The looming increase in electricity prices will have a flow-on effect for residents of the Leeton Shire.
Leeton Shire Council is proposing to increase water access and usage charges next financial year, with average households expected to pay about $50 extra over the year.
The changes will apply from July and the council’s draft management plan and budget is open for public comment for several weeks.
The council’s general manager, David Laugher, says the council has no option but to make the move because of higher operating costs affecting its water supply fund.
“The two that stand out are substantial increases in the chemical costs for the treatment process but more particularly the projections of up to 60 per cent increase in electricity tariffs over the next three years,” he said.
“Clearly we recognise that this was a large percentage increase but it’s the only way that we can ensure we don’t project out an unrecoverable debt over the next decade.
“We’re concerned that if we continue on our current projections we were projecting a deficit of somewhere around $294,000-$295,000 in this next year blooming out over the next decade to almost $3 million, so clearly we need to start to make some moves to ensure that the water fund, which is a self-funded program, could at least maintain some sort of equity on the way through.”