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Official: water costs increased by 534%

by Patrick Raftis

MAPLETON - The operators of a Moorefield business are asking council to either reduce their wastewater charges or allow them to revive a decommissioned well due to what they say are excessive charges under the metered billing system.

Spectrum Feeds general manager Mark Flaherty told council the business experienced a 534 per cent increase in water and wastewater charges for its two Moorefield facilities after metered water billing was implemented.

In a letter to council, Flaherty states that from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017, the business paid $15,476 for metered water and wastewater.

Prior to meters, the business paid $2,897 annually for both Moorefield facilities.

“While we acknowledge that under that billing we may not have been adequately paying our share, an increase of 534 per cent is not reasonable,” Flaherty wrote.

Although Flaherty estimates 96 per cent of the water used by the business is not returned through the wastewater system, “we’re paying more for wastewater now than we are for our primary water.”

Spectrum Feeds decommissioned two functioning wells when municipal water came to Moorefield.

Flaherty suggested allowing Spectrum Feeds to revive a well “for use of processed water only, not for domestic wells that return to our wastewater system,” as one option to reduce costs for the business.

Another option, he suggested, is charging the business in accordance with the amount of wastewater returned.

He said Spectrum Feeds would be willing to install equipment at its own cost to “validate how much water we are not returning to the wastewater system.”

“That’s our ask. We’re flexible on how we do it,” he told council.

“I appreciated the fact that Spectrum’s come to council to address their concerns,” said councillor Michael Martin.

“There are other options that your company could have chosen to address it and you’ve kind of alluded to it already with your private wells.”

A resolution to receive the presentation as information and direct staff to investigate and provide recommendations was approved by council.

Martin suggested council should consider having the municipality pay for part of the monitoring system suggested by the company as, “it’s in our best interest as well, Spectrum is on our water system .. if they would elect not to be … the Moorefield water system would be losing that potential revenue.”

“I’m sure that could be all part of the report that we’re requesting,” said Mayor Neil Driscoll.

May 19, 2017


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