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In case you forgot about this ...

Monday, February 25, 2013   by: Staff




This is a reminder to all ratepayers that on the evening of February 27, 2013, organizers of the Sault Ste. Marie Ratepayers Association will host the first open public meeting between the ratepayers of the Sault and PUC Inc.

We would like to thank Dominic Parrella incoming new president & C.E.O for his time and participation in this endeavor.

We all look forward to the upcoming meeting with the goal to foster better communications by using methods that coordinates volunteer citizen. efforts.

The gathering will begin at 7 p.m. and end at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, February 27, 2013. in the Russ Ramsay Room at City Hall. 

The meeting will open with a brief introduction of what makes up the Sault Ste. Marie Ratepayers Association, outlining our goals and methods, while promoting active and responsible participation in local government.

Following our opening introduction, representatives of PUC Inc will provide a brief statement about themselves with an update of current issues facing the community along with any upcoming items they anticipate. 

The balance of the meeting will be a question and answer format between citizens and PUC. Inc representatives. 

It is our belief that this new joint process of public gatherings will become valuable to community communications. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us and please spread the word to your neighbours. 

We will look forward to seeing you on February 27.

“Do you want to make a difference? … Become an active ratepayer.”


Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
od1exx 2/25/2013 11:32:18 AM Report

I sure hope all the people who keep complaining go to this meeting to address their concerns.

I would probably ask how long will our rates continue to increase for the same service? Wages are not going up, how are people supposed to keep up with the rate increases?

Also, in the past few months we have experienced many power outages related to aging infrastructure (need sources here, would appreciate any information), is the PUC going to be replacing this? What is the timeline?

How does the PUC justify the cost of a brand new building before addressing the concerns of our aging electrical infrastructure?

As a community, this is an excellent opportunity for all of us to get some answers and hopefully take a step towards improving things in the future.
JellyFisch 2/25/2013 12:04:16 PM Report

How do you keep missing the information about the new building? Are you oblivious to the facts surrounding it? They needed the new building. They need new infrastructure.

Your answers will be at the meeting. Don't miss it. I'm starting to think those who understand the facts and try to help people see reasoning should pre-write the story and copy and paste it.
tcowen 2/25/2013 2:21:10 PM Report

Almost 13 yrs ago
There was an independent study done in Europe regarding the use of chlorine-treated drinking water had been ordered by the Government because of fears that it may cause spina bifida and stillbirths.

Scientists from Imperial College, London University, will carry out the research after doctors in Norway, Canada and the United States reported higher levels of birth defects in areas where chlorine is used, compared with drinking water treated by alternative methods. All of Britain's water companies chlorinate their supplies.

The only people who have non chlorinated water are those with their own bore holes or wells.

A Norwegian study of 141,000 births over three years found a 14 per cent increased risk of birth defects in areas with chlorinated water.

Scientists have already found an association between chlorine and an increased risk of bowel, kidney and bladder cancer, but it is the first time that a link has been found with higher levels of spina bifida.

Last night the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association said it was "concerned" by the findings and would be discussing them with medical advisers before considering making representations to the Government.

British water industry experts have not dismissed the findings but said that the safety benefits of purification outweigh the risks of birth defects.

Dr Per Magnus, who carried out the Norwegian research, said: "This is an important finding because we know there are chemicals released by the action of chlorine on organic particles at treatment works.

We have observed mutations in these chemicals which seem to tie up with mutations that are found in babies.

We were in a unique position in Norway to make these observations because in some areas our water comes from the mountains and doesn't require cleaning with chlorine."

The Norwegian government has ordered more research. Concerned families there have been filtering tap water. A popular method has been to place sachets of coral sand, dredged from fjords, into water before it is drunk, removing all traces of chlorine in tap water in 15 minutes.

In Canada, at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, researchers found that high levels of trihalomethanes, a by-product of chlorine in drinking water, significantly increased the risk of stillbirth.

Dr John Marshall, of the Pure Water Association, a pressure group which has been campaigning for safer drinking water, said: "It shows we should be paying more attention to the chemicals we put in drinking water and be looking for other alternatives to chlorination.

A number of safe, non-toxic options exist, such as treating water with the gas ozone or ultra violet."

Chlorine is in the same chemical group as fluoride, which has been linked with cancer and osteoporosis. There is also a connection between fluoride and increased blood pressure and an increase in problems with the thyroid gland.

John Fawell, a leading specialist on water quality, and an independent industry consultant, said the British Government and water companies were taking the danger of birth defects seriously.

