Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Where is the logic?

The subject of the Public Hearing Held Monday, September 11, 2007 at the Lavington Elementary School Gymnasium was the proposed amendment to the District of Coldstream Official Community Plan Bylaw No. 1445, 2005, Amendment Bylaw No. 1502, 2007, Amendment No. 3 as follows:

Intent: To amend the Official Community Plan with respect to policies related to agricultural land.

.10 Strongly encourage the continued long term agricultural use of the area designated as Agricultural, and bounded by Kidston Road, Coldstream Creek Road, Cunliffe road and Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park; the retention of this area in the Agricultural designation is very important to the character of Coldstream and residential development of this area will not be considered.

.11 Encourage the use of agricultural practices that reduce or prevent conflicts with residential uses, and work to encourage residential land users to reduce or prevent conflicts with agricultural uses.

.12 Avoid considering higher capability agricultural land for potential Industrial use, and only consider degraded and low capability lands in the Agricultural Land Reserve for Industrial use, but only if the area clearly meets the locational requirements for industrial use. http://www.districtofcoldstream.ca/council/minutes/2007/20070910_minutes_ph.pdf

Those are clearly stated policies. How could this Council even contemplate supporting the change of use of the Aberdeen Road property in light of these policies? That land is as good or better quality agricultural land than the land described in paragraph .10 above. Apply the policies consistently, please!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Eagle's view.

It comes down to dollars and cents!

Mayor Corner does not think much of the agricultural industry, Coldstream’s main industry. It appears that in his opinion this is an inferior industry and the agricultural industrial land does not deserve protection. The following reference illustrates his contempt:

“GVSC’s attempts to purchase land north of Kin Race Track have been unsuccessful in the past and it is too expensive because of the potential for commercial development there” (MS, 10-28-2007).

Any suggestion for alternatives is summarily discarded by our Mayor. Suggested alternative lands are either too small or too expensive. He seems to have blinders and anything other than the massive development proposed for the Aberdeen Road site is unacceptable. Perhaps if we reduced the size of the complex or located the fields in several smaller sites we could achieve the same purpose. But compromise does not seem to be in the cards for the Mayor with preconceived ideas.

Some of us believe that the agricultural industry is just as important, if not more so, than the horse racing industry or the airport industry on Okanagan Landing Road. If those lands are too important to be removed from those uses then so is the agricultural land.

Sport fields are important but they do not need to be concentrated on a single track of land. In fact, they could serve the general public better if they are located in various locations with easier access by local groups.

One of the major concern of many residents of Coldstream is the lack of local parks for children of younger ages. Mayor Corner should remember the delegations from Middleton Mountain residents demanding local parks. They even suggested leaving Greater Vernon Parks and Recreation (GVSC) as this organization appears to neglect the needs of the general taxpayer and only seems to cater to organized sports.

How many of the general public knew about the massive sports complex proposal before the request for alternate use of the Aberdeen property came before Council? It appears that organized sports, which originally made representation to GVSC in 2005, was instrumental in developing those plans and the general public was totally ignored and prevented from any input. Had they been consulted, those concerns of parents with young children would have surfaced and could have been considered.

Mayors and Councillors are elected to represent all members of the community!


Complex alternatives offered -- By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - October 28, 2007

The Greater Vernon Services Committee is being accused of ignoring other locations for a sports complex.

The Coldstream Ratepayers Association claims GVSC is so focused on a sports complex on Aberdeen Road that two other potentially viable sites aren’t being explored.

“If we can find these things, why can’t the people with six-figure salaries find them?” said Andy Danyliu, association president, of GVSC staff.

Danyliu says a 78-acre parcel just south of the Greater Vernon landfill on Highway 97 would be ideal for sports fields because of its view of Kalamalka Lake.

“It opens up the vistas to the tourism industry,” he said, adding there would be opportunities for hiking trails which appeal to many residents.

He also believes major sports events could also be held there without disrupting existing neighbourhoods.

“The only ones they would disturb are the coyotes and the cattle,” said Danyliu.

Half of the Highway 97 site is in the Agricultural Land Reserve while the remainder is out. Danyliu describes that portion in the ALR as being marginal farm land.

The owner of the property, who asked not to be named, confirms he has talked to GVSC.

The price tag is $1.8 million, but the owner says he would deduct part of the cost for levelling the grade.

“We would sell it to the regional district for $1.3 million,” he said of the property which has been on the market for a year.

Beyond this site, Danyliu is urging GVSC to look at land along Old Kamloops Road that could be incorporated into Kin Race Track.

He says such a plan would breathe new life into the race track and benefit nearby motels, hotels and shops.

Danyliu’s group opposes turning the 118 acres on Aberdeen Road into a sports complex, but if that site proceeds, he insists it should be restricted to just playing fields.

“I challenge them to put a covenant on the land so no permanent building can be put on it for 20 years,” he said of the need to preserve the agricultural integrity of that land.

