City council: Meter reading stands at $100
Seniors who choose to have non-radio-frequency water meters won’t be getting help from council paying the bill to have those meters read.
Sigi White wrote to council, asking the city to waive the $100 annual fee the city plans to charge for manual water meter readings in cases where seniors can prove they are on fixed or low incomes.
She said she chose not to get a smart meter because of health concerns and doesn’t think it is fair the city should ask her to pay extra for meter readings as a result.
White suggested she could read her meter herself, but community safety and corporate services director David Duckworth said there’s value to having the readings done by city staff, who can monitor for leaks and let residents know if they’re in danger of exceeding their water allotments.
Public works director Tracy Kyle said those who don’t want to pay the $100 can always switch over to the smart meters free of charge.
So far, 75 homes in the city have the non-radio-frequency meters, compared to 15,400 with smart meters.
Mayor Peter Milobar said the $100 charge may sound more arduous than it is, since metered billing will reduce the water charges to the average home to about $400 from $520.
“If they’re using water within the confines of what the new system is — which over 60 per cent of the homes we’ve charted to, with green lawns and gardens and everything — they’re still at $500 instead of $520,” he said.
Council agreed to send White a letter of response, but didn’t take any action on her request.