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

Bad weather delays next Prince Rupert/Haida Gwaii ferry

Stormy weather will delay the next ferry sailing from Prince Rupert to… Continue reading

Number-one bud: Q.C. cannabis store could be the first on Haida Gwaii

A local business owner is looking to open the first licensed cannabis… Continue reading

B.C. chiefs show solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Chiefs from around B.C. outside the Coastal GasLink pipeline route in Smithers show support.

December windstorms led to record ferry cancellations

Baileys for breakfast? It may not be what the doctor ordered, but… Continue reading

RCMP to review actions at Wet’suwet’en pipeline protest camps

Senior Mountie says he hopes protests will be peaceful following deal with hereditary chiefs

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Port authority imposes ban on development around Lelu Island

Following Pacific Northwest LNG, there will be no future projects proposed near Flora Bank

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

Most Read