Friday, February 27, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

High school comes under attack -- By Roger Knox

RCMP are investigating a disturbing case of vandalism at a local high school.

Police responded to a complaint of two individuals wearing dark hoodies banging on windows at Kalamalka Secondary School in Coldstream at 2 a.m. Saturday.

When they arrived, the culprits were gone, but left behind were 15 broken windows and outside walls spray painted with explicit messages directed towards the school’s female vice-principal.

“It’s disturbing and disappointing,” said Bob Peacock, Vernon School District superintendent.

“It’s disturbing that there is somebody out there who would actually go to that extent to make a point.

“It’s disappointing in that I’m sure we have students who know exactly who was involved with it, but nobody’s stepping forward to have that conversation with anybody in regards to the incident.”

Vernon RCMP spokesman Gord Molendyk estimated the damage at around $25,000, and says police have no clues or leads to the identity of the vandals.

“We have no idea who did this,” said Molendyk.

“We don’t know if it was Kal students. We don’t know if it’s students from another school. We don’t know if it’s someone making it look like a Kal student. It’s hard to say at this point.”

Anybody with any information on the incident at the McClounie Road school, or knows the identities of the culprits, is asked to call the RCMP at 250-545-7171, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Water advisory.


Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO), Greater Vernon Water (GVW) and Interior Health Authority (IHA) has downgraded the Boil Water Notice for all customers on the East Kalamalka Intake and Duteau Creek to a Water Quality Advisory as of February 23, 2009.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Understanding the Agenda and related agenda packages (refresher).

A few tips for the use and understanding of the Agenda and the related Packages (package 1 and package 2).

Upon reading an agenda item you may wish to have further information on a particular item. Your course of action is as follows:
Check the page number printed on the right hand side of the item for reference,

Click on package 1 or package 2 to upload the appropriate package (up to page 106 you need package 1 above page 106 you need package 2),

Scroll down on the PDF file till you come to the appropriate page and read on.

For example if you are interested in
(1) Development Variance Permit Application No. 09-004-DVP Lot 1, Section 30, Township 6, ODYD, Plan 33418 758 Cypress Drive (Brown/Parkins)

· Report from the Director of Development Services, dated February 3, 2009

The corresponding page number is Page 17.

You click on package 1. You get a PDF file. You scroll down to page 17 (bottom of each page has the page number) and begin reading the relevant information.

If you need further information do not hesitate to email or call me.


To treat or not to treat...................

It appears that Mr Crapper's ingenious invention had a darker, unexpected negative side effect (actually, at least two: the other is the tremendous waste of water). Read the attached report.


Saturday, February 21, 2009



February 20, 2009

Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) and Interior Health Authority has downgraded the Boil Water Notice for all customers on the East Kalamalka Intake to a Water Quality Advisory. The water quality has returned to a “FAIR” rating. All bacterial testing results were satisfactory and disinfection (chlorine) levels were unaffected.

What does a FAIR rating mean?

A fair warning means that some customers should be careful when ingesting the water.

Who should be careful?

The following customers should be careful when ingesting the water:

• children
• the elderly
• people with weakened immune systems

What should these customers do?

For these customers, water intended for the following uses should be boiled for one minute:
• drinking
• washing fruits and vegetables
• making beverages or ice
• brushing teeth

If you have any questions, please contact us at 250-550-3702 or check our website at or for notifications, and updates

Al Cotsworth

RDNO Water Manager




Friday, February 20, 2009





Agenda Pkg 1 (Pages 1-106)

Agenda Pkg 2 (Pages 107-197)




AT 7:00 PM



Mayor Garlick will call the meeting to order and review the Public Hearing Procedures.

District of Coldstream Zoning Bylaw No. 1382, 2002, Amendment Bylaw No. 1545, 2009, Amendment No. 23 Application No. 09-003-ZON 7961 Buchanan Road (Highlands Golf Course)

· Bylaw No. 1545, 2009

· A bylaw to amend subsection 503.10.b under Recreation Commercial Zone (C.5) by deleting the words “2 hours after sunset. For the purpose of this regulation, the time of sunset is determined by Canada Weather metrological charts” and adding “eleven (11) PM”.