Gary Corner, GVSC chairman, denies Danyliu’s claims.

“We’ve been looking for sites for years. We have looked at options,” he said.

According to Corner, the Highway 97 site near the landfill is too steep.

“Staff looked at the property and determined about 50 acres is only useable,” he said.

He added that GVSC’s attempts to purchase land north of Kin Race Track have been unsuccessful in the past and it is too expensive because of the potential for commercial development there.

Corner, who is Coldstream’s mayor, stands behind the Aberdeen Road property.,

“This isn’t about a big stadium. This would be similar to what’s in Polson Park but with soccer fields,” he said.

A referendum will be held Dec. 15, asking Coldstream residents if they support council submitting an application to the Agricultural Land Commission for non-farm use at 9325 Aberdeen Road, for the purpose of a park/sports field.


Friday, October 26, 2007

New Protected Areas in the North Okanagan amidst new threats -- By Don Elzer - Vernon Courier

The following is an excerpt from an article published by the Vernon Courier on October 25. It is reprinted with the approval of the author.

With the announcement of the proposed expansion of Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, many residents will be celebrating, but there are other efforts that have caught the attention of those folks eager for more environmental protection in the Okanagan.

But, there’s also some cause for concern.

Agricultural land at risk in Coldstream

A while back, this column reported on the question of the future of the Agricultural Land Reserve within the possibility of a new super regional district.

As it happens, a common threat to the ALR is about to play out as the Municipality of Coldstream seeks to ask voters to change the use of agricultural land to land used for parks and sports fields.

With the referendum we are witnessing a relatively new provision in the Agricultural Land Commission's mandate that justifies such removal or change of use based on "community need" - something some argue is an illegal consideration, given the current legislation that governs the ALR.

It already appears as though our elected representatives are the one’s that define “community need” to the commission. However, a public outcry over the issue has caused Coldstream council to leave it in the hands of the voters.

Regardless, it’s playing the “community need” trump card against the commission.

There continues to be growing pressure within this region to remove agricultural land from the ALR, which is intended to protect lands that have agricultural capability regardless of external community pressures.

In Coldstream, there is a need for sports parks, but like it or not pushing any kind of community service farther into food production areas will place pressure on those lands. More houses, strip malls, perhaps even industrial areas will follow.

Proponents of excluding certain lands from the ALR within urban/rural fringe areas point to high housing prices and the trend of continued growth as the reasons to make more land available for housing, jobs and public facilities.

Bob Ransford an urban development consultant and columnist with the Vancouver Sun said, “It is nonetheless ironic that the same people who argue that community need should trump agricultural capability also reject the role that the ALR plays as a de facto urban-growth boundary. They argue that the only criterion for including lands within the ALR should be agricultural capability”.

Ransford goes on to explain that on the other side of the debate, the positions are just as entrenched and principle often trumps logic. There are environmentalists unwilling to make certain land-use trade-offs for more intensive forms of agriculture that would result in increased food production and that have no deleterious impact on the land. There are also those who look purely at the aesthetic value of open space, yet are unwilling to accept the realities of farming.

Referendum or not, when land is removed from the ALR using the community need provision, what guarantee is there that future sprawl won't result? Are we placing future food production needs at risk?

You’ve heard it here before; we are without a food security plan in the Okanagan.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Readers Write.

Field of Dreams: What’s it really all about ?

There are two elements at play in this request for land for a Sports Complex. The first is the Funtastic Organization, an organization that thrives on sports tourism, and the second is the need of fields/facilities for local sports clubs. In the absence of any definitive description of this mysterious Sports Complex (in fact, it was continually being morphed by GVS officials during the Coldstream public meeting), I went to the Funtastic website and provide below a copy of their vision, which I believe to be closer to the ultimate desired look of the Sports Complex than the soft description of “park/sports fields” claimed in the Coldstream referendum text (note the placement of park ahead of sports fields):


Funtastic envisions building 6-8 more ball fields at Kin Race Track and complement fields that are located on leased land at DND. The 6-8 fields would be part of a bigger field complex would be a multi sports facility with permanent facilities (including larger washrooms, concessions, building for officials and organizers, covered grandstands, dugouts, covered stage and clearly laid out parking). The new facility would become an ideal location to host tournaments (including volleyball, football, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, ultimate and slo-pitch) and outdoor events (including music performances, plays and outdoor festivals)."

Now, unconstrained by the present DND conditions, there could be a party a number of times throughout the summer, with music resonating up and down this bowl-like valley. You have got to feel sorry for anyone living adjacent to this…just imagine the noise and light pollution! The character of our home would change forever.

