Friday, May 7, 2010

Mayor Calls For Separate Restrictions -- by Peter McIntyre KISS FM

Vernon's mayor admits it could cause a lot of controversy, but he supports having different water restrictions based on the source.

Wayne Lippert says it makes no sense for customers on the well-supplied Kalamalka Lake system, to be under the same rules as Duteau Creek.

"My view on it is, it's one utility but you have number of different sources, n
ot just Kal Lake and the Uplands reservoirs, you also have Antwerp Springs, like well number 2 that's been giving the okay to come back on line, so that's like saying. 'we have one well that's overflowing with water, but because the other one's dry and we're waiting for it to fill, then we shouldn't use the one that's full. That doesn't make sense to me."

Lippert says the tighter restrictions have a big financial cost to the regional district.

"Our finance officer determined if we kept this (stage 3 rules) on for a significant length of time, it would cost us $1.5 million in revenue to the utility. My question back to the users and fellow directors is, how fair do you think it is to have to increase everybody's rates next year to make up that $1.5 million dollars? I think people would be very upset with us. It's not just managing water, it's managing finances as well."

The District of Coldstream is recommending NORD implement the same restrictions, regardless of source.

Lippert made his comments following a NORD meeting where the stage 3 rules were put on hold for two weeks pending further evaluation of the water supply.


Mayor Lippert attitude is an excellent example of why there were and still are frictions among the GVWU participants.

There are various reasons why all utility customers must be treated the same.

1. During the past 6-8 years all customers were paying the same water rates but enjoying different quality water. When officials were asked about this inequity their response was: we are in the same utility we must pay the same rate. Now we must bear the same burden as far as water restrictions are concerned.

2. The whole Okanagan Valley is experiencing drought conditions and Kalamalka Lake is part of the system. Control of the gate that releases water to Okanagan Lake is in the hands of Provincial and Federal jurisdictions. We could run low on water in Kalamalka lake as well in short order.

3. Mayor Lippert is the Chair of GVAC and should represent the Committee's wishes and not his own agenda.

The foregoing comments represent my own ideas and not necessarily that of Coldstream Council nor that of GVAC.


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About Me

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I have been a resident of Coldstream since 1976. I have had 15 years of experience on Council, 3 years as Mayor. As a current Councillor I am working to achieve fair water and sewer rates and to ensure that taxpayers get fair treatment. The current direction regarding water supply is unsustainable and I am doing all I can to get the most cost effective water supply possible.