· Public Hearing Notice

Correspondence Received:

· Email from Edward and Marjorie Lane, dated February 17, 2009

· Email from Guy and Carrie Bayes, dated February 16, 2009

· Email from Todd and Sheila Schwartz, dated February 16, 2009

· Email from James Cotter, representing Todd and Sheila Schwartz, dated
February 16, 2009

Public Input


District of Coldstream Land Use Contract Bylaw No. 681, 1976, Amendment Bylaw No. 1547, 2009, Amendment No. 1 Application No. 08-023-ZON, 758 Cypress Drive (Brown/Parkins)

· Bylaw No. 1547, 2009
· A bylaw to discharge Land Use Contract No. 681, 1976, entirely, from Lot 1, Section 30, Township 6, ODYD, Plan 33418

· Public Hearing Notice

Public Input


District of Coldstream Zoning Bylaw No. 1382, 2002, Amendment Bylaw No. 1548, 2009, Amendment No. 24 Application No. 08-023-ZON, 758 Cypress Drive (Brown/Parkins)

· Bylaw No. 1548, 2009

· A bylaw to amend the Zoning of Lot 1, Section 30, Township 6, ODYD,
Plan 33418 from Residential Estate (R.E.) Zone to Residential Bed and Breakfast (R.B.B) Zone.

· Public Hearing Notice

Public Input




Middleton Mountain Park Community Meeting

About 20 people showed up for the Middleton Mountain Park Community Meeting last night (over 500 letters were sent out to the neighbourhood advertising the event).

Residents discussed potential uses for the property owned by the School Board but offered to Greater Vernon Parks for their community park use. Planners will now summarize the results and will provide some preliminary plans to be again discussed by some volunteers from the community.

It would be nice if more people would become interested in the future of their neighbourhood. Staff and politicians are eager to listen to input from taxpayers but if taxpayers don’t speak staff and politicians must continue with input from those present at hearings. I will post future public hearings, public budget presentations and other public input sessions but it is up to you to come and let your voice heard.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Snowpack levels looking good -- By Richard Rolke

Published: February 19, 2009

It appears like Greater Vernon will have plenty of water during the long, hot days of summer.

The latest readings show the snowpack on the Aberdeen plateau is 120 per cent of normal.

“That’s good news,” said Al Cotsworth, the North Okanagan Regional District’s Greater Vernon water manager.

Under the present scenario, the utility would not need to initiate any emergency water measures except for the year-round restrictions that permit odd-numbered addresses to irrigate on odd-numbered days and even-numbered addresses to water their yards on even-numbered days.

However, Cotsworth admits the situation depends on weather conditions over the next few months.

“If we don’t get any snow between now and the end of winter, we’d be in trouble for water supply,” he said.

“However, this is a rare situation around here.”

Cotsworth is hoping the weather will remain cool to preserve the snowpack that exists and that some precipitation will add to the base.

“That would set us up for a good season. I don’t want an early spring because we then have to start using reserves earlier,” he said.


Lavington workers hit by indefinite layoffs -- By Jennifer Smith

Published: February 19, 2009 6:00 PM

A major lull in the lumber industry has left 147 Lavington workers questioning the future of their jobs.

Tolko Industries has announced a delay in the restart of its Lavington division, along with its High Level, Alta., operation. The plants previously announced a two-week curtailment that began Feb. 9.

Market conditions will be reviewed weekly for the earliest opportunity to restart these operations.

“We regret the impact to our employees of having to make this difficult decision, but we must take additional steps to match our production level to market demand,” said Mike Harkies, vice president and general manager, solid wood and kraft papers, in a press release.

Lumber operations in Armstrong will restart as scheduled on Monday.

After losing the Owens-Illinois glass plant last year, Coldstream council is disappointed to hear this news from Tolko.