Those Coldstream residents who are inclined to support this Sports Complex proposal for reasons of a perceived shortage of soccer fields/ lack of track and field facilities/ football fields etc, have legitimate concerns that should be and can be addressed through a process other than this bizarre and secretive “land grab”. They have been promised facility within this complex and are understandably attracted to it. For those people I make the following comments:

  1. We have an Official Community Plan that spells out a priority on the protection of agricultural land, and this valley bottom land is some of the best and last in B.C.. Unfortunately, some members of Council do not respect this plan. As Gary Corner has two roles, one as the Chairman of Greater Vernon Services, and the second, as the Mayor of Coldstream, he clearly has a huge conflict of interest. Think carefully about what might be your very temporary need for a kid’s sport field compared to the long term loss of this land.

  1. At both public forums a number of people have offered to work to help to address whatever shortfalls exist in our communities regarding sports facilities for local use: inventorying need, looking at smaller pieces of land with poor agricultural capability, looking to upgrading school land, scheduling of use etc. The lack of action on this item, and the continual push to quickly try to get this land, only convinces me of an agenda for sports tourism. They want this land and will stop at no deception to get it…you are being used to aid this end.

  1. It is true that Coldstream doesn’t contribute as many soccer fields in proportion to our player roster; we do, however, contribute some great beaches, boat launches and quiet pastoral biking/hiking to the broader community. A fair trade I would say.

  1. The demographics of this community do not support more sport fields. We have an aging population that values “Rural Living at Its Best” , and a declining youth population. Recent census data in Kelowna (assumed similar to here) suggests that 33% of the population is 55 and older and is a growing number; dollars are better directed to safe bike and walking paths than playing fields (and referendums).

  1. When oil breaches $100/ barrel and continues higher…sports tourism will decline and food costs will soar. We will all value living close to land that we wisely didn’t put a parking lot on.

Primrose Drive

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Better safe than sorry!

While not directly related the attached video is a warning for us all. We must start at our neck of the woods if we wish to save the world.



Readers Write.

Here we go again!

The sports lobby is nothing if not persistent getting the sports complex back on the council agenda. No doubt with the enthusiastic blessings of Mayor Corner's cronies and Mary Malerby, who obviously has no strong convictions of her own and changes her vote according to the prevailing winds of public opinion.

Unfortunately she finds herself precariously perched on the fence between an equally balanced but polarized council on this issue and many others. On one side we have the pro-growth, pro-business, big spenders, in favour of urban development at any cost, namely Corner, Williams and Taylor. On the other side we have the voices of moderation and restraint, such as Garlick, Firman and Dirk, trying to protect the rural character and the long-term ecological sustainability of the community.

I very much doubt we would be waging this battle if Danyliu had managed to pick up 8 more votes or if the electorate had any idea of the kind of values the candidates ran on in the last municipal election. Assuming that the voters were really well informed, which I very much doubt, one must conclude that the community is itself polarized not only on this issue but on the whole future development of Coldstream. Therefore this issue should have been left until after the next municipal election when the electorate could have voted for those candidates who would have taken a stand on this contentious issue and other similarly pressing issues facing our community.

I think Mayor Corner is trying to do everything possible to squeeze this project in under this watch because he has certainly annoyed a lot of people in the process of “growing” Coldstream according to his vision and may not be given another mandate. If this referendum defeats his vision for a friendly Sports Tourism sports complex in the centre of Coldstream then I would hope that he and is cronies will be appropriately dumped in favour of people better aligned with the values of the majority of Coldstream residents.

Peter Peto

492 Terrace Drive








Tuesday, November 6, 2007, 7 PM @ Coldstream Elementary School Gym

We need you again. Some members of council continue to believe that over 100 acres of prime agricultural land between Aberdeen Road and Hwy 6 should be developed as a sports complex.

Please come out again to discuss the issues and to re-affirm our previous message to Council – The residents of Coldstream do not want to see non-agricultural development of our prime Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) lands and want Council to uphold the Official Community Plan (OCP) as they promised to do in their election bids.

The two major on-going issues are:

Should Council support the altering of the OCP by applying to the Agricultural Land Commission for this change?

Council's agricultural land policies as stated in the OCP are:

“to encourage protection of agricultural land through support of the ALR; and encouragement of continued farm use on agricultural lands.”

We believe that applying for this change in use of prime agricultural land would result in loss of credibility by Council, and set a dangerous precedent. How could Council, in good faith, turn down other applicants who wish to subdivide or develop their ALR land for non agricultural use?

Do we need the proposed Sport Complex and how much would this proposed development cost taxpayers?

According to the GVSC Parks Master Plan “Vernon has a sports field supply of 1/996 population. This is a very high standard of supply” – this statement indicates that there is no need at this time for such a major complex. As our population continues to grow, more playing fields will be needed and we believe that more sports facilities can be provided in the DoC without compromising prime agricultural lands.

No financial or economic analysis of this project has been provided to the Coldstream taxpayers. We do not know the cost of the lands, why the Coldstream Ranch is even considering selling these prime haylands, or how much the development will eventually cost and who will pay for it. Please fill out the petition on the back of this page (mail it today) and attend the meeting. NOTE: We are compiling an email address database for all DoC residents who take an interest in our community. Please visit the website: http://coldstreamernews.blogspot.com and send an email to gyula1@shaw.ca so that we can keep you apprised of Coldstream
issues by email.