He said: "The people who have done this work in Norway and the United States are reputable researchers and the Government and water companies have commissioned their own research from London University.

"But at present the conclusion of the World Health Organization and other concerned bodies is that the risk from contaminated water supplies outweighs the risk to health from chlorine.

Levels of chlorine and its by-products have been falling in water and the amount coming out of the average tap is half a milliliter per liter."

In another study - Dr. Herbert Schwartz of Cumberland County College in Vineman, N.J. says: "Chlorine has so many dangers it should be banned.

Putting chlorine in the water supply is like starting a time bomb. Cancer, heart trouble, premature senility, both mental and physical, are conditions attributable to chlorine treated water supplies. It is making us grow old before our time by producing symptoms of aging such as hardening of the arteries."

Chlorine is, essentially, bleach. And what comes out of most municipally delivered faucets is, quite actually, a mild bleach solution. Is it healthy to drink bleach? Does your body require any certain amount of chlorine to remain healthy? Feel free to consult a physician on that somewhat rhetorical question.

Consider some well-known attributes of chlorine. Let's say, "the dark side" of the saviour. A PhD chemist friend put it this way: "If I were assigned to go into a lab and produce a menu of known carcinogens (cancer-causing agents), the first thing I would do would be to grab-up a cylinder of chlorine and start bubbling it through some water that contains naturally occuring organic acids (humic and fumic acids -- as are found in all natural bodies of water like rivers, lakes, reservoirs, etc.)."

Note the "chloro" part in the following: trichlorophosphate (TCP) and the trihalomethane group (THMs) which includes chloroform. You may recognize these known bad guys by the legally imposed requirement of your municipality to periodically make report to the public (newspaper) on the levels of these known or highly suspected carcinogens in the tap water being produced.

There are others, but those are popularly known. And they're all chlorine by-products.. that kill.

My question is who do we sue when, not IF our cancer rates & birth defects spike 16-20% over the next 10 years.. I will be at this meeting and I expect some one to raise their hand to this question.
good4now 2/25/2013 2:31:09 PM Report

Dominic is a NEW leader and as such deserves some slack. I want to focus on the future, not dwell on the mistakes of the past.
Rather than fill two hours with complaints, I want him to do most of the talking. How is he going to fix the mess?
These are the problems as I see them:

1- service problems, specifically bad tasting water and electrical outages.

2- historic lavish spending instead of applying revenue to direct service infrastructure. The decision has already been made that they needed new office space and service garage more than we needed electrical and water main upgrades. Nothing can be done about that now.

3- Decaying infrastructure is a problem that can be addressed. Perhaps charitable donations are a small expenditure relative to the tens of millions needed to effect repairs, but it sends the wrong message to ratepayers.

It tells me that the PUC considers our money an endless resource that can be accessed whenever and for whatever. There is no accountability and no apparent concern for our ability to pay, even though many of us are on fixed incomes. It also tells me that the PUC's rates are in excess of their needs and they distribute their "surplus" revenue.

I want Dominic to explain how the PUC will be more accountable. How will infrastructure revue be collected? Will wages and benefits of senior staff reflect the ability of ratepayers to pay or the lavishness of the past?

Will specific measures be taken to rein in spending? eg I think that service announcement advertising is excessive and poorly done. That last full page in the Sault Star's outlook was wasteful and uninformative in that it did not list either the holidays with reduced rates, or the current pricing structure.
There was also NO mention of the newly increased water rates, nor the plan to raise rates every year. How will this rapidly increasing revenue be managed to ensure it goes towards the real needs? What is the dollar goal and is there any true estimate of what is needed and the final cost?

We HAVE TO endure past mistakes, we must avoid those in the future.

The difference between managing and leading:
The manager does things right;
the leader does the right thing.
tcowen 2/25/2013 3:46:44 PM Report

If you or I knowingly placed a toxic substance into a municipal water supply that potentially placed the lives of 10,000 people at risk.. we wouldn't be given the chance to 'fix it as we go' & or to correct it at some future date.

Free chlorine kills.. period. It's not enough to call it unfortunate and ask that we move forward because some one is new to the "position".

Accountability means just that.. If our government says it's "acceptable" to potentially kill or cripple 14% of a population over a 10 year period.

Then they should at least be expected to explain why..
missing33years 2/25/2013 10:24:33 PM Report

14 % is ok with the gov because the odds are that 80% of the 14% will be seniors which means money saved on old age and supliment payments ,win win because thats how they think...
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