Charlottetown to install 1,000 water meters

Dave Stewart
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Water and sewer utility chair says two big projects on schedule

Charlottetown city council

The City of Charlottetown will spend $475,000 this year to install another 1,000 water meters on homes.

Water and sewer utility chairman Eddie Rice said the program has been going well so far, with close to 900 homes already on the metered system.

“We had a great run at the start of people wanting to sign up because they’re seeing savings,’’ Rice said.

The councillor noted that while the program is mandatory in the sense that everyone has to be hooked up by the end of 2019, no one is being forced onto the system anytime soon.

“We’ve decided because it’s an election year,’’ Rice said, referring to the municipal vote in November to elect a new council, “and I’ll be perfectly honest, because it’s an election year we’re not doing mandatory (metering). We’re asking people to volunteer and we’ve gotten volunteers.’’

Water meters is one of a number of conservation measures the city has undertaken. Others include programs for rain barrels, toilet replacements and water conservation kits. The utility is also offering help for people who are buying water conserving washers.

Rice also said the sanitary and storm water separation project is on schedule for completion early in 2015.

The chairman is also happy with progress on the new water supply.

“We’re moving ahead at a pace that I’m happy with, not as fast as some people would like but at a speed which we’ve got control, and we’re creating employment over a longer period of time in the city.’’

This year, the utility will finish most of its work on the new well field at a cost of just over $2 million.

Rice said a financial

plan to address the remaining work involving a connection to the existing infrastructure and construction of a water storage standpipe is currently underway and will be presented to council in the next few months.

It will cost about $12 million, cost-shared by the three levels of government, to finish the new water supply.

“We’ve got our portion of it together pretty well. We are going to give you a report on where the rest of the money will be (coming from). We’re ready application wise for the feds and the province; we’ve got support from both in informal ways.’’

The provincial and federal governments are still working on signing an agreement that will see $440 million flow to P.E.I. municipalities over the next 10 years for project such as the capital city’s new source of water.

When the new source in Miltonvale is hooked

into the system, it will take pressure off the city’s only current source of water in Winter River.

 

dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart

Geographic location: Charlottetown, P.E.I., Miltonvale

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Recent comments

  • huh
    April 21, 2014 - 20:54

    @observer: How on earth do you handle your electricity and heating costs then?

  • Voter
    April 21, 2014 - 16:56

    Why would an election year have any impact on Councillors making decisions. They are treating themselves like politicians and not leading civic members of a society. Make the decision based on what is best for tax payers and live with the outcome. Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way!

  • Fed up
    April 21, 2014 - 16:17

    Governments...Provincial, Federal, Municipal...out for the mighty dollar. No concern for the people...just grab every cent they can! People should be given a CHOICE of water meters...we aren't living in a democracy any more. What a bunch of idiots running things. We HAD meters....all removed...now meters back! Just something else to break down! As everyone is saying...we BUDGET for our water bill...now...like everything else...pay through the nose. City can't stick to a BUDGET...they don't realize people have budgets...unlike the governments...WE HAVE TO STICK TO OUR BUDGETS. WE CANT INCREASE OUR INCOME...BY TAXING SOMEONE ELSE...WHEN WE GO OVER! Leave people alone. Meters will not save money for us...only gouge more out of us!! We can't cut down on water any more than we have, and now we will have no way of knowing IF WE CAN AFFORD TO HAVE A SHOWER!!

  • The Observer from Stratford
    April 21, 2014 - 14:46

    With fixed rates for water, you know exactly what your bill will be and can budget for it with confidence. With a water meter you never know as your consumption is never constant , some fool in your home could leave an obscure tap running undetected for weeks and you're at the mercy of the water rates which will only go up never down. Given these choices which one would any sensible person choose?

  • budgetwatcher
    April 21, 2014 - 14:16

    @kevin: Is a balanced budget with no tax increases not responsible? Cops in schools and investments in water infrastructure? I would lay down a pretty good bet that you make your comment without knowing a thing about the 2014 budget recently released. Informed criticism is useful; uninformed, stereotypical criticism is just lazy.

  • Aquaman
    April 21, 2014 - 12:52

    With Eddie's water metering system, the city is gearing up to bleed more money out of taxpayers. And now Eddie is trying to convince people there are all these individuals volunteering to have water meters installed on their property. If you believe that, you must also believe in the Tooth Fairy.

  • kevin
    April 21, 2014 - 11:36

    This is not about saving water, it is about a steady income stream for the City to pay for their empire building and parties. It is CERTAINLY not about saving money for the consumers. Once they have us where they want us, the screws will be put on. Not one soul on City Council has the taxpayer/citizens' interest at heart - if they did we would be seeing tax reduction and responsible spending habits, --- it is all about eating and partying-- and it shows.

  • linda
    April 21, 2014 - 11:30

    People are to be forced into 'meterered' water, and will end up paying through the nose, while AT THE SAME TIME NOT BEING PERMITTED TO HAVE THEIR OWN WELL. THIS IS ALL ABOUT GIVING OUR WATER AWAY TO THE TOUR BOATS, SO THE TOURIST OPERATORS, RESTAURANGTS AND GIFT SHOP CAN PROSPER. SO GET READY FOLKS, YOU ARE NOBODY WHEN IT COMES TO THOUGHTFUL DECISION MAKING, - JUST KEEP ON THE TAX HARNESS and smile----.

  • peter
    April 21, 2014 - 08:09

    Well, hail to Eddie for fair warning, - they are too afraid of forcing people into the water meter farce before the election. Let me give fair warning, I will do everything I can to warn people not to vote for the incumbents this fall The water meter initiative is a boondoggle, and will end up costing us more than we are paying now, and it is not needed, people are already conserving. Let us stop this foolishness, I totally agree with the previous writer, this is crazy AND IS GOING TO COST US DEARLY.

  • don
    April 21, 2014 - 07:50

    what a joke. they will not force you to take the meters till after the election.

  • huh
    April 21, 2014 - 07:28

    "god forbid we use some of our resources". Does that mean you are saying we don't? How is it that you have already forgotten how low the water table was in years past? Your argument makes no sense at all.

  • Almond Shea
    April 21, 2014 - 07:25

    We were one of the 900 that were forced to meter..because we have a pool. Nearly all of our swimming water is thanks to Mother Nature's abundance of snow & rain. Since having the meter installed…our water bill has lowered…for now..til the rates go up.

  • Tis simply
    April 21, 2014 - 07:21

    This is simply a $$ grab. As usual. If it wouldn't make the city money, they'd not want them put in.

  • vick
    April 21, 2014 - 05:58

    Complete waste of money......there is a new water well, no need for water meters....educate people on water conservation......so here is whats going to take place.......its going to cost the city millions to have these water meters installed and the city is going to lose millions because of the savings to people who use little water so now the city is millions in the hole and guess what WATER RATES will increase big time! Biggest waste of money I have ever heard of! The water table is overflowing there is that much water out there and a new water station in Milton god forbid we use some of our resourses!

    • don
      April 21, 2014 - 07:54

      the day will come when we are in a "drought" then your words i hope you will be eating. and that day will come. thats way of thinking is hat got you all in the trouble last year. plus the free water the city is giving to the ships that comes in other wise why is the city not telling you what they are charging?