LETTER: Water meter fines too high; more respect for residents needed
Dear Mr. Allin and members of the Grand Forks city council,
Concerning the new water metering bylaws now under consideration for first, second and third readings at this evening’s meeting (July 21), and for probable adoption on August 18, I understood that these draft bylaws were only available within the Information Package that was prepared for the COTW (Committee of the Whole) meeting held on June 23rd; draft bylaws are not posted on the city’s website because they are not yet in force.
With all due respect, in my opinion this seems to be an extremely restrictive situation, for if the people who attended the June COTW meeting (or those who took the time to go into city hall and pick up the package) are the only ones who were able to provide you with meaningful feedback, then your opportunities for improvement of these documents has been very limited, wouldn’t you agree?
I’ve had a chance to peruse the bylaws and I am very concerned and disappointed at the highly punitive levies that are delineated therein. For example, in certain circumstances, fines of $1,000 to $10,000 per day are specified for people who are found in violation of the said bylaws. And there are many other excessively draconian measures described for “offenders.”
Mr. Allin stated that these bylaws were “imported” from other communities. Doesn’t Grand Forks deserve a customized set of bylaws that fairly and humanely deal with issues concerning a substance that is essential to life?
To commodity water and penalize users to this extent is, in my opinion, completely unfair and inhumane. Let’s be reasonable here; we, the residents of Grand Forks are not criminals, yet we are being treated as such with these proposed bylaws.