To: Mayor and Council, 9901 Kalamalka Rd., Coldstream, B.C. V1B 1L6

As a resident and eligible voter of Coldstream, I have reviewed the wording of the proposed DoC referendum set for December 8, 2007:

“Do you support Coldstream Council submitting an application to the Agricultural Land Commission, with respect to the property located at Lot A, Sections 24 & 25, Twp. 9, ODYD, Plan 2420, Except Plan H14664 (9325 Aberdeen Road), (commonly known as the Spicer Block), located within the Agricultural Land Reserve, to allow for a non-farm use (this proposal is for change of use, not removal from the Agricultural Land Reserve), for the purpose of park/sports fields?”

Please take note:

I DO NOT support Council in submitting this application to the Agricultural Land Commission;

I DO NOT support Council in holding this referendum;

I DO support upholding the District of Coldstream Official Community Plan and believe in preserving our prime farmland and “Rural Living at it’s Best”.

Signature: ________________________


Date set for referendum -- by Jennifer Smith, Morning Star

October 24, 2007

Coldstream voters will be heading to the polls sooner than expected.

Despite suggestions that a referendum be held in conjunction with the November 2008 election, the district will be seeking the opinion of residents Dec. 15, 2007.

Residents will be asked if they support council submitting an application to the Agricultural Land Commission for non-farm use at 9325 Aberdeen Road, for the purpose of a park/sports field.

The 188-acre Coldstream Ranch lands, commonly known as the Spicer Block, are proposed to be partially developed with a sports complex. The 60-acre footprint includes: parking for 1,000 vehicles, four dog agility fields, two baseball fields for ages five to nine, a soccer/rugby field, one football/rugby/ultimate field, four soccer pitches (two with lights), six slo-pitch/fastball fields (two with lights) and a lit stadium with a track and football field plus room for a banquet hall, storage, offices, washrooms, change rooms and bleachers.

While these details are not written in stone, they are about the only pieces of information residents are being given about the project.

Officials are not releasing cost estimates of the project, and that has several voters up in arms.

“What informed consumer considers buying any item without first knowing the cost?” questioned resident Joyce Gershony at Monday’s council meeting.

Another voter, Richard Enns, added: “If we don’t have the information we can’t give you a valid answer on the referendum.”

Several residents also raised their disgust with the project even going forward to referendum.

One resident was so outraged by the process that he stormed out of council chambers cursing.

“If this was passed at the Coldstream meeting and I came to you with a 1,000-signature petition, would you change your mind? Of course not,” said Hegler.

Malerby defends her position, saying she felt she owed 686 Coldstream residents a voice.

Council also debated the wording of the referendum question, which originally stated that this is a proposal for change of use, not removal from the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Coun. Bill Firman said essentially there is no difference, referring to the Coldstream Meadows application, which was still able to develop with non-farm use status, but just had conditions.

“You’re trying to pretend that non ALR use is any less intrusive than removing land from the ALR,” said Firman. “You’re saying ‘don’t worry about this, this is not a drastic event.’”

Coun. Jim Garlick, agreed.

“There’s no way that land will go back to agricultural use. You’re playing with words and if you’re going to play games that’s silly. Don’t do it,” said Garlick.

“Because people don’t think too much anyway.”

The Dec. 15 referendum date was set according to the Community Charter and Local Government Act, which states that a date must be set for other voting opportunities within 80 days of the resolution being passed by council.

The decision to hold a referendum was passed at council’s Oct. 9 meeting, after Coun. Glen Taylor pushed those against the project to reconsider and look at the number of local residents for the project.

A referendum costs anywhere from $7,000 to $10,000.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Readers Write.

October 22, 2007

Mayor and Council, Coldstream BC.

I have some questions regarding the fate of the agricultural land at the corner of Aberdeen Road and Highway 6.

For the benefit of all taxpayers in Coldstream and potentially all taxpayers in Greater Vernon, I believe the following questions need to be aired and answered prior to a referendum:

  1. What is the estimated cost of the referendum?

In its August 31, 2007 letter to Al McNiven, the ALC stated that it is unlikely that it would support the application for non farm use of the property in question without a net benefit to agriculture.

I quote:

Given the very high agricultural capability of these lands, and their current agricultural use, the Commission would likely not support the conversion of an additional 40ha to non farm uses. That is not to say that the Commission would dismiss an application that offered a substantive agricultural benefit (such as consolidation of active farmland). However, it is not the Commission’s mandate to encourage the conversion of high capability farmland to non farm use, or suggest ways and means to achieve this.”

  1. With the unlikelihood of ALC approval, what is Council’s justification for creating additional taxpayer expense for this referendum instead of holding it at the time of the November 2008 election?

  1. What, if any, substantive agricultural benefit is being offered so that the ALC would consider approving the application?

