14 March 2021
During the extended freeze in the middle of February many citizens were dismayed to find that they were locked out of their water cutoff valve, unless they had a cutoff of their own located/installed. Pipes were bursting and many had no easy access to turn off the water. How did this happen? In April of 2017 when the digital water meters were being installed city-wide, a proposal was made to install locking lids at the same time. It was argued that some people had broken or damaged the water meter while accessing the cutoff and that the city needed to lock the boxes to protect their investment. I argued against these locks as I felt that this was insulting to the citizens of Bedford and created a potential risk of great financial loss due to water damage while the citizen had to wait for the city to come unlock the box and shut off the water. I was overruled by the majority of the council at the time but I stand by my statement that Bedford citizens are adults and can manage the risk of turning off a valve.