Port Clements concerned about non-residents taking water

  • Aug. 27, 2010 9:00 a.m.

The flow of free water is about to dry up, at least for some residents of the rural area just outside of Port Clements. Port council members discussed Monday night (Aug. 16) their concerns about people who don’t live in Port and who don’t pay taxes or water fees driving into town and filling up huge tanks at the tap at the sani-dump on Bayview Drive. The tap was installed for tourist use, said mayor Cory Delves, and was not intended to provide gallons of water for rural residents. Mr. Delves and the other councillors at the meeting all said they have seen trucks carrying cube-shaped tanks that can hold at least 1,000 litres driving up to the tap in recent months. “The issue has developed because there are more and more users from Area D using the water,” Mr. Delves said. Council members discussed several options, including installing coin-operated water meters on all taps that can be accessed by the public or removing the taps altogether. The problem is that the village would like to continue offering water to tourists. Mr. Delves said one visitor came to the village office recently to compliment him on Port’s friendliness and excellent tourist facilities. “He was very impressed with what we have to offer for a community our size,” he said. Councillor Greg Stewart suggested that the village post a sign at the sani-dump tap saying that the water is for tourist use only, and that anyone who is not a tourist must check in with the village office before taking any. After some discussion about whether or not this would be effective, council members voted to come up with wording and install a sign. “I like the suggestion of a sign to indicate it’s inappropriate,” said councillor Wally Cheer. “If they want to make arrangements with the village office to pay for water, it won’t be an issue.” Mr. Delves said the village system can handle the extra use, it’s just a question of fairness. The average Port household pays about $500 a year in water taxes and fees. Village staff will be coming up with an appropriate charge for rural residents who want to tap into Port’s liquid supply in the future.