Is it better for me to “Opt In” to the program to install services to my property now? What if I “Opt Out” and choose to postpone replacing my water and sewer lines until I’m ready to do it?
It is a significant cost for some property owners to replace their services, and there is not always all the available information to make a fully informed decision. Generally, the decision is based on age and type of material of the services along with any historical issues the home owner may have had such as water service failures or tree roots in the sanitary service. Opting-In to the voluntary loan program to have the services replaced as part of the overall reconstruction project has some advantages such as:
The contractors will already be working in the neighbourhood and all the disruption can happen at once.
There will be cost savings for mobilizing on site and economy of scale for supply of materials, as opposed to a single property owner having to arrange to have a contractor come to the area just to do one service.
There would not be any costs to dig up the new surface (landscaping, concrete, fences, etc.) to get at the services later.
The City’s voluntary infrastructure loan program gives property owners the ability to pay the amount over 15 years (at a fixed interest rate) or pay it down with lump sums annually. Replacing water and sewer services on your own, when a reconstruction project is not in progress, does come with a payment plan option from the City. Taking the chance that your services are in condition to last a while longer can be risky – if they fail, the damage and repair costs could be much higher than Opting-In, especially if they fail in the winter months when repairs and digging are more difficult.