“I’m sorry to hear that that’s the situation and hopefully it doesn’t continue too much longer,” said Coun. Doug Dirk, a Lavington resident.

Mayor Jim Garlick is confident that Tolko Industries won’t uproot its Lavington operations, like O-I did.

“I think they’re a lot stronger and committed to the region and the community,” said Garlick, who had met with Tolko officials when the initial curtailment came about.

“I can’t see them disappearing from here.”

While the situation is physically in Lavington, it affects the entire region since the mill also employs workers from Lumby and Vernon.

“It’s disappointing to the whole area,” said Dirk.

Unfortunately, the municipality can’t do much to relieve the situation.

“We’re stuck in financially tough times ourselves,” said Dirk, adding that while federal and provincial governments can run deficits, municipalities must ensure their books are balanced.

But a process is in the works to address the overall economy in Coldstream with an economic development committee.

“With Coldstream having such a small industrial base, the committee will be dealing specifically with Tolko and the Owens-Illinois property,” said Coun. Pat Cochrane.


Utility maintains boil water advisories

Published: February 19, 2009 6:00 PM

Boil water advisories continue for thousands of residents in Greater Vernon.

It had been hoped that advisories for the Duteau Creek and East Kalamalka Lake intakes would be lifted Thursday but that didn’t occur.

“We still have high turbidity within the system,” said Al Cotsworth, North Okanagan Regional District water manager.

A boil water advisory remains in place for 8,000 homes on the Duteau Creek water source.

It was initiated Feb. 13 after a snow and dirt slide on the Aberdeen Main Forestry Road led to an increase in turbidity (cloudiness).

Duteau Creek is the main water source for virtually all of the BX-Swan Lake area, as well as parts of the District of Coldstream and the City of Vernon.

A boil water alert was also issued for 250 homes on the East Kal Lake intake after a valve on a storage tank on Ponderosa Way plugged Feb. 8, leading to untreated sewage draining into the lake.

The areas affected by that notice are: Ponderosa Way, Juniper Drive, Tamarack Drive, Sumac Lane, Kinloch Drive, Briar Drive, Coldstream Creek Road west of McClounie Road, Kidston Road south of and including 7800, Cunliffe Road south of and including 7909, Tassie Drive, Linden Drive, Holtam Drive, Sage Drive, Senita Court, Corona Court, Harper Drive and Ormsby Drive.

The alert also impacts all private domestic water intakes on the north end of Kalamalka Lake.

For the North Okanagan Regional District, the notice was precautionary.

Cotsworth isn’t sure when the boil water notices will be lifted for the Duteau or East Kal Lake sources.


Middleton Mountain Park Community Meeting

February 19th 2009 at 7:00pm

Kidston Elementary School Gymnasium

The purpose of the meeting is to obtain input from residents of the neighbourhood on what they would like to see in the park. There will be an open forum to discuss which park amenities would best satisfy the desires of the neighbourhood.


Keith Pinkoski
Parks Planner
Parks, Recreation & Culture


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

One in a million shot ... A smile from Heaven...


Selected Articles -- Morning Star News


Proper process ignored?

The “honeymoon” for a new Council apparently only lasts until they make their first decision with which the representatives of the local media disagree.

Council was fortunate to find a suitable, qualified individual among our staff to step into the position of Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). After all, this saves a whole lot of time to be spent on important issues facing a new Council. As well this opportunity saves a large sum of money that would otherwise be spent on filling the position from outside of the District.

From my perspective I supported the appointment of Mr Stamhuis as the new CAO for a number of reasons as follows:

I was on the selection committee of NORD when Mike was hired for the position of District Engineer. I was impressed with his qualifications then and my opinion remained after he served at NORD and later in Coldstream. He continued to earn my respect.

Mike is well respected by his fellow employees as well.

He is aware of the issues facing Coldstream and with issues facing the entire region. He could deal with issues right away.

