Letter to the Editor: Meter plan a poor one

Poorly thought out, this plan does not sit well with a large proportion of Grand Forks residents.

The mayor and city council may have studied water meters for years, and checked out water meter installations in other cities, but they clearly have not done so for Grand Forks. If they did, they would have found that there is a huge proportion of residents/taxpayers opposed to the current water meter installation plan.

Many homeowners or renters are;

• Concerned about compromised health and are extremely worried about the affects of radiation from the water meters. (In the July 30th issue of the Gazette, the Neptune rep stated, “There is no concern regarding radiation produced by the water meters…  …no different than the old cordless phone”.  But, according to a reliable source at the city, the meter readers can read up to 400 homes at one time! If this is correct, imagine how much more radiation these water meters must put out compared to the old cordless phones! Something here really doesn’t add up.)

• Very worried about allowing access to their homes. (This is a retirement community—we have a large proportion of elderly residents. How are they supposed to determine who is a bona-fide water meter repair tech, and who isn’t ? Anyone clever enough can theoretically gain access to a residence. To allow third-party metering devices into our homes sets a dangerous-feeling new precedent, one that many homeowners are not comfortable with.)

In either case, if they can’t have or don’t want an indoor meter, why should they have to pay the additional estimated $600-$800 fee for a curbside pit meter, when others are having indoor meters installed for “free”? The costs should be the same for all residences, regardless of circumstances.

Besides, how can any low income or pensioner residents afford to pay an additional $600-$800 of after-tax dollars for a water meter? Ridiculous. Totally unfair.

If you look at the Richmond, B.C. water meter website, www.watermeter.ca/english/installation.html, you can read the following comments to Richmond homeowners: “Your water meter will normally be installed near the City’s water shutoff valve located at or near your property line. A hole will be dug to access your water service…”

Richmond city council obviously thought this through. But why are Grand Forks’ mayor and city council trying to access peoples’ homes?  The Grand Forks homeowner is getting a raw deal… he either agrees to being radiated by the meter and possibly compromising home security, or agrees to paying the huge $600-$800 pit meter fee.

Also, the potential for lawsuits against the city arising from enforced home access may skyrocket the cost of this program, not only for installation but for years to come. What’s up with the home invasion plan?

Back to the drawing board for this half-baked water conservation plan.  Poorly thought out, it does not sit well with a large proportion of Grand Forks residents.

There are always alternatives.

Gary Popoff,

Grand Forks

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