  1. If the concept plan from the first “go-around” is not what is now being proposed, what will the parks/sports fields complex now look like?

  1. How will it affect the agricultural character of the community; the traffic; the habitat and wildlife; and the water quality of Coldstream Creek?

  1. What will the land, the development and other related costs be to taxpayers?

If these questions cannot be answered before a referendum, then I respectfully submit we would be foolish to vote “yes” no matter what the date of the referendum!


Louise Christie
13012 Westkal Road
Coldstream, BC, V1B 1Y5

Merry 'Voting' For Coldstream -- By Jessica Samuels, KISS FM

Coldstream residents will be going to the polls just before Christmas.

Administrator Wendy Kay says district council has set December 15-th for a referendum dealing with using farm land for sports fields.

Kay tells KISS FM, "The time of the polls will be 8 am to 8pm. We we're able to get the Lavington school on that day, for a polling station."

Kay says the poll station in Lavington was not available on the date she recommended to council, December 8-th.

She expects the result will be announced 30 to 45 minutes after the polls close.

Residents will be deciding if farm land on Aberdeen Road should be used for sports facilities, and forwarded to the Agricultural Land Commission.

The referendum is an opinion vote so council will not be bound by the outcome.

Editor's note: That last paragraph is a clincher. Why spend $10-30 thousand for an opinion poll less than a year before the next election?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Coldstream Council Agenda -- OCTOBER 22, 2007



AT 5:30 PM (in-camera)

Open meeting to follow at 7:00 PM (I assume).


Please visit:


Note: There will be a vote on the proposed Referendum on the agricultural land change of use as follows:
2007 Other Voting Opportunity – Opinion of Electors
· Report from the Chief Administrative Officer, dated October 19,


THAT the report from the Chief Administrative Officer, dated October 19, 2007, regarding 2007 Other Voting Opportunity – Opinion of Electors, be received;

AND THAT the date to hold the Other Voting Opportunity be set as Saturday, December 8, 2007;

AND THAT the following question be put before the electorate:

“Do you support Coldstream Council submitting an application to the Agricultural Land Commission, with respect to the property located at Lot A, Sections 24 & 25, Twp. 9, ODYD, Plan 2420, Except Plan H14664 (9325 Aberdeen Road), (commonly know as the Spicer Block), located within the Agricultural Land Reserve, to allow for a non-farm use (this proposal is for change of use, not removal from the Agricultural Land Reserve), for the purpose of park/sports fields?”

AND FURTHER THAT Wendy Kay, Chief Administrative Officer, be appointed as Chief Election Officer for the purpose of conducting the Other Voting Opportunity; and Keri-Ann Baggett, Clerk, be appointed as Deputy Chief Election Officer.

Note also that there is no mention of the provision of information relating to the purchase of the property. It is difficult to imagine a referendum without providing fundamental information. Negotiations have been completed and presumably signed with the owner of the property, thus information should be removed from in-camera. Taxpayers have a right to know what is happening to make informed decisions before they are asked to vote in the referendum.

Please inform Council that you need this information for informed decision making.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Expansion eyed for Kal Park -- By Richard Rolke

Efforts are underway to triple the size of Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park.

The Ministry of Environment is currently looking at adding 2,223 hectares of protected area to the park, which is presently 1,000 hectares in size.

“There are several rattlesnake den sites there and it also preserves several protected ecosystems such as bunchgrass,” said Keith Baric, with the ministry’s environmental stewardship division.

The Kalamalka Lake protected area is south of the existing provincial park, between Coldstream and Oyama.

The area includes Douglas fir and cedar hemlock, as well as protected lakeshore on Kalamalka Lake.

“The primary goal is to keep it in a natural state,” said Baric.

“It’s managed as class A (provincial) park now so we are just talking about a change in the designation.”

Baric doesn’t expect a lot of enhancements within the area if it becomes part of the provincial park, and the future of existing trails will be considered.

Access would be through the Cosens Bay gate in Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park or via the lake itself.

“We are not entertaining any new access points at this time,” said Baric.

Currently, the ministry is consulting with local governments and First Nations.

The Central Okanagan Regional District board gave its approval Monday, and the matter could go before the North Okanagan Regional District in early November.

It’s anticipated that expansion of the provincial park will go before the Legislature for consideration in the spring.

The earliest the protected area could be designated class A provincial park is March.

The concept of expanding Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park has full support of the Friends of Kal Park.

“It’s always been our stance that they should do this,” said president Linda Kennedy.

“This prevents the development of this area and it’s really important to protect the shore of Kal Lake.”

But Kennedy sees a downside to expanding the size of the park if it doesn’t come with financial resources.

“The rangers will be stretched even more and it will take away from service time such as maintenance,” she said.


Duteau plant price tag peaks again -- By Richard Rolke

Escalating costs for the Duteau Creek water treatment plant have raised a flood of concerns.

