Letter: Land owner’s water service frustration continues

The lack of communication and non-response to inquiries has been unconscionable.

To the editor:

Regarding the article of frustration with the District of Lake Country (DCL) (Land Owner Frustrated by Lack of Water Service on Lot, July 16 Lake Country Calendar.

Mayor James Baker says his land has been surveyed for a possible water right-of-way—that is correct only because he was going to subdivide his property. Then he let the application expire along with the right-of-way.  This action does not assist the district to establish a water line through his property.

Last year the DCL planning & development department suggested that we privately negotiate with Mayer Baker for a Statutory Right-Of-Way, yet assemble it in the district’s name and use the municipality’s Standard Document Template. This is absurd.  I am sure this is not an accepted process and adds to the complication DCL seems to be creating around this issue.

We are also in favour of a full six inch extension of the Lake Pine Water System, i.e. fire hydrant etc. at our easement roadway. This water line would serve more than our two lots. The excavation and installation of this six inch water line, complete with a fire hydrant, could have been completed in three weeks.

All five lots in this area, need service and have signed a petition indicating they prefer this line instead of waiting—who knows how long—for DCL to decide when they can take over the existing small Moberly Water System? This line to service our five lots, could be extended in the future, to service the other six lots of the existing Moberly system on this easement road.

The district applied for a $10,000 grant from the Infrastructure Grant Program (IPGP) which is funded by the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development from Victoria.  This money was to be used to study how to bring the Moberly Water System into the Lake Pine System.  The study would be done by an independent consultant.

The decision on the grant was to be made in March 2014 and announced in April 2014.  A couple of week ago I mentioned this to a principal of the Moberly system and he was surprised to hear this, as it was all news to him.

The mayor claimed that the Moberly system had petitioned DCL about taking over their water system—this is a fallacy.  Over the years they may have talked about doing something but no signed petition has been given to DCL

The district has taken it upon itself to use this study to postpone a more positive approach and service our five lots now, then extend the six inch water line to service the other part of the Moberly system, if and when those lot owners agree to pay the added costs of an upgrade.

On June 11, 2014, I asked Mayor Baker, in an email, what the status was for the funds and the study.  I am still waiting for a reply.  This is just one example of how uncooperative DCL seems to be.

During a meeting with the mayor and the consultant, they did not have proper drawings of the service area to aid a constructive conversation about the water system.  This leads me to question their intent to solve this issue.

The lack of communication and non-response to inquiries has been unconscionable. This is not a productive, amiable way to treat a taxpayer that has spend almost $30,000 in property taxes and supporting the district over the years.

The latest feedback we have had from the staff of DCL is, frankly, they feel we should be given our money back and forget it”.

So much for positive and constructive thinking.

With an attitude like this I can see why they needed to lay off a building inspector and also have a lot of vacant commercial property along Main Street.

Gordon Blue,

Lake Country