Port businessman gets break on water bill, following complaint

  • Jul. 8, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Port Clements council voted Monday night (July 4) to give a local business owner a break on his water costs, after he complained about the $83 per month charge. Stephen Foster, owner of the Gas Plus gas station and café, told council in a letter that he receives four water bills, one for his gas station ($18 per month), one for the restaurant ($28), one for his residence ($19) and one for the commercial space above the gas station ($18). He said it didn’t seem fair that he should have to pay for a commercial space and a gas station, and urged council to change its water bylaw “to reflect local economic conditions”. His specific complaints about the water bylaw are that the definitions for classifications such as “commercial” are vague, that it removes incentive for a business owner to diversity or expand, and that it doesn’t reflect actual water use, as some businesses that use much more water pay less. Council members agreed the gas station and restaurant parts of Mr. Foster’s business could be combined for water billing purposes, reducing his bill by $18 per month. The change will be backdated to the last quarterly billing. However, council members said in general, they do not have a problem with the water bylaw. “Water meters would resolve a lot of these issues,” said mayor Cory Delves.