The Greater Vernon Services Committee board was told Thursday that additional design work could lead the original price tag to go from $24 million to $27 million.

But that news didn’t go over well with director Barry Beardsell.

“Where are things going to end up?” he said, adding that he fears further increases could eventually occur.

“When the cost overruns come in, what will it reach then?

But chairman Gary Corner dismisses suggestions that costs for the treatment plant are going out of control.

“It’s not going up in cost, it’s going up in design,” he said, adding that improvements are being considered that will make the water supply safe and the facility productive.

“It’s certainly not a Taj Mahal. It’s designed for Duteau Creek water. It’s a plant that will handle that water well.”

Corner points out that the $24 million price tag was based on Greater Vernon funding it alone.

“The plant was designed on no (government) grants at all. If there were no grants, we would have built a basic plant,” he said.

The federal and provincial governments recently committed $13.8 million towards the project so Corner says that allows for some enhancements to be pursued.

And by using the grant now for such improvements, Corner says taxpayers won’t have to pay for them in the future.

The start of construction work has been pushed back because of the federal government’s requirement for an environmental assessment.

“We are now delayed a month but it’s not that serious a thing,” said Bill Di Pasquale, project manager.

It’s hoped that construction can still be completed by early 2009, with it fully operational in April of that year.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Vote will target bike paths -- By Jennifer Smith

Oct 14 2007

When it comes to getting things done, it all comes down to the money in the bank.

Therefore Coldstream residents who don’t want to wait years for bicycle, trail and roadway projects may have the choice to put their money where their mouth is.

The district is looking into the possibility of further taxation to get the ball rolling on projects in the bicycle and pedestrian master plan.

“The money for these types of projects are normally through taxation already but we have to set priorities,” said Catherine Lord, director of financial administration.

Because there is only so much money in the budget to complete projects, setting priorities means many projects continue to get put on the back burner.

Therefore the district is going to create a financial plan that ties into the bicycle and pedestrian master plan with priorities and a schedule. It will then be brought to the public in a referendum question during the November 2008 election. The question will ask if the public is willing to get more projects completed through taxation.

“Get them to buy into this plan for their community,” said Coun. Jim Garlick, who made the recommendation.

The initiative came forward after a group of residents made their case to council for completion of a paved pathway or shoulder along Kidston Road.

The bicycle and pedestrian master plan does identify the need for an off-road multi-use pathway adjacent to Kidston Road between Kalamalka Provincial Park and Coldstream Creek Road. But budgets and priorities have prevented the project from coming to fruition.

“I’m not here asking for anything you don’t already know,” said local resident Steve Pelkey during a presentation to council Tuesday.

“But let’s not talk about this for another five or 10 years. Let’s do something now.”

Pelkey’s support for the project was joined by 370 people who signed onto a petition for the project.

Each of them agree it is a beautiful yet dangerous stretch of road for anyone who braves walking or cycling it.

“It’s an accident waiting to happen,” said Pelkey.

The hope is also that by getting more people active, less vehicles will be on the road.

Currently a lot of people drive their bicycles to the park as it is not safe to ride along the road. And since the province put in pay parking meters in the main parking lot, a number of park users try to cram their vehicles into the small red gate parking lot, which is free.

Others disregard no parking signs and park along the narrow, windy corners of Kidston Road, creating even more of a safety hazard.


Earthquake Cluster in Northern B-C -- KISS FM News

Scientists are studying a swarm of tiny earthquakes in a known volcanic zone in the B-C Interior.

The Geological Survey of Canada counted more than 100 micro-earthquakes in the region about 100 kilometres west of Quesnel between last Wednesday and early yesterday.

The quakes are deep in the Earth's crust and none has been felt but seismologists note they are just 20 kilometres from the Nazko Cone, which last erupted about seven-thousand years ago.

They say the earthquakes may be related to magma movement or crustal stress -- but there is no evidence at this time to suggest a volcanic eruption is likely.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Coldstream Vote May Be Moot Point -- By Pete McIntyre, Kiss FM

Coldstream's mayor doesn't think the upcoming referendum in his community is a waste of time, and money.

Residents will go to the polls, likely in the new year, to determine if farm land on Aberdeen Road, should be used for sports fields.

However, the final decision on the land use will be up to the Agricultural Land Commission which indicated last year it would not the support the application.

Mayor Gary Corner says the situation could change. 'The report from the Land Reserve said it didn't seem like somthing they would support, but you never know with those sort of things until you actually apply for them. And I think by having a referendum, if the majority of the community is in favour of it, that may help with the decision of the ALR.'

The Coldstream Ratepayers Association suggests the District, or Greater Vernon Services, should check with the ALC before the vote, to ensure taxpayer money isn't wasted.

Residents Want Kidston Road Widened -- By Pete McIntyre, Kiss FM

Several hundred residents of Coldstream are demanding action on a road project.

The residents have tabled a petition calling for a pathway or shoulder to be added to Kidston Road.

