Rising Water Costs in Halifax Worry Restaurateurs

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HALIFAX — Aging infrastructure in Halifax is prompting the government to hike water prices along with other recent municipal service increases, including garbage collection and street enhancement, cutting into restaurants’ bottom line.

According to Nova Scotia’s Chronicle Herald, one restaurant owner has seen his costs triple since 2004, and other restaurateurs are concerned that it’s becoming difficult to operate small business in Halifax.

“At a municipal level, operators have seen their tax bill soar and are now bracing for a new fire inspection fee. On top of this, the proposed water rate increase will cost the average restaurant about $5,000. Bumping up costs for essential services like water will not help businesses grow and prosper. The only way to stimulate the economy and create jobs is by reducing costs and making the [Halifax Regional Municipality] a competitive place to do business,” said Luc Erjavec, Atlantic Canada VP, Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA). The CRFA argues that aging infrastructure costs should not be offloaded onto foodservice operations.

The proposal by the Halifax Regional Water Commission will see a price increase of almost 60 per cent for water services and 25 per cent for wastewater services over the next two years.

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