By Sherril Guthrie. As taxpayers here in Abbotsford, we are certainly not in favour of a delayed increase for ICI-Ag customers. The system has been inequitable for years and it’s clearly time for this unfair imbalance to be corrected.
Furthermore, the reality is this: – If the July 1st increase will mean that water costs increase by $50,000 for a small number of ICI/Ag customers, this means that these same ICI/Ag customers have been SAVING that amount (at taxpayers’ expense) for a number of years. By not moving forward with the scheduled water rate increase July 1, these customers (we should know who they are) are not paying their fair share toward a core service that must break even. Some of these customers have been paying LESS than the actual cost of delivery! While Abbotsford taxpayers make up the difference and strive to conserve.
Perhaps it’s time for these ICE/Ag Customers to explain to Abbotsford taxpayers why they feel it’s necessary for them to be subsidized by Abbotsford taxpayers. Does their Business Model and Operations Budget not have enough money in it to pay for a core service?
This would be an important and timely issue for Abbotsford Today (and other local news media) to present to residents and taxpayers and get input from ICI/Ag Customers. I suspect a lot of Abbotsford residents would like to hear how the local owner, VP or General Manager of some of these ICI/Ag clients explains water subsidies for them (the biggest users) on the backs of local taxpayers.
Finally, we need to keep in mind that local businesses and industries want and need the support of local residents and taxpayers – both in terms of support for their operations (even when they may cause neighbourhood problems) and purchase of their products. So how can these businesses and industries take money from local taxpayers at stores or outlets, while at the same time they’re taking money out of the back pocket of local taxpayers without them even knowing it.
This, in my opinion, is not an honourable way to conduct business in Abbotsford.