Mayor Gary Corner says the narrow road has also been a concern to council for some time.

'Its a fairly expensive undertaking so what we're going to do with this is we've got budget talks coming up shortly so we're going to deal with this during those budget talks to see how we can work towards getting those improvements done on Kidston Road.'

Corner says the upgrade would require the acquisition of some property on the road, from Coldstream Creek Road, to Kal Lake Provincial Park.

District council is looking at holding a referendum in November 2008 to see if residents support increased taxation, for pedestrian and bike path projects, like the one on Kidston Road.


Readers Write

I have asked my letter to be added to the agenda at the next council meeting on Oct. 22. I am going to speak to it because I really feel these questions need to be asked of council. If there is anyone out there who is able to attend, please come to the meeting – 7:00 p.m. on Oct. 22.

Joyce Gershony

Friday, October 12, 2007

Readers Write

Hello all,

A question I directed to all candidates present at the Kal All-Candidates forum used the phrase "living document".

"Living document" is how a Coldstream councillor described the OCP as documented in Urban Systems minutes from a District of Coldstream "Special Meeting".

As I recall, my question was: "is the OCP written in stone or is it rough guideline, a living document?"

Malerby stepped right up and said "I would hiss and spit if someone wanted to change it. Why would you ask the people for their opinion and then not listen to them?

I was impressed.

Joyce Gershony asks some important questions in her letter posted on Gyula's blog:

Does anyone remember Malerby's vote result?


Katy (Vella Pace)

Coldstrean referendum -- CHBC News


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Readers Write

October 11, 2007

To Coldstream Council,

I am shocked and appalled by your recent decision to reverse the decision you made at the public meeting at Coldstream Elementary in September. This was a meeting called by you, well attended by the public, concerns were voiced, you apparently listened, and made a decision not to send forward this application to develop the Spicer Block. Now, because of a 650 name petition, you have decided to go ahead with a referendum anyway.

I have a few questions for you that I would like answered:

  1. Why did you consider this petition in the first place? At what point is a decision a decision? This might be a hard one to answer, but truly – leadership is about making hard decisions and then sticking to them. How can I, as a taxpayer in Coldstream, trust council when you flip-flop on a decision you made in a public forum?

  2. If the “No” side had gathered a 650 name petition (which we didn’t because we trusted a decision had been made) – would that have cancelled out the “Yes” side 650 name petition? Or would a few more names on either side perhaps have tipped your decision one way or the other?

  3. Are you aware of how this petition was gathered?

Finally, I want you to know that I believe that this entire process has been flawed. I find it inexcusable the way that this sports complex was presented, I find it inexcusable that the council should so easily, after one month, reverse a decision where the process was so painful for many, and I find it inexcusable the way you are pitting Coldstream residents against each other in a tug-of-war between sports groups and people who want to preserve the rural nature of Coldstream.

A very concerned Coldstream resident,

Joyce Gershony


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Coldstream To Hold Farm Land Referendum

By Pete McIntyre, KISS FM, October 10, 2007.
The debate over sports fields or farm land in Coldstream, has been re-ignited.

After a 4-3 vote on Monday night, Coldstream council has approved going to a referendum on the issue of whether land on Aberdeen Road should be used for a sports complex.

The issue was brought back for discussion after councillor Mary Malerby reconsidered her original vote against the sports fields.

Malerby tells KISS FM, 'Since then, the petition (from the Outdoor Sports User Group) came forward signed by over 650 Coldstream residents saying they were in favour of having sports fields in the Spicer block (Coldstream Ranch owned land).'

Mayor Gary Corner says the referendum will ask if Coldstream residents support forwarding the application to the Agricultural Land Commission.

He says it will be held as soon as possible, perhaps before the end of this year.

It was one month ago (September 11) that council hosted a packed public input meeting and then voted 4-3 aqainst forwarding the application to the ALC.


Monday, October 8, 2007

Tomorrow's Coldstream Council meeting!

Coldstream residents are encouraged to attend tomorrow's Council meeting at 7:00 PM at the Municipal Hall. The sports complex may be brought forward by Council and we need to have residents present to prevent reversal of their earlier decision.


A study after the money is spent????

This study should have been done before Council spent $625,000 from the sewer reserve fund (belonging to Sewer Specified Area 1 customers) and spent another $264,000 of the sewer operating fund (collected from area 1 customers through gross overcharge).

What will Council do if the study determines that the plan should have been different?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Non-resident Councillors.

News report: Councillor Tom Witty is moving out of the Lake Country area and Council decided to fill his spot on Council through a byelection (click on article on left for enlargement).

Perhaps Coldstream Council should consider a similar election as well. Councillor Williams no longer lives in Coldstream, thus she should do the honourable thing and resign her position as Councillor.

At an earlier Council meeting Coun. Williams advised another resident that if he did not like the proposed sports complex project he should follow her example and move out of Coldstream.

