Water rates too high, says Port councillor

  • Jan. 9, 2012 11:00 a.m.

A member of the Port Clements village council says his water and sewer rates are too high, and has asked the other council members to do something about it. Urs Thomas, who owns the Golden Spruce Motel and was elected to council less than two months ago, wrote a letter to the village Dec. 21 saying the motel business is slow and he must lower his costs. “The occupancy rate in the motel is the lowest I’ve seen in the last 16 years and I get near to none business anymore from the logging industry,” he wrote. “My current water and sewer usage is probably not more than an average family household but I’m paying $417 every three months which hurts a lot, knowing not having the required revenue and not using the resource.” Administrator Kim Mushynsky said Mr. Thomas pays a total of $345 quarterly for water and sewer service to the Golden Spruce (Mr. Thomas’s $417 figure includes garbage fees). Under the village’s bylaws, he is charged separately for the motel, laundromat and cafe. In his letter, Mr. Thomas told council that the business probably uses no more water than the average household in Port, yet pays more than three times as much. The way the village charges businesses for water and sewer service has been an issue in the past, and Mr. Thomas has raised it before. This summer, Gas Plus owner Stephen Foster asked council to lower his utility charges. Council agreed, but the gas station closed down two weeks later. This time around, council voted to have Ms Mushynsky review the way the village charges businesses for utilities, look at how other small communities deal with the same issue, and make a recommendation as to how they should deal with Mr. Thomas’s request. Council members said they want to help local business owners, yet have no control over the economy or how people run their businesses. Also, Ms Mushynsky warned that if charges are reduced for some, others will have to make up the difference, as the water and sewer budgets do not have big surpluses. Mr. Thomas had to leave the room and did not vote on the decision when council discussed his letter at the Jan. 3 meeting.

Just Posted

Immediate deal to reinstate AMHS in Prince Rupert not out of the question: Mayor Brain

B.C., Alaska officials fail to sign ferry deal in Juneau to reinstate service from Ketchikan

‘It affects everybody:’ Trudeau’s brownface photos worry Wet’suwet’en chief

Skeena-Bulkley Valley Liberal candidate declines to comment on prime minister’s indiscretion

Haida Gwaii art gala seeks submissions

Annual fundraiser supports local artists and programs

PHOTO GALLERY: Masset takes off on Terry Fox Run

More than $1,000 raised for Terry Fox Foundation

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

Forestry watchdog warned B.C. government about Bamfield Road in 2008

Ombusman’s specific concerns re-surface in wake of bus crash that killed two students

Photos surface of Conservative candidate at B.C. event with people in blackface

The controversial “Black Peter” character has been a feature at Sinterklaas celebrations

Most Read