‘Anger and dissent’ at Little River about rural water meters

Dear editor,

I attended the meeting Monday and saw the dissent and anger demonstrated by the residents of the Little River area.

Dear editor,

After attending the meeting Monday night and seeing all the dissent and anger demonstrated by the residents of the Little River area, I just want to add my comments.

I only received three mock billings since the installation of a water meter. Some residents only received the one just sent out. Why was this?

The Little River area is extremely sandy. If I dig down more than a few inches in my garden, I am into pure sand and gravel.

Water drains away immediately and a few hours later the ground is completely dry! The only way to grow things here is to have raised beds or try to dig in as much organic material as possible to try to retain moisture in conjunction with little but often watering in the summer.

No point in giving a good soak once a week because the water will just drain through immediately.

Since the installation of the water meter, I cut back drastically on watering and my garden is a disaster. I cannot grow vegetables any more, my fruit trees completely failed and the fruit on the apples and pair tree did not swell and are inedible (photos available on request).

Lots of my shrubs actually did not survive. My lawn at the front has died and will not recover and is completely covered in small weeds now.

I have low-flow toilets, low-flow shower heads, do not wash my car anymore and do everything in my power to conserve but my bill is still going to be nearly triple what I used to pay before I had a meter.

When the calculations were done as to how much water each households should use and for what, I noticed that everything was for inside the house and not a singe drop in the calculations for outside use.

That to me, is completely unrealistic and unfair.

Are not householders, especially gardeners, entitled to maintain their property and have landscaped trees, shrubs and hedges any more without being heavily penalized by having to pay bill of up to and often over $1,000 a year?

I certainly cannot afford that and I am sure I am not the only one. Many retirees live in this area who are on fixed incomes.

This is a real and worrying problem for me and many others and I want to know how the Comox Valley Regional District is going to address this before its has a revolt on its hands?

Many good points came up Monday night from the residents in attendance and I hope the CVRD will take these on board before any final decision is reached.

I personally think that everything should be put on hold for at least another year before the CVRD starts sending the huge bills out. I for one want to see some more mock bills first to see exactly how much I will be paying per year.

Anyway, we have decided that we are going to try to sell our house and move away from the area. I simply cannot afford to stay here anymore. Especially in retirement and on a fixed income.

One last point: Our road, Singing Sands Road, has about a dozen or so large dips in the blacktop along the area from the bridge to the junction with Wilkinson Road.

These holes are now so large and deep that we have to try to avoid them when driving. I firmly believe that it is caused by long-standing water leaks in the main, which the CVRD hasn’t bothered to repair. Sort out your infrastructure first before gouging the people of Little River.

Mark Hill,

Area B

 

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