Enderby tackles concerns over water rates

Residents have complained about mock bills that suggest what they would pay if they had a metered rate

Enderby officials are scrambling to ease fears over potentially skyrocketing water rates.

Some residents have complained about mock bills the city has issued that indicate what they would pay if they were being charged on a metered rate.

“We’re trying to calm the fears,” said Coun. Greg McCune.

Before metered water rates are launched in 2015, the city has been sending out mock bills this year so residents can see how much water they use and adjust their consumption.

A concern has arisen among the top four per cent of residential water users. In one case, a person presented a mock bill for $1,000.

In some cases, the high water usage is because of leaks such as toilets. There was also a case of a data entry problem at city hall.

“We will compile as much of the data as we can and hash it out,” said Coun. Tundra Baird of an Oct. 20 meeting to discuss current rates and rate options.

“The program won’t take place (in 2015) until the system is working properly.”

Mayor Howie Cyr says the city is taking the public’s concerns seriously.

“We don’t want people unduly stressed about water meters,” he said.

“We want to conserve water and have those who conserve water not subsidizing those that don’t.”

It’s believed metered water rates will reduce the community’s water use by 25 per cent.

“The water metering program will help defer major capital upgrades, reduce treatment costs and provide equitable billing to customers,” said Jennifer Bellamy, chief financial officer.