City invites feedback on water meters

Staff will collect feedback and prepare a report for council for consideration at the July 20th Committee of the Whole meeting.

City of Grand Forks

Grand Forks City Council is giving citizens who have concerns about water meters until June 25 to put their thoughts in writing.

Staff will collect feedback and prepare a report for council for consideration at the July 20th Committee of the Whole meeting.

Feedback from city water utility customers, which must be under 500 words, will be accepted until 4 p.m. on June 25 by email, mail or hand delivered. Email info@grandforks.ca; mail to Box 220, Grand Forks, B.C., V0H1H0; or, hand deliver to 7217 4th Street, Grand Forks.

The subject line for feedback letters much read “Universal Water Meters – Next Steps: Public Consultation.”

Council made the decision to ask for further input following a presentation by a group of residents at the Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday.

Beverley Tripp and Karin Bagn were the group’s spokespersons.

The city’s lawyers had advised council that Mayor Frank Konrad and Councillor Julia Butler were in an indirect and direct conflict of interest, respectively; the mayor did leave council chambers during the water meter discussion. Konrad stated that his recusing himself was not an admission of guilt.

“There is no conflict of interest; there never was,” he declared, “furthermore, for the record this action obstructs my ability to perform my elected duties as mayor for the citizens of Grand Forks.”

Butler did not recuse herself.

Tripp spoke, saying she was chosen to read highlights from a 264-page water meter manifesto “on behalf of its many contributors.”

Tripp summed up the key points of the manifesto, including RF radiation concerns, non-compliance with the B.C. plumbing code and insurance liability.

After the presentation, Tripp asked council for a one-year “cooling off period” on the water meter installation.

Council accepted the report as information.

Also on the agenda was a report from consulting firm Urban Systems on water meter options.

Anyone wishing to view that report, entitled Universal Water Meters – Next Steps, can view it on the city’s website at grandforks.ca.