Why did the annual payment amount increase from the original $464/year?
The increase was due to a rise in the cost of borrowing. In January 2021, the RM believed an interest rate of 2.46% would be available. But in the end, that interest rate wasn't possible. Interest rates increased, and we ended up borrowing the funds at 3.375%.
The interest rate is still much more favourable than the rate we had expected to pay when we first started discussing a long-term payment plan for the local improvement fee. At that time, we anticipated a 5.5% lending rate.
Does the higher annual payment affect the amount if paid in one lump sum?
No, if paid all at once, the fee stays at $7,264.37.
Does the RM make a profit from the payment plan?
No. The RM is borrowing the funds for the payment plan from the Manitoba Government. If a homeowner opts for annual payments instead of paying in one lump sum, the RM's borrowing costs will be passed on to the homeowner. The interest is built into the $504 annual payment.
What is the local improvement fee for?
The local improvement fee covers the cost of building the public infrastructure - that is, the lift stations, forcemain and other conveyance equipment. Each household in the service area will pay an equal portion of the total cost, which works out to $7,264.37 per parcel, or $504 a year if paid with your annual property tax bills.
When will the local improvement fee be due?
The fee is due for all properties in the service area when the system begins operating in the spring of 2021. Residents have two options: They can pay this fee in one lump sum by April 28, 2021, or they can add the fee to their property taxes and pay it over a 20-year term. If they choose to add the fee to their property tax bill, the first installment will be due in October 2021, when property taxes are paid.
Do I have to pay the local improvement fee if I don't plan to hook to the system for awhile?
Yes. The local improvement fee is due for all properties at the same time, regardless of when the owner plans to hook up to the system. If you wish, you can pay this fee with your property tax bill over a 20-year period.
What are my payment options for the local improvement fee?
You have two choices:
- You can pay the fee over a period of 20 years with your property taxes. The first annual payment of $504 would be due October 2021.
- Or, you can pay the entire fee of $7,264.37 in one lump sum before April 28, 2021.
If you want to pay this fee over a 20-year period with your property tax bill, you don't need to do anything except make the annual payments. The RM will automatically add $504 to your yearly property tax bill if the full payment of $7,264.37 is not received by April 28, 2021. Please be aware that there is no option for early pay-down of the balance. Your annual payments of $504 would continue for 20 years.
If you prefer to pay in one lump sum, there are a number of payment options. You can pay in person, by mail or online through your bank. Cash and cheques will be accepted.
How do I arrange to pay the local improvement fee in one lump sum?
Make sure your payment arrives at the RM of St. Andrews office before April 28, 2021. You can pay in person, by mail or online through your bank. Cheques should be made payable to the R.M. of St. Andrews. Please write your roll number on the cheque. (To find your roll number, check the request for payment letter or your last property tax bill). A receipt will be mailed to you.
If you wish to pay by cash, please visit the RM office.
Can I pay the local improvement fee by post-dated cheque?
Yes you can pay the local improvement fee in one lump sum using a post-dated cheque, provided the cheque is dated no later than April 28, 2021. We can't accept payments for this fee after that date. If the fee hasn't been paid by April 28, we will automatically set up annual payments over a 20-year term on your property tax bill.
Can I pay any of these fees by electronic transfer or credit card?
No, but you can make the payment on-line through your bank.
What happens if I finance the local improvement fee on my property taxes, but sell the property before the 20-year term is up?
The new owner would be responsible for the remaining annual payments. You would need to inform the buyer of this obligation while negotiating the sale.
Why is the fee lower than expected?
A combination of low interest rates, provincial assistance and other efficiencies meant the project was $89,000 under budget when completed. Also, there are now 21 more houses in the service area than expected, which allows costs to be spread out over more properties.
CITY OF WINNIPEG CONNECTION FEE
What is the City of Winnipeg connection fee for?
The City of Winnipeg charges this one-time buy-in or connection fee to all municipalities using the City wastewater infrastructure. This fee buys the right to use some of the City's sewage treatment capacity.
When will I need to pay the City of Winnipeg connection fee? How do I pay it?
You must pay the connection fee when you're ready to hook up to the system. You will pay the fee to the R.M. of St. Andrews, which will then forward the funds to the City.