He has been a Coldstream taxpayer for about ten years, thus his recommendations will directly affect him as well as the rest of the taxpayers. We did not have a resident chief for a long time.

As for the potential of finding a better qualified candidate by reading more resumes: there are lots of professional resume writer who can produce glowing resumes. A better measure of the quality of the candidate is knowing what he can do and how he/she does it.

Council will have to do their homework on selecting a new Chief Financial Officer as there is no qualified candidate among the present staff.

Council did what they considered to be in the best interest of the community!


Tuesday, February 17, 2009


My bird feeder appears to feed all kinds of birds, some unintentionally. Here a quail seems to be on the menu


And a better photo by the expert (Debbie).


Get to the bottom of the story! Half truths can hurt you!

A lady walks into a bar and sees a really good-looking guy sitting at the bar by himself. She goes over and asks him what he is drinking.

"Magic Beer", he says.

She thinks he's a little crazy, so she walks around the bar, but after realizing that there is no one else worth talking to, goes back to the man sitting at the bar and says, "That isn't really Magic Beer, is it?"

"Yes, I'll show you."

He takes a drink of the beer, jumps out the window, flies around the building three times and comes back in the window.

The lady can't believe it: "I bet you can't do that again."

He takes another drink of beer, jumps out the window, flies around the building three times, and comes back in the window.

She is so amazed that she says she wants a Magic Beer, so the guy says to the bartender, "Give her one of what I'm having."

She gets her drink, takes a gulp of the beer, jumps out the window, plummets 30 stories, breaks every bone in her body, and dies.

The bartender looks up at the guy and says, "You know, Superman, you're a real asshole when you're drunk.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Environmental process draws fire -- By Richard Rolke

One politician questions preserving the environment if it interferes with the public’s ability to earn a living.

The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee has been updated on a sensitive ecosystem inventory, but BX-Swan Lake director Mike Gavinchuk isn’t convinced it’s necessary.

“How will it improve the lifestyle of people here? How will our lifestyle change if we don’t have a badger or a bird in a tree?” he said.

“If my horse breaks its leg because of a badger (hole), the next time I see that badger, it’s dead.”

For Gavinchuk, there is a need for residents to be able to support themselves and their family.

“Development and this stuff clash automatically. It’s nice to have these frills of ecology, but they must be away from people,” he said.

“Is it the goal of environmentalists to turn B.C. into a park so nobody does anything?”

But Vernon director Buffy Baumbrough disagrees strongly with Gavinchuk, saying that natural ecosystems have positive values for local communities.

“Water management and clean air are provided by intact ecosystems,” she said.

“If we lose our raptor species, we could be overrun with rodents which impacts agriculture.”

Baumbrough is convinced that the North Okanagan Regional District should follow Vernon’s lead and incorporate a sensitive ecosystem inventory into its land use plan.

“There needs to be consistency in the whole North Okanagan,” she said.

Mike Macnabb, BX-Silver Star director, suggests that protecting the environment could bolster tourism.

“I have friends down in Texas looking at birds and they are paying thousands of dollars to do it,” he said.

The goals of the Coldstream/Vernon sensitive ecosystem inventory are to conserve high-quality areas, preserve significant wildlife habitat, ensure the long-term existence of all native species, ensure links between core areas and provide buffer zones.

“We are blessed with a huge diversity of ecosystems and organisms,” said Kristi Iverson, a consultant working on the project.

“The most obvious and biggest threat is from urban development and agriculture.”

Among the threatened and endangered animals that call Greater Vernon home are the Great Basin spadefoot, the western rattlesnake, the gopher snake, the western screech owl, the badger and the yellow-breasted chat.

“We want to ensure all of the species in the North Okanagan can continue to perpetuate themselves,” said Iverson.

“There’s a high level of sensitivity within much of the area. Conservation activities are still required.”

Greater Vernon residents approved borrowing $7 million a few years ago for parkland acquisition and of the $5.4 million remaining, about $1.5 million could go towards ecosystems.

