No options for residents on water meter exchange program

Town councillors voted down the request to give residents options on the wireless water meter system contracted to Neptune Technologies.

Town councillors voted down the request to give residents options on the wireless water meter system contracted to Neptune Technologies.

The request was defeated by five votes to two during council’s regular meeting Tuesday, Oct. 14. Councillors Loanna Gulka and Carla Prediger voted in favour of the proposed three options for residents.

Council was presented with the following options on the proposed bylaw that was submitted to council for third reading:

  • The first option was to use the new water meters as planned.
  • The second option was to install a radio unit outside the home at a cost of $210.
  • The final option was to install a pulsar remote outside the home for $210 plus residents would have to pay a $75 monthly inspection fee.

The costs associated with the last two options are complete cost-recovery, which means the town does not make or lose any money, explained Dave McPhee, director of operations and property services.

Betty Quinlan, director of corporate services for the Town of Ponoka said she had spoken with the Town of Innisfail, which is also working on updating its water meters. She said town planners are not giving residents options.

Coun. Gulka said she has heard some residents say those other options are too expensive. She suggests everyone has a choice. “If you choose those options, you choose the cost that is associated with that choice.”

McPhee said switching the town-owned water meters is almost complete with 2,100 installed, 350 booked, 120 booked for the future and eight hard refusals. Prediger asked what the next step for those hard refusals is. McPhee replied the next step would be to see a lawyer.

“If there’s still a hard refusal you have to direct it to legal,” he explained.

Coun. Marc Yaworski asked if the meters belong to the Town of Ponoka and McPhee confirmed they are.