The price of hooking up


Homeowners in Iqaluit’s Lower Base neighbourhood learned this week exactly how much money they’ll have to chip in to connect their homes to water and sewer lines.

The neighbourhood is on trucked water and sewer, but the city wants the households to hook up to the utilidor pipes that were installed in 1999.

Homeowners will have to pay anywhere from $5,500 to $13,000 to connect.

It will cost a total $1 million to connect the 36 homes to the pipes. Last year, the Nunavut government gave the city a $300,000 grant to assist with the utilidor hook-ups in Lower Base. But residents still have to foot a majority of the bill.

The utilidor issue has been a controversial one.

The city installed the pipes at the same time Urbco Inc. was constructing the Capital Suites building in the area. Urbco and money from federal infrastructure dollars helped pay for the new pipes.

The city informed Lower Base residents they had three years to hook up.

Residents saw the request more as a demand. They didn’t like being forced to hook up, especially when it was estimated they’d have to fork out up to $20,000 to connect to the pipes.

On Aug. 28 and 29, the city’s engineering department met with residents to talk money. They planned to inform them exactly how much their hook-up fee will be.

Each household could end up paying a different amount because the cost depends on how close their home is to the main utilidor lines.

“Some homeowners will be looking at a higher amount because their homes are located differently on the lot,” said Matthew Hough, director of engineering.

“If we need to do more work, we’ll do more work,” he said.

By the time the details are figured out, it will likely be too late to do any of the construction work this year, Hough said.

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