Good chance of water meters in Grand Forks

There’s good possibility water meters will be coming to your homes in the near future.

According to the city’s Manager of Technical Services and Utilities Sasha Bird, however, meters will be phased in.

The proposal to send an application to the province for funding to pay for the installation of the meters was put through at a council meeting earlier in the month.

“The whole point of that was just to get a council resolution for approval just get the application in for a grant, the gas tax grant,” Bird says.

Bird says they are applying for the general strategic priorities fund, which is a 100-per-cent funded grant.She says that the city has just completed a water audit plan and it is based on the criteria provided by Technical Services and Utilities.

Water meters, however, would give a much more accurate reading of usage.

“By installing water meters, that would give us a really good indication of how much is getting used,” Bird says. It would also account for water seepage and help to locate where water is being lost.

She cautions though that it’s going to be a process and won’t happen overnight.

She says that the province is more likely to give the grant if it is a phased approach.

“If it’s going to cost $1.2 million, they may not select communities that just put it all in one phase. So from what we’ve heard from the province that’s kind of the way they were looking at awarding,” she says.

“The deadline for submission is April 29 and I’m hoping that we’ll hear something before that deadline.”

The provincial government had a closing for a first phase on Feb. 1 to select communities so they could get going this year. Bird says that for the April 29 deadline, most communities won’t hear whether they received funding until June or July.

“And by the time you get the paperwork in it’s going to be pretty much too late to do a whole bunch on it this year,” Bird adds. “So we’ll see how that goes.”