Water meters make sense

Response To Robert Thibeau’s - A Matter Of Democracy – Regarding your recent mail out encouraging Armstrong residents to petition against council’s decision to implement water meters,

Response To Robert Thibeau’s – A Matter Of Democracy – Regarding your recent mail out encouraging Armstrong residents to petition against council’s decision to implement water meters,  perhaps Mr. Thibeau you could take a moment to consider the impact of your actions on others. Democracy gave elected councils the responsibility and mandate to develop, protect, conserve and manage our water resource, which I might add is the envy of other municipalities – a result of excellent planning and foresight by past and present councils.

I’ve done a little homework and learned that the City of Armstrong has 1,610 single family residential homes and  227 strata units, plus many rental units. Do you really believe that people who live in multi-family units with very little or shared green space, and certainly no space for a garden, should pay the same flat rate as those who live in single family homes on full size or larger lots, thereby benefiting single family home dwellers over the multi-family complex dwellers? Many of the folks living in multi-family complexes are either young families or seniors. How do you think that segment of our population feels about subsidizing single family residents who use much more water than they?

Some time ago council invited a few people to connect to water meters as a test to determine in advance what their actual water usage was and how that would impact their bill. To date what I’ve learned is that people who are concerned about water conservation would have paid less than the flat rate. I applaud that as water is a precious resource and not to be taken for granted. With a flat rate for water, people who use less are actually subsidizing those who use more. Like everything else in our world, perhaps our water bills will increase over time but even if we stay with a flat rate that would have to go up as well.  We’re not just talking water, it’s also about the infrastructure, treatment, transmission and staff.

Many families have large gardens, swimming pools and back yard skating rinks in the winter, and that’s a wonderful lifestyle but why should others who don’t benefit pay for their water usage? And yes, I live in a single-family home with a full size lot but I believe as a society we must all pay our fair share of the resources we use, whether it be water or something else. The thing about democracy, is it does allow the rich to get richer but not on my water bill please, and not on the backs of senior citizen on limited incomes – and please, not on the backs of young families who’ve finally managed to get themselves into a multi-family unit but have to take their kids to the parks to enjoy some real green space – they’re not watering big lawns.  And, before you go there, they’re paying their fair share for the parks.

Another thing Mr. Thibeau, you really slammed Mayor Pieper but I doubt you know that back in the 1980’s over a 2 – 3 year period that included planning, road construction, clearing and actual construction, when our mayor was Coun. Pieper, he was particularly instrumental in getting the City to develop a second dam that would help provide the water needed for the many new subdivisions that were later allowed. Without that foresight, many of our subdivisions would never have been built. Please take a moment to consider the wisdom and dedication our current and past councils have demonstrated, and especially please consider current council’s wisdom in considering every segment of our population with a user pay plan for water usage that’s fair to all.

Slamming all levels of government has become quite the political sport that people can indulge in because we live in a democracy, however, Mr. Thibeau, contrary to your statements, democracy is very much alive and well in Armstrong. As a former employee, I’ve sat through hundreds of council meetings and have had the privilege of seeing that democracy in action. Since 1980, I’ve personally known of the huge time commitment council members must give towards the best interests of our community, time taken from their families, friends and leisure time in general.

For that, I’ll take this opportunity to thank them for their devotion to making Armstrong a wonderful place to live.

Nancy Visser