“Preserving the land is the best thing we can do but we don’t have the resources to purchase all of the land outright,” said Patrick Nicol, a Vernon director.


It appears some dinosaurs have been preserved in the Okanagan!


Boil water alerts expand -- By Richard Rolke

The number of Greater Vernon residents boiling their water has skyrocketed.

About 8,000 homes on the Duteau Creek source were placed on a boil water alert Friday, joining 250 homes on the East Kalamalka Lake source who have been dealing with a similar situation for a week.

“For this time of the year, it’s unusual to have a boil and to have two is even more unusual,” said Al Cotsworth, North Okanagan Regional District water manager.

The only water source not impacted is the North Kal Lake intake.

The Duteau Creek advisory became necessary after an undetermined event led to a spike in turbidity (cloudiness).

“The flows in the creek are low and the banks are stable because they’re frozen so it’s unusual to get high turbidity levels,” said Cotsworth.

Crews were touring the creek Friday to try and determine what may have caused the turbidity increase. It’s also not known when the boil water advisory will be lifted for Duteau customers in Coldstream, the BX and Vernon.

“We don’t know what caused it so it’s hard to say,” said Cotsworth.

The East Kal Lake alert was issued last weekend after a sewage lift station on Ponderosa Way overflowed and some untreated sewage got into Kalamalka Lake. It could be at least Monday until a decision is made on lifting that notice.

“With sewage, we don’t want to take any chances,” said Cotsworth.

The areas affected by that notice are: Ponderosa Way, Juniper Drive, Tamarack Drive, Sumac Lane, Kinloch Drive, Briar Drive, Coldstream Creek Road west of McClounie Road, Kidston Road south of and including 7800, Cunliffe Road south of and including 7909, Tassie Drive, Linden Drive, Holtam Drive, Sage Drive, Senita Court, Corona Court, Harper Drive and Ormsby Drive.

The alert also impacts all private domestic water intakes on the north end of Kalamalka Lake.

To try and reduce the potential risk to residents, the East Kal Lake intake had been shut off and the area was being supplied with Duteau Creek water. However, because of the Duteau Creek situation, the 250 homes are now receiving their water from the East Kal source again.

All customers of the Duteau and East Kal Lake sources are asked to boil their water for one minute for drinking, washing fruits and vegetables, making beverages or ice and brushing teeth.

Customers can also choose to use bottled or distilled water.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Coldstream hires within for new administrator

By Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star

Three of Coldstream’s major staff positions are being taken on by a single force.

Michael Stamhuis is currently Coldstream’s director of engineering services, but has now been awarded the lead position of chief administrative officer. That position has been vacant since mid-December, when Wendy Kay was dismissed by council.

“I’m excited to take this on,” said Stamhuis, who will be responsible to council for the overall administration, financial management and human resource management of Coldstream.

He will also be taking on the role of director of financial administration until a replacement for Catherine Lord can be found. Lord spent her last day at work Friday.

Applications are still open for almost two weeks for Lord’s position, after which a decision will have to be made for a replacement.

It isn’t anticipated a replacement for the director of engineering services will be sought until the end of this year.

“The idea would be not to incur an expense this year,” said Keri-Ann Baggett, municipal clerk. “I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that we have a severance on the books.”

The severance pay for Kay has not yet been released.

While taking on three titles initially, and even with moving down to two later on, will have extensive time demands, Stamhuis is confident in his abilities to wear several hats.

“I’m fine with it,” said Stamhuis, adding that he is pleased to take on the CAO position.

“I’m quite capable of doing that.”

The dual responsibilities do not come with dual pay.

Stamhuis has 22 years experience working in municipalities. He served as city engineer in Prince Rupert, and in Campbell River, spent four years as general manager of community and infrastructure services at the North Okanagan Regional District and has been working at Coldstream since 2007.

“My role at NORD was largely administrative,” said Stamhuis, adding that he has also dealt with councils and budgets for years which could come in handy during the current budget deliberations.

