Comox water meter customers get break

After examining the options for lowering metered water rates, Comox council approved a recommendation to reduce rates.

  • Nov. 25, 2013 6:00 a.m.

After examining the options for lowering metered water rates, Comox council approved a recommendation Wednesday to reduce rates and increase the minimum monthly amount for metered users.

Council also approved a report that residents be given the opportunity of opting out of the voluntary water meter program, on a year-by-year basis, following a presentation last week by Comox resident Natasha Baert-Hockin.

“This will give people the option, and whether this will entice more people, we’ll see,” said Mayor Paul Ives.

The recommendation calls for the monthly amount to drop from $17.50 to $15.00, with the amount of water included in that fee increased from 12 cubic metres to 14 m3 per month.

Last week, Baert-Hockin presented to council as a delegation her request to be removed from the water meter program.

“At present, a metered household will pay more than an unmetered one,” she said at the time, and explained she signed up for the program not realizing it was a permanent decision.

While she admitted she should have more thoroughly reviewed the information prior to registering, she admitted to being “quite shocked” by the excessive cost of water despite conservation efforts.

Baert-Hockin said in 2012, she used a total of 333 m3, which cost her $379.33. The flat rate for water usage (up to 600 m3) is $312.

Despite her efforts, she noted she is playing the same amount as a person on the flat rate who would have used 648 m3 of water.

Coun. Ken Grant, who noted he does not support water meters, explained he doesn’t see how the option of lowering rates will entice more people to join the metered program, and added the right thing for council to do is to offer residents the option to opt out of the program and return to a flat water rate if they want to do so.

Ives said he believes water meters will become increasingly popular.

“The conversation tonight is not about meters or no meters, but the rate to charge. I support water meters and I believe in the long term, they will be the flavour of the day,” he explained.

“It’s a balance … to meet conservation goals and make it manageable and palatable for people to use.”

There are about 118 single-family homes on the metered program, along with approximately 100 units in three stratas that subscribe to the water meter program.

The flat rate for water usage (up to 600 m3) is $312 a year.

Don Jacquest, director of finance for the Town, said in his report to offset the possible revenue reduction, the Town could easily reduce the annual contributions to water reserves in the next draft financial plan.

Couns. Tom Grant, Hugh MacKinnon and Barbara Price were not present at the meeting.

photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Just Posted

Busy as a bee in a lavender field

Bees are in abundance at Shamrock Farm off Anderton Road flocking to… Continue reading

Market Day crowds flock to downtown Courtenay

Fifth Street in downtown Courtenay was packed Saturday morning as people flocked… Continue reading

Marine tourism a driving force for Vancouver Island’s economy

State of the Island Economic Summit takes place Oct. 23-24

19 Wing Comox welcomes new wing commander

Col. Dany Poitras assumed command of 19 Wing Comox

Pacific Salmon Foundation contributes $42,000 to Comox Valley wild salmon restoration projects

The Pacific Salmon Foundation announced it is contributing more than $42,000 to… Continue reading

Jets host peewee baseball tourney

The Comox Valley peewee A Jets baseball team is hosting a 10-team… Continue reading

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Most Read