Several payment options are available. You can pay in person, online through your bank or you can give your cheque to the person who does your pre-hook-up inspection. Please write the roll number of your property on your cheque, or reference it with your online payment.
How much will this fee be after the first year?
The City of Winnipeg connection fee will be $2,680 in 2021. It will rise to $3,000 in 2022 and $3,100 in 2023.
What will my utility rates be?
The R.M. of St. Andrews has applied to The Public Utilities Board (PUB) for initial interim wastewater rates for the South St. Andrews Wastewater Utility as set out in By-Law No. 4350. You can view the notice here.
When will my utility bills arrive?
Utility bills will be mailed out in January, April, July and October of each year. If you hook up in April 2021, you can expect to receive your first bill in mid-July.
Getting your property ready
How can I find out more about how to prepare my property for connection?
The first step is to contact a qualified contractor to determine what work will be required on your property. Please see the Getting Your Property Ready page for a list of approved companies. You'll also find a fact sheet on technical requirements.
What steps will I take when I'm ready to hook up?
- Complete any work required on your property to connect your septic system (tank or field) to the municipal collection system. This work is typically done by a private contractor.
- Arrange to get your meter installed, if you haven't already done so.
- Call the RM to arrange for a pre-hook-up inspection. If the connection doesn't pass, you'll need to correct the deficiencies and ask for a second inspection.
- Pay the RM of St. Andrews for the City of Winnipeg fee ($2,680 in 2021, or more in later years). You can give your cheque to the inspector at the time of inspection, if that's convenient for you.
- The inspector will provide a date and time for the switch-over from your current system to the municipal system. This work may need to be coordinated between the RM and your contractor.
- Once the switch-over is completed, you'll be using the municipal system.
How do I arrange for an inspection?
To schedule a date and time, you can submit a Service Request through www.rmofstandrews.com or contact the RM office at (204) 738-2076.
When can inspections be done?
You can make an appointment for a time that fits your schedule – in the early morning, during the day or on a weekend. But first, you have to prepare your property and have a water meter installed.
What will happen during the inspection?
The person doing the inspection will make sure you have:
- a two-compartment tank
- no build-up of solids
- a backwater valve (if the pump is in the house)
If your water softener discharges outside, the inspector will also check to make sure the discharge is going to an environmentally approved area.
Could more work be required after the inspection?
It’s difficult to say until the inspection is completed, since all homes are different.
On most properties, no further work will be required. On the day of start-up, the RM will just open up the shut-off valve, and the homeowner will flip the switch to turn on the pump.
In other cases, some additional work may be required. For example, if your pump is in the tank, you may have to adjust the flange so wastewater is directed away from the septic field and toward the municipal system. In other cases, some digging may be required to make the connection.
How can I arrange for a water meter installation?
Please contact the RM office by using the inquiry form or by calling 204-738-2076. There is no additional charge for the meter and a standard installation.
Please note that some situations may create the need for additional work. If so, these costs may be the responsibility of the property owner.
Where is my meter located and what does it measure?
The meter measures the amount of water flowing into a home through the incoming water pipe. Nearly all of this water will leave the home through drains and toilets – therefore, measuring water inflow is a practical way to determine wastewater outflow.
In our system, it’s standard to install the meter after the point where the water line branches off to the outside tap. This ensures that the meter records only the water headed into your home – not the water flowing to your outside tap for outdoor uses.
When you’re ready to have a meter installed, you can talk to the installer about any concerns you may have about the planned location for the meter. In some cases, existing plumbing may be configured in a way that makes it very difficult to locate the meter beyond the line leading to the outside tap – and if so, you may want to consider relocating the line. Additional plumbing may also be needed to work around outside lines, water softeners and other equipment.
Please keep in mind that you may be responsible for any additional work required beyond a standard installation.
Why can't the meter be placed so that it measures the outflow from the septic tank?
Measuring inflow, rather than outflow, is a practical way for municipal utilities to measure the volume of wastewater generated by each property. Virtually all water going into a home goes out through drains and toilets – therefore, the volume of water entering a home is a good indicator of how much wastewater will end up in the municipal system.
It’s also more economical to measure clean water flowing in, rather than effluent flowing out. The equipment costs far less, lasts longer and is easier to get at and maintain.