Despite confidence in his abilities, Stamhuis says this could prove to be a difficult task.

“Right now I feel like we’re going to have some real challenges because we’re short staffed.”

But there are some factors that will benefit Coldstream’s situation.

“The one thing that we have going in our favour is development has slowed right down,” said Stamhuis, noting his engineering position will not require as much of his time.

The other thing is the dedicated group of remaining staff.

“They have really come forward in saying how can we help,” said Stamhuis. “I’m really excited to lead such a great staff.


District of Coldstream Announces New Chief Administrative Officer

District of Coldstream Announces New Chief Administrative Officer

The District of Coldstream Council is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Michael Stamhuis to the position of Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), effective February 12, 2009.

The Chief Administrative Officer is the administrative head of the municipality. This position is responsible to Council for the overall administration, financial management and human resource management of the municipality.

Mr. Stamhuis has been a resident of Coldstream, British Columbia, since 1998.

He has been employed by the District as its Director of Engineering Services since September, 2007.

He has been a Professional Engineer since 1978 with 22 years of local government management experience, 11 years of consulting experience and holds an Intermediate Certificate in Local Government Administration.

He has agreed to assume a dual role as Chief Administrative Officer and the Director of Engineering Services until a suitable replacement for the Director of Engineering Services’ duties and responsibilities is hired sometime in the coming year.

For Further Information Contact:

Jim Garlick
Ph. 250-545-5304
Fx. 250-545-4733




A Public Hearing will be held on Monday, February 23, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Hall, 9901 Kalamalka Road, Coldstream, BC, pursuant to the Local Government Act, to consider the following bylaws:

District of Coldstream Zoning Bylaw No. 1382, 2002, Amendment Bylaw No.1545, 2009, Amendment No. 23


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Selected article, MS -- 2009-02-11


I'll be away for Thursday and Friday so I might not be able to update the blog Unless I can find internet access). See you all upon my return.

The Eagle


Monday, February 9, 2009

Readers write -- Valuable information!

For some informative reading check out the Tyee!


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Tolko announces two-week shutdown

By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star

The economic crisis has hit home for some North Okanagan workers.

Starting Monday, 332 workers at Tolko Industries’ Armstrong and Lavington sawmills are being impacted by curtailed operations for two weeks because of the economy.

“Market conditions for our softwood lumber products continue to be the worst Tolko has seen in its 52-year history,” said Mike Harkies, company vice-president, in a release.

“This decision is difficult and unfortunate but we must take steps to match our production level to market demand.”

Representatives for the Armstrong workers aren’t surprised by Tolko’s actions.

“Supply is far exceeding demand,” said Bruce Gardner, Steelworkers local 1-423 president.

“We knew by the declining lumber value that something would happen.”

Gardner hopes the slowdown at the Armstrong mill will only be for two weeks.

“We are very confident in the Armstrong mill because it’s one of the top performers. Our guys are doing a good job there,” he said.

Tolko’s Lavington operation is non-unionized.

Beyond the North Okanagan, there will also be a two-week curtailment at the Tolko operation at High Level, Alberta, while similar action at four mills in the Cariboo is indefinite until the market improves.

The two-week curtailments will reduce Tolko’s lumber production by 68-million-board-feet. The further curtailment of the four Cariboo operations will reduce Tolko’s lumber production by 18.5-million-board-feet for every week of additional downtime.

Related woodlands activities are also being adjusted accordingly.

All of the curtailments affect approximately 1,300 employees.

“This announcement does not reflect the performance of our employees,” said Harkies in the release.

“We appreciate their efforts and understanding while we work to manage our business through this difficult period. We will also work hard to ensure that we continue to meet our loyal customers’ product needs.”

The NDP blames the job curtailments completely on the provincial government.

“The industry is in free-fall and the government has done nothing to offset the hardships,” said Mark Olsen, the NDP’s Okanagan Monashee candidate.

“There’s no plan in place.”

