This is proof, we are living in rattlesnake country and we are sharing our lives with them. 4 rattlers in two days......Hansruedi is busy collecting them.
It was presented late into the fiscal year, after all our financial plans were finalized. The last two years rates were quite stable as the following table demonstrates:
The $1.54 per cubic meter increase is 20% higher than the previous two years average rate.
The sewage meter measuring the volume of sewage contributed by Coldstream must have had a hiccup. The following histogram demonstrates the volumes registered by the meter during the past two years and the two quarters this year.
Note the volume in the first quarter of this year sticking out like a sour thumb. How can we reconcile a volume of 186,132 cubic meters, 48% higher than the next highest volume registered in the second quarter of this year? It is 88% higher than the average of the first quarter of 2008 and 2009. Does that sound reasonable to anyone? Now the histogram:
*******************************************************************While Coldstream is hit with a huge increase in fees “...Okanagan Spring Brewery will have its sewer (biological oxygen demand) surcharge cut by 50 percent until the end of 2012...”(Vernon Blog). This will cost sewer users an estimated $125,000 annually for a total of about $375,000. Is that fair?
“Port Coquitlam has voted in favour of giving themselves a hefty raise, with a 27 per cent increase for councillors and a 42 per cent boost for Mayor Greg Moore...Moore's salary would jump to $85,418 from $67,277, while the councillors' pay would increase to $31,654 from $22,257.” (Vancouver Sun: July 26, 2010 8:14 PM)
Do you think the Vernon Kin race track should be closed in favour of a sports field? (Race Track.)As of 9:53 AM 472 of the 664 voters chose not to close the track. Something for us politicians to think about!
Option #1: Increase the sewer rates for the potential shortfall of $275,000 This option would have significant financial implications to an individual property owner on sewer. The consumption rate would be adjusted from $1.26 to $1.54 and the base rate from $83.50 to approximately $138.50. With a quarterly average of 50 cubic meters per, the additional costs would be approximately $69 per quarter, per customer or $138 for the remainder of 201 O. This option would provide the necessary funding to meet the estimated costs for treatment and disposal but would put significant financial hardship on the individual homeowner.
Option #2: Increase the consumption rate to the current rate of $1.54 This option would pass the increased consumption costs of the system along to the users of the system. The consumption rate would be adjusted from $1.26 to $1.54 per cubic meter effective July 1,2010. Based on current consumption of approximately 101,000 cubic meters, the additional $0.28 per cubic meter would generate an additional $28,280 in revenues per quarter or approximately $56,500 for the rest of 201 O. This option would leave the sewer utility with a potential shortfall of $218,500 to address. This could be funded from the sewer surplus/reserve balances to get the utility through 2010
Option #3: Fund the shortfall equally from user rates and surplus/reserves This option would fund the shortfall of $275,000 with $135,000 from surplus/reserves and the other $135,000 from increased user rates. The consumption rate would be adjusted from $1.26 to $1.54 and the base rate from $83.50 to approximately $102.50. With a quarterly consumption average of 50 cubic meters, the additional costs would be approximately $33 per quarter, per residential customer or $66 for the remainder of 2010. This option would fund the calculated shortfall with the least immediate financial impact to the users of the system. This option would also require the rates to be revisited for 2011 to account for the shortage that was funded from surplus.
Option #4: Fund the shortfall entirely from Surplus/Reserves This option would use available balances to fund the calculated shortfall and not adjust the user rates. This option would significantly deplete the District's surplus/reserve balances and would likely require a significant rate increase in 2011 to account for the cost increases to the system as there would be minimal reserve balances to draw from in future years.Were you to make the decision, which option would you chose? Unfortunately, Google's "Poll function" is not working so please drop me a line with your choice of the above four options (1, 2, 3 or 4) (firstname.lastname@example.org). Your name will not be used in the polling. Inform your neighbours of this issue in case they have no access to computer. Your help is appreciated.
Page 65 (2) Sewer Analysis and UpdateFor your information, staff's analysis is follows: (note: click on jpeg attachment for viewing and click on again for larger view)
Report from the Director of Financial Administration, dated July 14, 2010
THAT the report from the Director of Financial Administration, dated July 14, 2010, regarding Sewer Analysis and Update, be received;
AND THAT staff be directed to implement immediate changes to the sewer utility rates based on option #3, identified in the report dated July 14, 2010, wherein the quarterly fixed rate would be adjusted to $102.50 and the consumption rate would be adjusted to $1.54 per cubic meter;
AND FURTHER THAT the letter, as attached in the report dated July 14, 2010, be sent to the City of Vernon.
