Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Notice to water customers!



Anonymous said...

It is good to see that we citizens can have a discussion about this new Master Water Plan as very few people, including incumbent politicians, seem to understand actions or implications. As the last Water Plan was not followed, what would make me believe that this one would be? I have little faith in well-intentioned engineers and even less in our governance. For this reason I would have liked to have seen a third party review of this plan. it is a huge sum of money to ask for and potentially ruinous to our economy if we get it wrong; witness the golf course fiasco right now!

Inge Friesen said...

What are you fighting, exactly? A $36 a year increase to the average residential water bill? I will gladly pay you that $36 if you would kindly stop alarming GVW customers.

Spell it out, Councillor Kiss:
You are dissatisfied with the plan that was ENDORSED by GVAC and APPROVED by the Regional Board. So what?

Those expensive consultants (3 professional engineering firms) worked with the Technical Advisory Committee to review 9 OPTIONS, of which 3 were short-listed and finally, 1 OPTION selected for the Master Water Plan.

You did not approve of this option. The majority did. Of course you are entitled to your opinion.

You posted that you "lost confidence in both the consultants and staff in 2004" i.e. a full decade ago. So you admit that you don't trust the District of Coldstream's CAO, CFO, professional engineer and engineering technologist. Wow.

Let me say this clearly: I trust Coldstream's staff, and the City of Vernon staff, and the Regional District staff to work together to bring forward the best option for our Master Water Plan. And I also (have to) trust that our politicians collectively made the best choice for our region.

On November 15, I will vote YES to stabilize rate increases and to cost-share with current and future customers.

To do anything else, is to vote for even HIGHER residential water rates and greater UNCERTAINTY for our regional water future. No thanks.

Please understand that we are not voting on the details of the plan, but on how to finance it.

Councillor Kiss, when you're ready to trust Coldstream staff again, be sure to let 'em know.

Thank you for posting a link to the RDNO website for more information:

Coldstreamer said...

Thank you, Inge, for your thoughtful, “polite” comments. Thanks also for the offer of paying my annual $36 (estimated) water rate increases. Unfortunately, it appears to be a bribe and elected officials cannot accept bribes. It would be nice if you could extend your offer to other long suffering water customers.

I am glad you mentioned that both GVAC and the RDNO Board approved the plan. Perhaps you should also acknowledge that ALL of the would be Vernon politicians expressed their opinion by indicating that they would be voting against the $70 million borrowing referendum. Obviously, other people had misgivings about the plan but nobody asked them before for their opinion. I observed the Technical Committee deliberations and I know the way the plan was developed.

I wonder if you could name another Okanagan community that would spend $180 million on a water plan that would use most of the highly treated water for crop and hay irrigation.

As for loss of confidence: my comments only refer to the water plan issue. In 2002 the recommendation of the consultant trio was total separation embraced and promoted by staff. Two years later the opposite recommendation by the new group of same consulting firms was totally embraced by staff and promoted at the mall and at public meetings. It is difficult for me to reconcile such 180 degree turn in two years. Either the 2002 promotion was wrong (yet not acknowledged) or the 2004 model is wrong. Having examined all angles I do believe the total separation is the preferred option for a long term Master Water Plan.

As an elected Councillor I must strive for the most cost effective service delivery for my constituents. As a former staff member you should know that not all recommendations are accepted by the NORD Board. It is their privilege! As a member of the GVAC Committee I have the right to my opinion. I was not the only one opposing the current plan. I also acknowledge your right to question my decision although a more polite approach would be more appreciated.

Gyula Kiss
Councillor, DOC

Anonymous said...

Inge, you are probably the only person in the North Okanagan that actually believes the $36/year figure lol

Inge Friesen said...

My sincerest apologies, my "direct" comments were not meant as an attempt to bribe.

9 options were narrowed down to 3 down to 1.

Were you opposed to all 9 options, or just the 1?

I could have thought of 20 options. Instead of fomenting dissent to the referendum and distrust in our regional water utility, I have chosen to support the affordable, logical option selected by our regional representatives to bring our water utility into compliance with provincial standards.

Even if that costs $72 a year more, or $6 a month more - compared to my internet bill, water is affordable.

That politicians need to score points before an election is unfortunate indeed.

The 2 area directors happen to be an Irrigation Specialist and an Engineer, who are also tuned into this water issue. See today's paper (Vernon Morning Star - Sunday edition).

Also, Councillor hopeful Shane Hillman has stated his views on this referendum - see www.votehillman.com.

In addition, people can inform themselves at rdno.ca/water.

Coldstreamer said...

Hi Inge

I would have supported options that considered total separation of the domestic supply from the Duteau supply (Options S and 6). Treating Duteau water for domestic quality is very expensive and a constant yearly cost. In 2012 the Duteau cost was $2.2 million and it only produced about 20% of the total domestic water the rest was used for irrigation. I would accept necessary costs if we were spending it in the right projects and used the right rate system for the revenue recovery. $399.20 is a huge tax burden which does not consider either the property values nor the volume of water used.

Option 6 could be made acceptable if we postponed filtration (it is listed for 2042 so $50 million could be postponed to 2042). We could also postpone the pumping station to 2035 ($35 million). These are the potential issues we could address if the vote is negative.

Affordability is always a relative term. If you are a millionaire everything is affordable. If you are a pensioner on a fixed income much less is affordable.

If you wish to further discuss the issues I could be available at our mutual convenience.

Anonymous said...

Re the foregoing comments. Why waste your time trying to explain over and over that which is obvious to most thinking people. She is sure she is right. It is a terrible, wasteful plan no matter how you cut the cheese.
It is interesting that most of the people who voted for it and backed it before have now altered their stance to a NO vote. Does that have anything to do with wanting to get elected and then they can revert to their usual sheeplike behaviour? Wake up people, think for yourselves, it is allowed you know!
An increase of $36. yr, my fanny, if you believe that you will believe anything you are fed.

Anonymous said...

Re: Anonymous...All I see in your commentary is exactly what you accuse the non-anonymous party of. Pot, kettle, black, that kind of thing. Not sure enough of your facts (or shall we say opinion?) to leave your name, I guess.

Coldstream Ratepayers News! All Coldstream residents are ratepayers!

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.

Gyula Kiss


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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.