LETTERS: Civic costs adding up

LETTERS: Civic costs adding up

Editor: Unbelievable! What is going on with our elected representatives on White Rockcouncil?

Editor:

Unbelievable! What is going on with our elected representatives on White Rock council?

Not only are we, the taxpayer, being ignored but it seems by the May 10 editorial in PAN (Watered down communication) that our local paper is also not having much luck with receiving information from our councillors and city staff.

As for the Epcor debacle – what right do they have to shut us out of our rights to “freedom of information,” especially when it is the taxpayers’ money.

I am writing to share with your readers my personal experiences with the city and how I feel I am not being treated fairly.

1. My house tax is now $8,800, up $1,100. We have no sidewalks, gutters, street trees, only two streetlights, and the condition of the street is disgusting – it has not been resurfaced for 30 years. A money grab of services not rendered.

2. Water rates – our consumption each year is approximately 6,500 cubic feet; the city charges me for 15,000 cubic feet, at $228 every three months. We all have water meters, so why are we not paying for what we actually use plus an administration fee? Incidentally, only two adults live in our home.

3. Backflow form charges – every year it is mandatory in White Rock to have a backflow reading from an irrigation system; strangely, this service is not mandatory in Surrey. Cost of the service is approximately $100, and on top of that the city charges $32 for the online form that has to be filled in by the service person – can’t imagine how it can warrant that cost.

4. Suite – my house was built with a potential suite. Every year we pay an extra $541 for the use of this space as a rental. My suite has not been rented for many years and is now part of my home and for my own use. To forgo this extra costing, I have to remove the stove and get an electrician to clip the wiring high up in the wall cavity. I refuse to deface my lovely home. I told the city I was willing to pay $50 a year to cover the costs of an inspector doing a spot check at any time to inspect the suite; this fell on deaf ears. So the city gets $541 for nothing.

5. Sewer – our neighbours’ sewer system failed and, over a few years, the city has come three times to fix the problem. Taxpayers paid heftily for that problem, usually a minimum of three days with at least six people and heavy machinery involved each time. Nobody seemed accountable for the shoddy original job.

6. Black/brown water – a bath with clear water? Impossible. A white laundry wash? Problematic. We buy bottled water for all drinking and cooking at a cost to us of $50 a month. We buy filters for our shower to stop the impurities entering our skin and hair – another expense. A plumber has to come to clean our pressure reducing valve screen and put in a flushing line – another expense for us. Our appliances, toilets and sinks are permanently marked by the disgusting water. More expense for endless cleaning supplies and potential replacement or servicing of our appliances.

Many White Rock citizens, I know have similar experiences, and I feel it is time we should let our elected councillors and mayor know that we are tired of how our city is being run and the money spent.

No more small talk. Help us citizens get back to pay for what is fair. Stop gouging us and following what can only be seen as self-serving actions by our elected representatives.

P. Scott, White Rock