Letter: Exercise voice if you support meters

I will continue lobbying to ensure that the water meter program in Grand Forks remains on track, writes Cher Wyers.

An open letter to mayor and council:

With the utmost respect for newly elected officials delivering governance and continuing to highlight a positive and respectful climate in our community, please be advised that I support keeping the residential water meters installed by Neptune since the summer of 2014 and implementing the use of these meters for measuring the flow of water to our residences.

I am concerned that this ongoing issue over the water meters is presenting a negative and detrimental image of our community to the outside world.

Since 2006, I have been involved with the Boundary Air Quality Committee (BAQC), subsequently renamed the Grand Forks Environment Committee in 2012—a standing committee of council.

My participation began initially when I was invited to sit at the BAQC table in my role as the manager of the Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce from 2006 to 2009 along with approximately 25 committed local/regional businesses, industry, special interest groups/individuals and a number of provincial government ministries. My two terms on city council allowed me to eventually chair the environment committee and chair the water sustainability sub-committee.

I struggle to recall, that at no time during this period from 2006 to 2014, did I see any of the recent verbally visible anti-water meter lobbyists attending the open environment committee meetings to participate in discussions around environmental protection and how we can make good change with our voice.

With all due respect, water conservation and environmental protection of our aquifer has been ongoing by the City of Grand Forks since 1999 including many environment committee initiatives, workshops, educational events such as B.C. Drinking Water Week back in 2011 when the Columbia Basin Trust supported a FREE workshop on the pros and cons of water meters presented by Kelowna’s “water guy” Neil Klassen. What a disappointment; less than 25 residents attended to learn more and ask questions.

Since moving to Grand Forks in 1997, I have participated in the city’s summer water sprinkling restrictions. Unfortunately, over the 18 years and with no population growth, we are consuming more and more water every year. Remember, industry, commercial and institutional users were already water metered back in 1999 and 2000.

It is my personal commitment to see that the City of Grand Forks continues to demonstrate its commitment to environmental protection and, to this end, I will continue lobbying to ensure that the water meter program in Grand Forks remains on track. Please exercise your voice today and send a letter to Mayor Frank Konrad and the City of Grand Forks at PO Box 220, V0H 1H0 in support of water meters. Your grandchildren and great-grandchildren will look back and thank you.

Cher Wyers, Grand Forks