Installation of water meters in a small rural Enderby neighbourhood has one official boiling.
Janice Brown, Spallumcheen director, panned a decision by the Regional District of North Okanagan board to spend $4,500 to install water meters in the 11 properties in the Gunter Ellison area, which receives its water from the City of Enderby.
“The City of Enderby rates are causing a lot of discomfort. It’s a very hot topic everywhere I go,” she said.
However, RDNO officials defended installing the meters in Gunter Ellison homes because the City of Enderby mandates meters for its residents.
“The intent is to run the system as if it’s part of the city,” said David Sewell, RDNO chief administrative officer.
“The decision in terms of meters is consistent with Enderby.”
Juliette Cunningham, a Vernon director, insists the meters are an issue of equity.
“There are some times when you pay your fair share and it’s more than you’d like to pay but it’s still your fair share,” she said.
Greg McCune, Enderby director, says Gunter Ellison is not being treated any different than other areas connected to the city’s water utility.
“There are places across the bridge on the reserve that are metered. We are trying to be consistent,” he said.
For a single family home, there is a $78 flat fee charged each period. For the January to April and the September to December period, if a home uses more than 45 cubic metres, a consumption rate of $1.30 would apply to any usage above 45 cubic metres. For the May to August period, the $1.30 consumption rate applies to usage above 90 cubic metres.
McCune says metered rates are generally only high in cases where there is high water use and that is often a result of a faulty meter or a leak in the home.
“We will look at those situations. We are making an effort to sort it out,” he said.