Tag Archives: water compensation

Passing the buck to taxpayers

Instead of taking prompt action to correct a serious problem with excessive water bills, Mayor Karen Farbridge denied compensation to a condominium complex that received a water bill for $25,000 for a month. The average water bill for the complex was $1,600 in the same time frame.

The motion to compensate the Home Owners Association was defeated when the Mayor broke the 6-6 tie.

The mayor’s rationale in voting to defeat the motion, was that the staff was studying a water bill compensation system and that council should not interfere at this time.

Since the story broke, there have been other excessive water bill complaints that have placed homeowners, in some cases, in dire financial straights.

The city water management staffer said the meter was working at the East End Condo. He failed to explain why the water did not turn up at the wastewater plant. There was no evidence of leakage or flooding around the condo.

Is it possible there may be a few grow-ups in the neighbourhood tapping into the Condo water supply to feed their illegal plants?

This is another case where city staff fails to meet the needs of the public. Compounding the problem is the Farbridge-dominated council tossing the ball to the staff for resolution.

Another example was the $90,000 spent on a consultant to advise the city on proclaiming a neighbourhood composed of 60 year-old homes as a heritage district. There were 17 replies to a questionnaire sent out to more than 400 homes in the designated area.

That works out to $5,294.11 for each reply.

The most recent example was after years of study, the city taxation and revenue manager agreed with a Richmond Hill company to allow taxes to be paid by credit card.  The reasoning was that some people wanted to accumulate points on their credit cards.

Let’s see, a home with a tax bill of $3,000 would be charged 2.66 per cent for the privilege of using their credit card. That comes to $79.80 charged by the out-of –town card processor. In most bonus credit cards the payback would be $30.

It will cost almost $50 to pay your taxes by credit card.

Is this a great city or what?


Filed under Between the Lines