"Shoreview is replacing all water meters and verifying that properties are compliant with the Inflow/Infiltration (I&I) regulations." The City is insisting that it must have its representatives, who work for the private company that won the bid to replace the water meters, inside the homes of all citizens to check their compliance, and they will "share the cost" of repairing any violations, as well as the replacement of the water meter. And get this: the water meter will be a "radio read meter."
A second letter came to my notice at the same time: it's not good enough to tidily draw your garbage bins up against your garage inside your own property line; no, you must put them inside your garage or hide them behind an attractive screen. Look, people, if you're so sensitive you can't handle the sight of a garbage can, you're not fit for modern life. Why in God's name is there a city ordinance regulating exactly where citizens can place their trash receptacles? Because there are way too many meddlers in this city. If you're an overly sensitive meddler whose got a problem with your neighbor's trash cans, then get a spine and go talk to them yourself! Honestly, people who want never to look at a trash can must be the same people who think they can go through life pretending that they never poop, belch, or scratch their nose. Garbage cans in a city are a fact of life, people; get over it, and if your neighbor is really making an ass of himself about the trash, then practice a little of your liberal belief in conflict resolution and work it out between yourselves. Stop asking the city to regulate the whole world and solve all your problems.
Citizens of Shoreview, this is enough. This is an official call to all of you who have been sheep for way, way too long: do not obey your government. They want inside your house, to snoop for violations that, as far as you know, are causing no problems (you can click the title of this post to be taken to the City's website, where you'll find .pdfs that supposedly explain how terribly costly working sump pumps and basement drains are to the metropolitan area; doesn't seem to warrant this much cost and government intrusion, especially when we're watching the world's economy melt down in real time). They want to install a radio read meter, which will undoubtedly do things beyond merely measuring total water usage, like tell the city how many gallons you use at certain times of the day or year. Get ready to be charged extra for summer usage, or morning usage, or usage above a certain limit when it's not "your" day for watering, or usage whenever the City arbitrarily thinks, according to whatever politically correct fashion it may be following, you shouldn't use as much water as you do. Get ready to be told what color your trash cans can be, what you can put in them, when you can put them out to the curb, when you must pull them back to the curb, what you can say to your garbage man, which garbage man you must hire (oh wait, we're already legally obligated on most of those points...), and so on.
DO NOT contact SL-serco (what kind of a name is that for a water meter installation company?) to set up an appointment for their representative to snoop in your house. DO NOT cooperate with the City of Shoreview in spending money to fix non-problems. DO NOT put yourself out building a nice little lattice to shield the eyes of your meddlesome neighbors from the facts of life; put your garbage cans wherever you darn well please (within your own property lines, and with common decency toward others, doing unto them as you'd have done to you, naturally). Passively refuse to help this city pretend that things are business as usual. Tell them you want police and roads and otherwise, you want the goverment to get out of your way, get off your back, get out of your pocket, your backyard, your front yard, your trash can, and your water usage. Tell the City of Shoreview to shove it.