Prince Albert will continue to shut off the water of some residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Currently, the city is not shutting off water of residents who are in arrears during the pandemic.
However, for those residents who have failed to switch over to the new metering system, the city will shutoff water as a last resort.
City workers need to gain access to residences to install the new meters.
At Tuesday night’s council meeting, Councillor Terra Lennox-Zepp put forward a motion to suspend all residential water shutoffs during COVID-19.
She asked other councillors since there will be no cost to the city to temporarily suspend all water shutoffs during the pandemic, why not do so?
“If somebody has a downside, I really need to hear it,” Lennox-Zepp said. “I want to know because so far I’ve just heard that we need to continue with the program because we’ve put money and energy into this new program, which is all true. But just to suspend the shutoffs right now, has no downside. Because we get to continue with the new program, as we are right now, we get to continue with the monthly billing, as we are right now.”
However, a number on council, including Mayor Greg Dionne, weren’t having any part of it.
“I absolutely will not be supporting your motion,” he said. “Eleven-thousand-four-hundred-and-forty residents have complied. So, I don’t know how 158 has not heard about it. We have invested $4.8 million in this project. They’ve had 13 months to comply. So, what do you want to do? Give them another year, another six months?”
The motion was defeated by a vote of 6-3.
Councillors Lennox-Zepp, Charlene Miller and Evert Botha voted in favour of the motion.
The city is moving away from a three-month system of billing to monthly bills in order to better track water usage.