50/50 split for voluntary water meters

Mission council a vote away from approving program

Mission residents eager to be a part of a water metering program will have to wait at least a few month months to sign up.

Mission council has approved a voluntary metering program, with interested residents paying 50 per cent of the installation costs, and the district retaining ownership of the meters.

But before staff can proceed with the next steps, council needs to approve the minutes of the meeting, said Mission’s director of engineering and public works, Rick Bomhof, noting councillors can still change their minds.

Typically, minutes are submitted to council in the next few weeks following the meeting, but Bomhof noted the minutes from the Aug. 14 meeting are being held back until all council members are back from holidays.

The next scheduled meeting with a full council is Oct. 21.

“Metering has been an ongoing discussion for a couple of years,” said Bomhof, who isn’t surprised elected officials need more time. “There’s a lot to think about.”

Water meters are an effective tool to manage the system, according to the engineer. “You can’t manage what you can’t measure. In Abbotsford (with whom Mission shares a water system), they’re able to see where potential problems and suspected leaks are, and we can work with them to fix it.”

Coun. Jeff Jewell agreed the lack of data prevents Mission from knowing exactly how water is being consumed by residents.

“The only data that we have is that data that comes from bulk meters and the best estimates they can provide,” said Jewell. “It gives us numbers we don’t want to believe.”

Council is primarily discussing water meters because Abbotsford is suggesting Mission residents are overusing water, said Mayor Ted Adlem, who believes homeowners should bear the full cost of a water meter in a voluntary program.

“There’s always a cost to volunteer,” he said, noting there are fees involved for anyone volunteering to be a part of any service club. “I’ve compromised and said 50 per cent is fair.”

The cost to each homeowner will depend on where they want the water meter placed. A meter installed inside the house is estimated to cost between $525 to $675 and a meter installed outside the house could cost between $1,100 to $1,700 depending on the type of driveway at the home that needs to be restored. Property owners will split the cost with the district.

A report to council estimated the cost for three installation scenarios in the voluntary metering program for all homes currently without meters — about 9,000.

Under the first scenario, all of the meters would be installed at the property line, including those within paved driveways requiring repair — at a cost of $13 million.

The second scenario, estimated to cost $10 million, would see meters installed inside the 27 per cent of homes where driveway repairs are necessary, and at the property line for the remaining.

And the final option is to install the meters inside all the homes at cost of $6.6 million.

Capital costs of up to $13.1 million would be taken from the community works gas tax reserve fund, the water capital reserve fund, and the sewer capital reserve fund.

Additional operating costs for the voluntary metering program would be an estimated $423,000.

“All developers have to pay to bring water meters in,” said Adlem. “If you want a secondary suite or a coach house, you’ll have to pay for the water meters too.”

The district already meters institutional, commercial and industrial (ICI) properties, and most multi-family buildings.

Staff had proposed to begin the program in January 2015.

Currently, owners of detached houses pay a flat rate of $819.48 per year in water and sewer costs.

Under new rates proposed for Jan. 1, 2015, existing metered properties and new construction will have the option to pay either a flat rate of $917.09 or a metered rate.

The latter option consists of a $232 base rate, plus $0.91 per cubic metre of water consumed and an additional sewer rate of 77 per cent of the total water usage.

Homeowners with average water consumption would save approximately $35 over the proposed flat rate. Those with lower water consumption could save upwards of $140.

Those living in a home constructed after 2009 will already have a water meter.

— with files from MARIA SPITALE-LEISK

 

Just Posted

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

Emergency services were on the scene of an apparent stabbing Friday afternoon (June 11) in the 2400 block of Countess Street in Abbotsford. (Photo: Kaytlin Harrison)
Two suspects arrested after apparent stabbing in Abbotsford

Incident occurs Friday afternoon in 2400 block of Countess Street

June is Brain Injury Awareness Month in Canada. (ADOBE STOCK IMAGE)
Shining a light on brain injury in Canada

June is Brain Injury Awareness Month

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read