Speak out about water billing plan

There is time to influence details of the second water service to properties between 0.5 and 1.98 arable acres.

Dear Editor:

There is time to influence the final details of some of the aspects for the second water service to properties between 0.5 and 1.98 arable acres.

A number of documents and statements by senior district staff suggest that decisions will be made by staff and council during 2015 with the help of input requested from taxpayers  thru upcoming questionnaires as well as planned open houses.

Items to be finalized during 2015 include:

1.   A monthly fee for the second water line for irrigation. A preliminary monthly charge of $35.82 is to be paid starting January 2015.

2.   The monthly consumption volume covered by the monthly fee. A consumption of 35.55 square metres is suggested by the district as an average monthly water allotment.

3.   The final cost for the supply and installation of a Water Meter now indicated to be between $1,500 and $2,000.

4.   The final date for affected property owners to have or not to have metered second water service. Note: the last March request was intended to get preliminary numbers.

The following is recommended for the close to 300 affected property owners to do during the coming weeks:

o Write a letter to the editor of the Summerland Review and to the new mayor and new councillors.

o Complete the upcoming district questionnaire  and attend open houses on the subject.

Parts to be highlighted could include:

o The non-logical charge of a irrigation fee for months where second line water is not available.

o Absorption of the cost for the supply and installation of the second water line meter by the District as promised in the past by district officials.

o Increased risk of grass or forest fire on non-irrigated properties resulting in more firefighting costs.

o Less attractive look of a non-irrigated property may bring lower value assessment and a property tax reduction.

o Many of the affected properties are owned by seniors or people trying to grow fruit and vegetables in order to lower their living costs.

Werner Strub