By Tahreem Fatima 
TRENTON – Despite indications late last year that Quinte West council might freeze water and sewer rates  for residents and businesses, councillors decided Monday to allow them to rise in 2019.
The decision followed a recommendation from municipal staff  not to freeze the rates.
The staff report said the city froze the rates from 1998 to 2005 but the cost of operating kept on increasing and the plan was not sustainable.
A rate freeze at this point will also put the system’s sustainability into question, said the report by David Clazie, the municipality’s director of corporate and financial services.
“We have to do upgrades and it’s even not about the choice,” Mayor Jim Harrison said.
To provide “quality stuff, “he said, the city needs money to upgrade the system and “we have very little government support,” he said.
Council had asked staff last month to look into the feasibility of a rate freeze.