An estimated 16 residents in Fort Saskatchewan rallied at City Hall to fight the on-going water bill issues.
The rally started at 5:30 p.m. prior to the Fort's regular council meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday (Jan.23).
Rally organizer Tanya Gallant was dealt a $2000 water bill in 2015.
"We went through the process of working with the city on that and they still pressed it that we had a water leak, even though we had plumbers come in and check everything, we did nothing, changed nothing and we went back to normal after that," said Gallant. "This is happening to random people around the city and it's not new homes, old homes or certain areas, it seems just so random, so in my view it's a concern for all citizens."
Recent high water bills to a single mother in November and over $1800 to another family in January instigated the rally.
"So that just sparked me again and I just thought, 'you know what, we need to come together on this and let council know that we aren’t going away anytime soon,'" said Gallant.
Protesters met with city manager, Troy Fleming as council commenced in a separate room.
"The biggest thing we want residents to know is the city does care a lot about this issue. We've had a lot of feedback on it for a couple of years now. We just want them to know that we do care and are listening and that there are a number of different initiatives underway, that we hope will help the situation going forward," said Fleming.
Fleming said they had an external auditor look at their system and have not found anything that would lead to the mis-statement of a water bill.
"As far as we know this is all related to legitimate water consumption, it might be accidental and we're not necessarily saying the resident would know that the water was consumed, but we don't believe there’s any billing anomalies that we've been able to find so far," said Fleming.
Gallant reported, the meeting went well and Fleming did his best to answer as much as he could.
The city's ultimate goal is to evolve the system so residents can get more periodic feedback on their water use. That includes an app that is in the works, but will take a few years to implement.
More information on the app will be available at the open session council meeting on March 27.