LETTER: Tolerance exceeded in Hope’s water situation

Time to start paying district instead of inept comptroller, says affected resident

This last increase (effective immediately) to the 753 water bill is totally unacceptable! With no advance notice a 32% increase has been imposed, making water for 753 customers, over 230% more than other Hope residences. The ‘notice’ letter dated July 1, 2019, from Chris McMillan, Secretary to the Comptroller Water Rights, states this is the first increase since September 1, 2015. This is not correct – there were subsequent increases September 1, 2016 and September 1, 2017.

In addition, 753 customers paid an additional ‘special levy’ of $470.00 for the purpose of system improvement. The contracts entered into by the Comptroller Water Rights office are a huge part of the expense, passed on to us. Last year the contract to Corix Corporation alone was near 30% of our payment and near 12% went to the (not Hope based) HLW Chartered Professional Accountants. Likely the Municipality could have added these services for far less (since the water is bought from them and they provide the same services for all others) and in doing so would have been progress toward amalgamation. In addition the money would have stayed in Hope.

We would like to thank all the 753 customers and former customers for the diligent efforts they have put into moving the amalgamation process forward. The thousands of hours of residents time put into this has been exceptional – and should not have been necessary. We would also commend the present Hope Mayor and Council on recognizing the inanity of this situation and moving towards a resolution.

Since the 753 problems became evident and charges were increased, 753 users have paid 2.6 times what Hope water users have paid. This amounts to an approximate $400,000.00 difference! At the very least this money could (should) have gone to the District for transition funding.

It is evident we are paying for the inadequacy of the Comptroller Water Rights Office to regulate and resolve the problems with 753 years ago. The exorbitant charges amount to legalized fraud. As a result we will be cancelling our automatic payment for the next quarter and instead paying the Municipality the monthly fee, as it is their water (ours, as Hope residents)that we receive. We encourage all 753 customers to do the same.

Cheryl and Ray Scott

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