Water rate increase justified says Northside Water Services

A reply to clarify comments written in the August 3 issue of the Omineca Express regarding the water rate increase by Northside Water Service Ltd.

Editor:

 

A reply to clarify comments written in the August 3 issue of the Omineca Express regarding the water rate increase by Northside Water Service Ltd.

Before the utility is allowed to post a letter of intent to increase the water rates an extensive review by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Water Management Branch is required. Letters are then sent out informing customers and they have 30 days to voice their concerns in written letters or emails, and a copy is also sent to the utility.  We received three copies of letters sent to the ministry.  Any improvements or developments in the utility’s area are tightly governed by the ministry in Victoria.  We fall under the same scrutiny as BC Hydro, Pacific Gas and all water utilities not run by municipalities. We are not a private business.  The utility hired a part time operator as of September 2010; he took his level one certification in 2008, which was paid for privately at that time. He is the third generation family member involved in the water system.  The wages for two part operators is $36,500 annual per operator, and this does not include a benefit package, pension funds, etc.

For this wage an operator is required to be on call 24/7.  Also he must have another part time job in order to have an income to support family, and this job must be flexible so that he can leave and attend to the utility if an emergency should arise.   Water rates were posted to increase $8 a month effective July 1, 2011.   Unfortunately Councillor Steve Little’s comments were incorrect.  As a council member he should have been better informed as all the information is available to him. A phone call or email would have given him update and correct information.  He mentioned no one has justified the costs, yet he did not ask for any information regarding costs. There have not been 10 rate increases; rather the increase in 2006 for the second well was spread over a four year period. A part time operator has already been hired for almost a year, funded privately by the owners in the interim. An information package was available for the expenses of the utility, but none was requested.  Being on district council he should know that the District of Vanderhoof is entitled to grants; the last grant was for $1.5 million for the treatment plant.  Therefore water operations do cost more if it is not in a municipality.

A cost that most customers are not aware is the water frontage fees on property taxes every year; this cost is extra and not included in the user fee for residents on the District of Vanderhoof water system.   There have not been 10 rate increases; rather the increase in 2006 for the second well was spread over a four year period.

 

Greg Manwaring/President/certified level 1 operator Northside Water Service Ltd.

 

 

Just Posted

Vanderhoof eligible for up to $6M in provincial infrastructure funding

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

Over 2,000 people used the pool in the first 2-weeks

Lifeguard training course needs a minimum of six people to register before Feb. 21

Coastal GasLink stops work to investigate archaeological find

OGC archaeologists are en route to the Houston-area site where Unist’ot’en report finding stone tools

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read