The Missing Meter
**This featured case is one example of the concerns people have brought to us. Names have been changed to protect the identity of the people involved.
Nelson had a problem with his municipal water bill and with flooding in his yard. He told us he was also banned from the municipal office.
Nelson told us that he had reported a problem with his water meter a few years ago. His municipality removed the meter and never replaced it. Since then, his water bills had gone up a lot and he didn’t know if they were accurate. He didn’t understand why others had water meters and he did not. He also told us that his neighbour agreed to have the municipality pile snow on her yard when they are clearing the streets. When the snow melts, his yard floods. He said the municipality refused to pump away the water, even though they helped others. Although Nelson mentioned other issues, he said that what he really wanted was to be able to improve his relationship with the municipality.
We decided to see if we could help facilitate a resolution. We contacted the administrator and learned that the municipality had switched to a flat rate for water – so even though some people still had water meters, they were not being used for billing. She also told us there was no bylaw about pumping flooded yards – though they try to help older residents when needed. Nelson’s yard was in a low spot and he had been talking about building up the dirt. When he understood why the municipality wasn’t helping him, he said he would build up the grade himself.
Finally, we asked the administrator about his ban. She said that although he had been told he was banned during a verbal exchange, there is a process to ban someone and this had not been done. She said it was fine for him to come in to pay his bills and discuss other issues. When we told him he was not banned, he said he was very happy with this.