
“And in general, increased costs,” she said. “There hasn’t been anything (increase) since 2009 and everyone knows the cost of doing business has gone up in terms of general expenses so it takes that into consideration as well.”
Buckle stresses that these fee increases should not be confused with the mandatory septic inspection program. Those fees are not changing.
“It’s our regular permitting and inspection programs,” she said.
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