Sandspit’s new water fee structure not popular

  • May. 14, 2010 9:00 a.m.

Residents of Sandspit got a look at changes in how their water system is likely to be paid for, and some didn’t like what they saw.At the Moresby Island Management Committee meeting May 12, chaired by regional district director Evan Putterill, work by the recently-formed water task force was made public. It suggests that Sandspit residents pay for the system through a parcel tax and user fees. The plan, presented to the committee for discussion, suggests that property owners pay $160 a year, with an additional user fee of $129 a year, while existing metred water uses would pay just over $1 a cubic metre, about what the water costs. The charges add up to just over $80,000, about $30,000 more than the system costs. Sandspit’s water system has been in financial difficulty since 2007, because up until now, user fees were never implemented.”As a basic fee structure, I don’t agree with the way it is laid out. I don’t see how you came up with a fee structure fair to the users of the system”, MIMC member Don McNeice said.Resident Carol Wagner agreed it isn’t fair to all users. “My neigbour can water his lawn all day.and pay $52.20, the same price as me”, she said. She also said she and several others will refuse to pay and go back to using their wells.”I’ll go back on my well, same as a dozen other people I know. I’ll not pay it until this is solved. There are a bunch of us who won’t pay it. You are encouraging people to use more, not to use less.”Mr. Putterill said he doesn’t like the flat rate either, but said a water system is in the community’s interest.”Keep in mind (the flat rate and the parcel tax) adds up to $410 a year, $1.10 a day, a very reasonable amount to cover the costs of this water system. It is in the interests of the community to have a water system. I will be doing my best to bring in a metred water system,” he said.Resident Jim Henry called for more information.”I see a lot of people reacting negatively because there is a lack of information”, he said. The fee structure will be brought back to the committee for more discussion, likely when it meets June 9.