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Castlegar Water Meters Update

The city just doesn’t give up. With much public opposition to the introduction of water meters expressed in previous public forums, you’d think that the council would have thought better than to continue along the water meters proposal route. I’ve written about water meters here before. However, as reported in the Castlegar News, it seems they are going for it…

With an emphasis on the fact that installation of the device is an entirely volunteer act on behalf of the homeowner, councillors proceeded with the process in preparing two new bylaws.

Such that: A. A bylaw to amend the current Water Rates Bylaw for the purpose of requiring all new construction, including residential, to purchase and install a water meter at the owner?s expense. Furthermore, any owner of property undertaking a building modification in excess of $50,000 (residential or commercial) be required to purchase and install a water meter.

B. That a Water Rates Bylaw be prepared for setting the 2008 water rates for residential homes with a meter at the rate of $5 per month plus $.32 per cubic meter, and those homeowners who volunteer for a meter be levied this fee starting January 1, 2008. Note: flat rates to be determined in November/December 2007.

C. That the homeowners who volunteered for the program be given the opportunity to use their meters at an initial fee of $75 per household.

Castlegar News – Education key to helping residents understand water meters

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Councillor Russ Hearns is keeping on the fence on the issue, and with comments like this I can understand why…

“We actually receive less money from it, and I think the meter system will save people some money, and some water,” said Councillor Gordon Turner. “It?s a move we have to make”.

How is making less money at all a good thing? The water fund has to be self sustaining, wouldn’t you want to be making more money not less! With an aging pipe network, the city is being short sighted on its own needs for maintaining the infrastructure, and this has little to do with how much water people use.

I’d like to know how many people it takes to get a referendum on this matter.

Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada. If I post something here that you find helpful as you navigate the world of engineering, planning and building communities, that’s wonderful. But when push comes to shove: This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.