Flat rate may boost water meters’ appeal

Castlegar's water rate yet to be set, but may be set relatively high

Castlegar City Council, on July 14 reviewed details of a July 8 meeting of the City’s Transportation and Civic Works Committee. Chaired by Coun. Dan Rye and co-chaired by Coun. Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff, the committee heard that the water ambassador program is running well. Water Ambassador Laura Smit has reportedly been delivering 500 door hangers of late and has mailed out approximately 300 high water usage letters to residents using the residential metering data which she will follow up on.

Following the July 14 meeting Director of Civic Works Chris Barlow elaborated on the topic of water meters and how the installations have been progressing (which, in some cases, are behind schedule).

“Twenty-thirteen was supposed to have been the completion of the metering program,” informed Barlow. “That was for residents in North Castlegar. Residents were given correspondence… many opportunities to make an application to have a meter installed. It was published in the paper as well, that if they didn’t get an installation booked that they would potentially be on the hook for their installation cost – which could range from $600 to $1,000.Others have a certain grace period if they happened to book the installation in time, but are still waiting for the work to be done.

It appears as though the meters can be a tough sell with some residents although Barlow said the sole intent of the meters is to promote conservation.

“We’ve had some residents who’ve decided that they’re  just not going to have a meter, whatsoever,” said Barlow, that they’ll just pay the flat rate once that gets established.”

The flat rate, however, will be a key part of the formula as Barlow went on to explain that it will likely be quite high, for the very purpose of motivating people to opt for the meters.