Olsen questions why the Liberal government is pumping millions of dollars in the Winter Olympics and a new Port Mann bridge at the Lower Mainland.

“All of these pet projects are getting funding but rural B.C. is being shut down,” he said.

But MLA Tom Christensen takes issue with Olsen’s comments.

“He needs to do his homework and ignore the negative messaging from his party,” said Christensen.

“To think there is a nice, simple answer to the challenges in the forest sector is naive at best and misleading at worst.”

Christensen says his government is taking steps to stimulate the economy, but recovery in U.S. markets is necessary if the forest industry is to improve.

“I’ve yet to hear any ideas from the NDP to stimulate the economy,” he said.

Colin Mayes, Okanagan-Shuswap MP, has discussed the situation with Al Thorlakson, Tolko president.

“It’s really unfortunate and a sign of our economic times,” said Mayes.

“But Tolko is a great company and solid with its employees. When they can reopen the mills I’m sure they will.”


NORD reduces fee for biosolids

By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star

The Morning Star is re-running an article that appeared in Friday’s paper because of wrong financial information. We apologize to the city for any error this may have caused.

The City of Vernon will get a financial break on dumping sewer biosolids, but not as much as it hoped for.

The North Okanagan Regional District has agreed to charge the city $30 a tonne to send biosolids to the Greater Vernon landfill, while the city had requested $12.60 a tonne.

“We’re still paying a premium but it’s still assistance,” said Wayne Lippert, Vernon director.

At $30 a tonne, the city will pay $95,000 to $100,000 while it would have been $40,000 at $12.60 a tonne.

Generally, the regular rate for municipal solid waste is $63, which would have translated into $190,000 to $200,000 for the city.

The city had made the case for $12.60 a tonne because it says 80 per cent of the waste material is water.

“It will leach out and evaporate,” said Lippert.

The material is usually taken to the Ogogrow fertilizer plant in the Commonage but the city is trying to reduce production there to get a handle on an odour problem.

If no odour occurs under reduced production for six months, the cities of Vernon and Kelowna – which own the plant – would then move ahead with expansion to handle increased loads of biosolids.

Through the agreement with NORD, the city would send biosolids to the landfill for six months with an automatic extension of another six months.

NORD staff recommended $30 a tonne because most of the material is liquid and to cover operating and administration costs.

But not all board members support the $30 a tonne.

“Normally we wouldn’t take these biosolids into the landfill and now we are being asked for a subsidy? Why would we subsidize this?” said Doug Dirk, Coldstream director.

Dirk also questions if the water could create environmental problems.

Cliff Kanester, Area B alternate director, isn’t opposed to helping the city, but questions the figures involved.

“Who judges that it’s 80 per cent water and 20 per cent solids? I’m not sure that’s right,” he said.

However, Patrick Nicol, a Vernon director, urged NORD to support the city.

“One of the reasons the regional board exists is for regional co-operation. It’s all one community in many ways,” he said, adding that the residents impacted by the odour live in the Commonage, which is part of Area B.

“The citizens demanding the greatest action are not in the city. We are trying to be responsible.”

The city is also in discussions with a farmer who may want to take some of the biosolids for compost.

“If that comes to fruition, there would be less going into the landfill,” said Lippert.


There is more to the bio-solid dumping story than meets the eye. Let’s look at some background.

Prior to the construction of the new sewage treatment plant the City used to dispose its “bio-solids” on spray irrigation lands in the Commonage. They also accepted “septage” from septic tanks at the treatment plant.

Following the completion of the sewage treatment plant they no longer accepted septage and NORD had to construct a septage treatment plant for about $2 million. There was no good will gesture allowing septage discarded into the landfill at reduced cost (not even at full cost). In fact, disposing compostables of any kind (i.e. bio-solids) into the landfill is discouraged even at regular rates.

The main reason for this policy is to extend the life of the landfill as long as possible. Closing a full landfill is very expensive. As well, developing a new one is not only costly but has major political consequences as nobody wants a landfill site in their neighbourhood. Disposing bio-solids reduces the life of the landfill.

