Councillor wades into the water meter debate

Grand Forks city councillor Neil Krog talks about the uproar over the impending water meter installation.

I was not going to respond to the negativity (on water meters) because it would just inflame those that spread rumours and untruths.

But I find it really hard when I see statements that are false being put forward. And the people that signed the petition deserve an answer. As reported in the Gazette, I did state that it was the best petition I had seen in all my years on council.

What was not reported was I also said that I wished the proponents had let us have a look at it before they circulated it, as there were false statements under the heading of facts. I then asked, “If someone signed a petition believing that the statements were true, and in fact they were not, does that affect the validity?”

Also, when the petition was turned in the proponents seemed more interested in large corporations and other world governments’ plans to come take our water. I’m not sure if the people that signed the petition had the same conspiracy concerns as there was no mention of these theories on the petition.

I also have concerns regarding the following statements:

“We only have $212,622.30 of gas tax money.” Truth is we have $1,447,000 in the bank and it ‘all’ came from the gas tax.

“Council has suddenly come to the realization that our infrastructure is rotten and about to implode.” Truth is the state of our infrastructure is not a surprise and is not about to implode. Does it need repair and upgrading repair? Yes it does, just like every other community in B.C.

“Government is forcing council to install water meters.” Truth is the provincial and federal government have never said if you do not have water meters you will not get a grant. There are hundreds and hundreds of communities vying for the same infrastructure grant. Common sense tells you that unless you can show that you are serious about conserving water you would go to the bottom of the list.

“It is just a cash grab.” Truth is, it costs money to pull the water from the ground, treat it and deliver it to our houses. The more we use the more it costs, the less we use, the less it costs, not to mention wear-and-tear savings on the pumps, treatment plants and the electrical costs.

“Why does council all of a sudden feel so strongly about water meters?” Truth is we have sat through years of discussions and studied numerous reports. We have had in-depth conversations with experts and have being looking at this subject for 15 years. All at open public meetings. That is what we were elected to do; our job was to do the research and the conclusion we reached was that water meters would conserve and protect our water for future generations, save us millions of dollars, ensure proper fire protection and make sure that we have adequate water for our yards and gardens.

Thanks to the hard work of Les Johnson you can go to the website and click the tab government to see for yourself what happened at the council meetings. Please watch the meeting of GF COTW Feb 24th PT1 for our engineer’s presentation on the City of Grand Forks Water Supply Plan.

It is probably the best explanation of our situation, as he puts it all in perspective. Or you can get a copy from City Hall.

On a final note, I find it interesting that some people call for the majority of citizens to vote out a council and yet they do not put their name on the ballot. I would suggest that rather than standing in the shadows working to get someone unelected, why not step forward and use that passion and desire to get yourself elected? Then you can make the changes you want to see.

Neil Krog