Never fear, gamblers. Won't be grounded long, not with all that money in your wallets waiting to be swallowed by a cash-starved provincial government. Just like the Liberals swallowed their principles when they turned to online gambling in the first place.
Remember, the Liberals were elected in 2001 on a platform that included a promise to "halt the expansion of gambling that has increased gambling addiction and put new strains on families."
Apparently those families were doing just fine by the time the Liberals actually took office though, because the provincial government immediately dropped its objections faster than Harry Homeowner dropping the mortgage money on a poker table. What a relief. Glad those families are OK.
Indeed, gambling revenue has pretty much doubled under the Liberals. The government now pulls in more than $1 billion a year (which didn't prevent it from cutting its gaming grants to non-profits to $120 million, down $36 million).
If this week's initial overload is any indication, the province's take will climb even higher following the launch of Playnow.com, billed as the first sanctioned online casino in North America.
The Liberals performed some impressive mental gymnastics to rationalize the expansion. Their argument goes like this: Online gambling is happening anyway. There's nothing we can do to stop it. British Columbians are spending about $100 million a year on illegal online gambling (a number so big and round that it sounds more like a guess than a real estimate), so better that we keep the money inside the province -- where the profits can be spent on highways, hospitals and MLAs' $61 food per diem -- than see it go to some foreign Al Capone.
Not a bad argument, or at least a convenient one. It was first used by the provincial government when it turned liquor stores into a state monopoly after prohibition -- though British Columbians were never bombarded with go-get-drunk ads the way they are subjected to gambling commercials.
But consider this: The B.C. Medical Association released a study last year that estimated 33,000 British Columbians have a severe addiction to illicit drugs. By comparison, 159,000 have a gambling problem, including 31,000 with a severe addiction. Then there are the 344,000 with indications of alcohol addiction, including the 120,000 with "a high probability of alcohol dependence."
"While we tend to think of addiction in terms of illicit drugs, addiction to alcohol and gambling are far more prevalent," BCMA president Dr. Bill Mackie said.
For those keeping score at home, that would be the alcohol and gambling being sold to you by your government. Maybe Big Benevolent Brother should take over the narcotics market, too, just to save us from the gangstas. Given the province's record, we would all be crackheads by Christmas.
And why stop there? If we're going to adopt the government-is-the-lesser-of-two-evils argument when it comes to gambling, might as well extend the logic to other areas of questionable morality, too.
Googling the word "porn" on my computer (actually, I used Dave Obee's computer, just in case the Times Colonist IT Police were watching) brought up 327 million sites. Must be a lot of money in porn. Better that it go to the government, where it can pay for granny's hip replacement, than to some less-virtuous destination.
Prostitution might prove to be a nice little earner for the province, too. Ditto for the sale of endangered-animals parts. Hey, someone is going to do it, might as well be us, right?
I’m sending you this email because you are on my 10,000 person email list of community leaders in
Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources
Please forward this email to your friends and contacts.
Due to recent warm weather, water demands have increased significantly. Areas in the West Coldstream area that were temporarily switched to the East Kalamalka Lake intake water source from Antwerp Springs are now on Duteau Creek source. The Duteau Creek and East Kalamalka Lake are both currently rated as “FAIR” therefore a “Water Quality Advisory” is in effect as directed by the Interior Health Authority. The water quality of Duteau Creek is described as colored, very soft and low alkalinity..
The changeover took place on Thursday, July 08, 2010 and customers will remain on the Duteau water system.
The Regional District of North Okanagan – Greater Vernon Water (RDNO-GVW) advises that due to recent warm weather, water demands have increased significantly. Areas in the Middleton Mountain area that were temporarily switched to the Kalamalka Lake water source last fall are being returned to the Duteau Creek source which they normally received in the past. The Duteau Creek Water Quality is currently rated as “FAIR” therefore a “Water Quality Advisory” is in effect as directed by the Interior Health Authority. .
The changeover took place on Wednesday, July 07, 2010 and will remain on the Duteau water system.
The opinions expressed by "Coldstreamer" are strictly his own and do not represent the opinions of Coldstream Council!
Because I value your thoughtful opinions, I encourage you to add a comment to this discussion. Don't be offended if I edit your comments for clarity or to keep out questionable matters, however, and I may even delete off-topic comments.