Meter installation may be extended

Grand Forks' water regulations bylaw has been deferred for several months but is expected to be brought forward at the Dec. 14 meeting.

It appears the ongoing water meter installation issue will go on for a while longer. Dave Reid, manager of operations for the city, suggested that for “best value,” the program offering free installations be extended to July 31, 2016.

Although that suggestion has not been brought before council yet, council did vote at the regular council meeting Oct. 9 to waive the building permit fee of $85 until April 30, 2016. The waiving of the permit fee will allow those residents who choose to install their own water meters within their homes the ability to do the install without the additional cost of the building permit fee.

“Just going through the process of the installation of the water meters including RFPs (requests for proposal) and following the purchasing policy, I would recommend we look at extending the timeline for the water metering program for our best value and looking at something say July 31 of 2016,” said Reid to council. “So I would have no problem with the recommendations.”

The current water regulations bylaw with the amendment to extend the timeline for water meter installation (at no cost to the resident) until Dec. 31, 2015 currently sits at third reading. CAO Doug Allin said the third reading would have to be rescinded and the bylaw would have to come back to second reading where amendments are legally allowed to take place.

The water regulations bylaw has been deferred for several months but is expected to be brought forward at the Dec. 14 meeting.

“Staff will go back and they will come back with a recommendation that council rescind the third reading of the bylaw,” said Councillor Christine Thompson. “(If and when that happens) they will then add the recommended amendments and change the timelines. We’ll move forward from there.”