Fees unfair

Developer concerned about how the City of Vernon handles utility charges

I write in support of the plight of the Landing residents who are being charged sewer utility fees by the City of Vernon when, in fact, they are not using the service.

A further example of this unfair treatment is the development of our affordable housing projects in the city.

Simply, we purchase buildings, totally renovate them into small suites or rooms at affordable rents.

On purchase, we inform both the private utilities and the city that for the period of the renovations, no utilities to the building are required.

Dutifully, the private utility providers — B.C. Hydro, Shaw Cable and Telus — disconnect their services to the building at no cost for the disconnect.

In contrast, the city charges a fee for water service shut-off at the street and continues to charge for the unused city utilities during the building renovations.

Similar to the response from the city to the complaints of the Landing residents, I too was told that the ongoing fees, no service provided, is to “maintain the infrastructure.”

Well, the private utility lines are still on the poles affronting our projects while renovations are continuing and they don’t charge a fee for maintaining their infrastructure.

As such, this disconnect between the private and public utility provider is simply an unfair cash grab and should be stopped.


Jed Astin