The City, in cooperation with Kelowna, constructed a bio-solid composting facility in the vicinity of the landfill site but it appears to be creating a stink. Many residents of the area registered their complaints. Officials believe the facility is too small to handle the load. The excess will be dumped into the landfill for a trial period of six months renewable for an additional six months. What happens if this trial fails? No solution was offered for that possibility.

My major complaint is that it is always governments who break policies and laws that they would not tolerate for the rest of us to do. Be it the law fixing election dates, or the one prohibiting deficit budgeting or dumping bio-solids into the landfill site, they are all law and policy breaking instances promulgated by various levels of government. They set a bad example for the rest of the people.

Even if it was unavoidable to dump bio-solids into the landfill, at least it should have been at the cost the rest of us has to pay. None of us could use the flimsy excuse that the garbage we dump is 80% water. The landfill is a regional facility: if one partner gets a reduced rate the rest of the region subsidizes that partner.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Okanagan Basin Water Board -- Report from Board meeting, February 4, 2009.




Council meeting -- February 9, 2009.


7:00 PM



Agenda Package 1

Agenda Package 2
(Pages 121- 242)


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Grid Road back on track

By Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star

Rather than navigating through narrow residential roads, Coldstream has long been after a better connection to Highway 97.

The College Drive to Kalamalka Road connection, better known as the Grid Road, has actually been on the books since the early 1980s.

But between funding and difficulty obtaining co-operation from Kelowna Pacific Railway, the project has repeatedly been shelved.

Now, Coldstream is optimistic that the Grid Road can finally become a reality, if federal funding is a part of it.

The reason the project is again a priority is because the possibility of an underpass to get around the railway has now been determined as feasible. The previous option was a level crossing, which would require KPR to relocate its shunting yard, at an estimated cost of $3 million. KPR states that would require a detailed study, at Coldstream’s cost, before any commitment could even be considered.

“I believe they would be much more interested in seeing the underpass than the level crossing,” said Michael Stamhuis, director of engineering services.

Therefore a detailed design study on this underpass option is being undertaken.

The project is also being placed as a top priority under the 2009 Federal Budget Infrastructure Works Funding Program.

With the possibility for federal funding, the Grid Road project wouldn’t impact current taxation since Coldstream’s portion could come out of its DCC fund.

The project is estimated to cost in the range of $8.5 million and is aiming for a 2010 completion. If doesn’t receive any grants it won’t go forward.

But Coun. Pat Cochrane sees the timeline as too aggressive.

“It just seems for the scope of the project it’s a tad optimistic.”

He is also worried that the project may be too large for funding.

“It’s a very worthwhile project but I’m a little concerned that it’s perhaps a little too much. If we start to get too greedy we may not get it.”

But with the pressures on Westkal Road that are only going to escalate with time, Coun. Richard Enns is all for giving the Grid Road a try.

“It just seems to me it’s one of those projects we really should be getting going on.”


Coldstream eyes parks control.

By Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star

Coldstream is hoping to take more of a team approach to parks, if the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee will allow it to be a bigger player.

A request is being sent to GVAC to initiate participant discussions identifying local and regional parks to consider potential changes to operations and responsibilities for local parks.

The Coldstream request is aimed at looking at the management of parks, which is currently by Greater Vernon Services - Parks, Recreation and Culture.

“Maybe we can have some local control of our own parks,” said Mayor Jim Garlick.

Coldstream residents have continually expressed displeasure with how parks are managed. Lavington residents have raised issue with maintenance on Lavington Park and Kalavista Drive residents have been left wondering where Coldstream’s voice comes into decisions with the boat launch and its parking lot.

“The quality of service concerns them and the other thing would be on how decisions are made,” said Garlick.

Therefore Coldstream is keen to gain some local control of its own parks.

Garlick says the same goes for water.

GVAC’s next meeting is scheduled for Thursday at the North Okanagan Regional District office.


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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.