Replacing the water meters in town with newer, more energy efficient models was a project the Town of Ponoka began in the spring of 2014, as of town council’s Tuesday, Feb. 10 regular meeting there were only about 100 left in town to change.
Neptune Technology Group, contracted by the town for the replacement of the water meters, has completed its tasks under the project and is no longer in the town. “We’re going forward with our own plumbers,” said town CAO Rachel Kunz.
Once the ground thaws and the worst of winter passes, the remainder of the meters will be installed; some were delayed when the water could not be shut off inside the building the councilors were told, attempting to reach the street shutoff now would prove more costly than waiting.
Town staff also face the challenge of the lingering eight to 10 hard refusals.
“Right now the plan of administration is to the get the other 90-some put in and they will deal with the hard refusals at that time,” said Mayor Rick Bonnett.
“We’ll take a stand at that point. We’re not going to slid it under the rug,” he added.
Snow removal challenges
Until the snow melts away, town council is looking to review its snow removal policy and implement something that will produce better results.
“We asked administration to bring us the policy back on snow removal enforcement,” said Bonnett.
Issues include cars being routinely parked in zones posted with no parking signs and sidewalks being left dangerously snowy and icy.
“Some of our residents would like to see more teeth in it,” said Bonnett, referring to the current policy.
The issue is especially difficult for seniors, some of whom have spoken directly with council on the matter.
“It’s a safety and a respect issue,” said Bonnett.
Right now if the work is not done in a timely fashion, town staff remove the snow and the bill is added to the offenders taxes.
“I think council is thinking that’s obviously not working,” said Bonnett.