Letter: Speak up now

Residents want to know their legal rights and options regarding water meters, writes Karin Bagn.

Residents want to know their legal rights and options regarding water meters.

Can we get a cease and desist order preventing the city from installing water meters against resident wishes? Can residents get a court stay or injunction, pending requirement that existing water meter installations be inspected and certified by a qualified B.C. plumber that they meet all B.C. plumbing code requirements?

Can the city be held legally liable if a water meter causes damage, and a court determines that the water meter installation was not in compliance with plumbing codes and/or safety regulations?

Can the city be required to offer opt-out provisions like in other communities? Can residents who have had water meters installed get them removed, and participate in opt-out provisions?

Can the city be required to provide pit meters at no additional cost? Can the city be required to warrant and insure all pit meters are designed to be operative in winter conditions of Grand Forks?

Can city be required to set up data collection programs to monitor and record electromagnetic frequency (EMF) and radio frequency (RF) emissions from water meters?

Can the city be required to comply with radio frequency emission safety regulations: “The antenna and any radiating elements should be installed to ensure that a minimum separation distance of 20 centimetres is maintained from the general population.”

Should city be required to remove any meters installed without compliance with this provision, at no cost?

Will city be held legally liable if residents experience health problems associated with EMF or RF emissions from water meters?

Residents seek full disclosure of all documents regarding CAO Doug Allin’s departure last fall, with a compensation package of $191,321.10, and apparent continued employment , while  still retaining the $191,321.10.  Should the CAO voluntarily return the $191,321.10?  Should the money be used to set up water meter opt-out programs, and fund to assist low income and disabled with water meter costs?

Can city council be required to hold public meetings on water meters, and maintain transparent policies, rather than using the in-camera option to deny access to information?

Should city council meetings be held in a room accessible to the disabled and elderly, and large enough to accommodate the public who attend?

Residents will be submitting these and other questions to Mayor Frank Konrad and city council, in response to city council’s push to install remaining water meters several months before the end of July 2015 contract date.

Residents continue to seek answers from city lawyers. Residents also continue to seek resolution of these issues through restorative justice and/or other alternative legal means.

Send your written comments, questions and concerns.   Comments will be collected until April 30, 2015, after which they will be presented to city council. Speak up now.

Karin Bagn,

Safe Affordable Water

P.O. Box 56,

Grand Forks, B.C. V0H 1H0