Setting the record straight on water

Someone once said that the first casualty of war is the truth, so I suppose the same could be said for an election campaign.

Dear editor,

Someone once said that the first casualty of war is the truth, so I suppose the same could be said for an election campaign.

First of all, I have never been chair of the Comox Valley Regional District; however, I have been chair of the Comox Valley water committee.

During my tenure, the CV Water Efficiency Plan was adopted by, not only the regional district, but also all member municipalities. It calls for a 27-per-cent reduction in treated water consumption and facts/figures therein have been utilized as a baseline for our collective efforts in this regard.

As well, that plan is a pre-condition to receiving provincial infrastructure grants for water and sewer (such as the new reservoir behind Home Depot).

Second, at no time, did any of us on the CV water committee or Town council ever advocate spending $30 million on water meters for the Comox Valley or $10 million on water meters for the town.

What we have spent to date is $600,000 on putting meters in meter-ready homes (1,400 connections representing 30 per cent of the town’s single-family dwellings), and we’ll be installing meters on strata developments in the same manner as has been done in Courtenay, within a total budget of approximately $1.4 million over 2010/2011.

That funding comes largely from the regional district’s water reserve grants, federal gas tax funding, and the Town’s water reserves.

Once council establishes the metered rate early next year, homeowners with meters will be able to choose to continue to pay the flat rate (currently $303 per year) or to pay the metered rate.  Stratas will be able to make the same choice.

Paul Ives

Editor’s note: Mayor Paul Ives is running for re-election in Comox.

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