Erickson residents are being robbed through water taxes

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To the Editor:

I am writing this letter to inform the Creston Valley and area residents on the increase of our Erickson water taxes. I am certain the majority already know. I feel we are being robbed! How do you feel?

The mayor, along with his council members, Interior Health, the water commission board and Regional District of Central Kootenay directors all voted in favour of this increase. We, the people of Erickson, did not get to vote.

I myself have to come up with $1,171 by July 1 or face the overdue amount of $1,288 after this date. This increase is up considerably from $576 in July 2005 and $845.67 in 2012 — and increase of $325.33 in just this last year alone. This is very wrong!

I am only a small farmer who uses a small fraction of water from May to September. Most farmers in the area only use the water from May to September. We took advice and put in a drip irrigation system to save on water. My neighbours, who do not irrigate, have a bill of $3,500. Robbery!

The water is still flowing in out lines and I feel we are being punished by Interior Health. It’s a long story going back to Erickson’s fight for no chlorine, which we voted against — yet, the deadly chlorine still remains flowing in our lines.

They say the water bill is only going to go up. There is no break coming, and not even a financial plan in place to help pay for these high bills that should never be so high.

I understand they took a water rate list from the Okanagan and said this would be good for Erickson. Where did they get their education? What gives them the right to vote that our water should be rated the same as the Okanagan’s? Are we the Okanagan? Do we have as many residents as the Okanagan does? How can you compare apples to oranges?

I could quit farming, cut out all my blueberry bushes and become just a single-family dwelling. But then that would take away my modest yearly income! Plus, they say that if I do go back to a single-family residence, then I will never get my water back if circumstances change and once again the water would be needed for farming. Is this a form of bullying or a threat?

I would also like to know why a “certain Creston female” has the notion that the Town of Creston is subsidizing water users. How did Erickson become classified as residential?

Theodore Roosevelt said, “Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.”

Virginia Romano