OXENDENThe cost of water for 185 customers in Oxenden is going way up – possibly by 60 per cent.Oxenden water users, who get their water from Wiarton under an agreement with South Bruce Peninsula, were paying less for water than Wiarton users were, Georgian Bluffs Mayor Dwight Burley said.The township and South Bruce Peninsula have been negotiating a new agreement off and on since 2015. Staff changes and decisions to shelve discussions for a while are reasons for the lengthy talks, he said.While there’s a tentative agreement now, Burley wouldn’t discuss the precise dollars — he said because further negotiations may be coming. He’s also concerned that many users, all but three are full-time residents and cottagers, aren’t aware of what’s coming.That’s because just two people turned out at a public meeting on Feb. 7 to see operations director Rick Winters’ presentation on the situation. There’s been some media attention since, which prompted more people to call the township though, he said.The tentative deal would see a 60 per cent surcharge added to current water rates for 10 years. Those payments would cover costs retroactive to the start of negotiations in 2016, Burley said. After that’s paid, the surcharge would come off and new rates would be set.It’s still cheaper than building a new water system for Oxenden users, Burley said.He said the new, tentative agreement includes a clause which would permit extension of the agreement, which the old agreement didn’t have.On Saturday, SBP Mayor Janice Jackson directed inquires about specific costs to staff on Monday morning. Burley also said staff could be more specific after the weekend.