Technically she has the right to remain in her position but in reality she no longer represents Coldstream taxpayers. She does not pay taxes to Coldstream, thus her decisions will not affect her financially or otherwise. There is still a full year left of her tenure and a resident Councillor would probably make more appropriate decisions.


Coldstream Council meeting -- October 11, 2007

AT 7:00 PM

A G E N D A (partial, for full agenda please visit: http://www.districtofcoldstream.ca/council/minutes/2007/20071009_agenda.pdf )


a. Okanagan Film Commission Representatives from the Okanagan Film Commission will be in attendance to speak to this matter.

b. Gallery Vertigo – Request for Funding Ms Judith Jurica will be in attendance to speak to this matter.

c. Proposed Pathway/Shoulder Along Kidston Road Mr. Steve Pelkey will be in attendance to speak to this matter.

d. Municipal Sewer Utility Mr. John Hegler will be in attendance to speak to this matter.

(Total Time Allotted: 10 Minutes)

NOTE: This time is to afford members of the public the opportunity to address issues on the agenda dated, October 9th, 2007. Issues that are not on the current agenda will not be heard by Council. If you have items to address that are not contained in this agenda, please contact the Municipal Clerk to make a formal request to appear as a delegation at a future meeting of Council.


Friday, October 5, 2007

13.8 Million for Water Treatment Plant

By Pete McIntyre -- Kiss FM News -- October 5, 2005
A Greater Vernon water project has tapped into federal and provincial funding.

Okanagan Shuswap M-P Colin Mayes announced a grant today for the Duteau Creek treatment facility.

The M-P told a news conference at the Mission Hill treatment facility, "Greater Vernon Services will receive 10.47 million dollars from the federal gas tax fund to construct a new water treatment building and more than 3.3 million dollars from the Municipal Rural Infrastructure fund to construct a water reservoir at Duteau Creek."

It adds up to 13.8 million dollars of the project's estimated 24 million dollar cost.

Greater Vernon Services chairman Gary Corner says the grant will help reduce the costs to local taxpayers.

"The plan that we had was built on no (senior government) funding what-so-ever, so obviously this is going to take some of the pressure off future water increases and certainly make a difference tax-wise to the citizens."

Greater Vernon Water manager Al Cotsworth says the new facility will reduce the need for boil water advisories and get rid of most of the discolouration problems.

"That's where we see a lot of our complaints is the colour in the water, and this will significantly reduce the colour. We're anticipating it to be below the Canadian water guideline for colour."

The new plant, which will be located on Whitevale Road in the Lavington area, should be ready for operation by April 2009.


Contract awarded for Lavington fire hall

By Jennifer Smith -- Morning Star Staff

With construction of one already underway, Coldstream is fired up for work to begin on its second new fire hall.

Tender has been awarded for construction of the Lavington Fire Hall, to replace the existing 1972 building on School Road. Work is expected to start almost immediately.

The building of a new Coldstream hall has been underway since August on Aberdeen Road with work expected to be completed by early spring.

The same company awarded the $2.095 million Coldstream project, S.J. Pasechnik and Son, has been awarded the $1.393 million Lavington job.

“Now we’re under the projected $4 million,” said Mayor Gary Corner.

Initially the Lavington hall was expected to cost $950,000 and the Coldstream hall was estimated at $2.3 million. The borrowing of $4 million, allowing room for increased building costs, was warranted through referendum in November.

Tenders for the Lavington hall all came in well over the expected cost, but after working with the approved tender a better price was found.

“We’ve gone back and trimmed a few things,” said Corner.

“We didn’t change the building or anything, we changed a few of the materials and we’ll do the landscaping later.”

Therefore the $1.393 million price tag is much cheaper than the lowest bid received.

“That’s about as cheap as we can get it done in today’s world.”

The new 6,000- to 7,000-square-foot Lavington hall replaces the existing building on its current site, which more than doubles the department’s space.

That poses some problems during construction for firefighters needing a place to store their equipment and provide service.

“It’s going to be a challenge that’s for sure,” said Terry Garrington, Lavington fire chief.

But accommodations have been worked out with a private land owner to store the trucks and gear.

The Lavington glass plant (O-I Canada Corporation), Tolko and both the Coldstream and Lumby fire departments have offered space for the Lavington firefighters to hold their meetings and do training.

“They’ll still have a full service department,” said Wendy Kay, Coldstream’s chief administrative officer. “Service shouldn’t be affected at all.”

Construction of the Lavington hall is expected to take at least five months.

“It’ll be nice when it’s done, that’s for sure,” said Garrington.

The new 11,700-square-foot Coldstream hall is being built on a former district-owned residential site on Aberdeen Road, in front of the public works yard. It will be nearly triple the size of the existing 1960 hall.

Once construction is completed and the department has moved in, the old Coldstream hall will likely provide relief space for the public works department.

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


We must protect our rights and freedom! (Photo courtesy of D. Gibson) Click on eagle to watch EAGLECAMS

About Me

My photo
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.