City council moved one step closer to starting the water meter installation project.
At the regular council meeting on July 21, council heard and passed the first three readings for the new water regulation bylaw (No. 1973).
Firstly, council voted to repeal water regulation bylaw No. 1501, which was adopted in 1997.
The background information to council stated, “The City of Grand Forks Water Regulations and Rates Bylaw No. 1501 was adopted in 1997 and requires updating to meet the current requirements for management and maintenance of the waterworks system of Grand Forks. The proposal is to have city council adopt a new water regulations bylaw which is similar to bylaws currently in use by other municipalities and cities in the province, but structured to meet our community’s need.”
Several people in the audience at the council meeting were worried about the potential large fines for water use violators (12.1)
Taylor responded by saying those fines would only be worse-case scenarios.
“For example, if a large industry or someone in collusion with industry were to jeopardize the whole system in terms of the health and welfare of our community. We’d want a strong enough hammer there to really discourage people from risking many malfeasances to the citizens of Grand Forks.”
A few highlights of bylaw 1973:
10. Water Meters
10. 1 Every owner of property who receives the supply of water from the waterworks system shall, at the sole cost of the owner, purchase a water meter from the city and shall install the water meter on his or her property in compliance with the provisions of this bylaw.
10.2 Notwithstanding 10.1, the city shall supply and install water meters to those properties built prior to Jan. 1, 2015 free of charge.
10.11 If a water meter installed on a property is destroyed, lost or damaged in any way, the owner shall repair or replace the water meter at his or her sole cost.
11. Failure to install a water meter
11. 1 If an owner fails to install a water meter as required by this bylaw, the city may, upon giving notice to the owner, install a meter pit and water meter at the curb stop at the sole cost of the owner.
Prior to and including July 31, 2015 the owner will be responsible for the difference in cost between in-home installation and meter pit installation. After July 31, 2015, the owner will be responsible for all costs associated with installation.
12. Offences and prohibitions
12.1 Any person who contravenes any of the provisions in this bylaw is liable upon summary conviction to a minimum fee of no less than $1,000 and a maximum fine of $10,000 and the cost of prosecution. Every day during which there is an infraction of this bylaw shall constitute a separate offence.
16.1 The manager of operations and any bylaw enforcement officer may enter on any property at any reasonable time for the purpose of inspecting and ascertaining whether the regulations and requirements of this bylaw are being observed.
16.2 No person shall obstruct or interfere with the manager of operations or any bylaw enforcement officer in the performance of his or her duties or the exercise of his or her powers under this bylaw.
Final reading for the bylaw is expected to be at the regular city council meeting on Aug. 18.