Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Further to "Need a mathematical genius".

I have received the following comments from an “Anonymous reader” (as it turns out he did sign his comments thus he is no longer anonymous) in response to my post entitled: Need a mathematical genius!.
“Anonymous said...

You are excluding over $2 million collected from Vernon residents from the flat rate connection fee (or availability charge). Total revenue collected from Vernon residents for 2009 is $6.7 million. What is needed is factual information not a math genius.
Also the 2008 budget numbers were as follows:

1) Total Revenue collected from Vernon users $5.9 million
2) Total consumption (including Agriculture) $6.8 million cubic meters
3) $ flow into B,C and Coldstream from Vernon users under GVS structure $3.5 million
4) The saving to Vernon users (just comparing total revenue collected from Vernon users) by going to a true user pay structure with sub-regional Bulk utility $2.5 million.

Please just keep it factual

Leon Gous”
Since the reader challenged me to be “factual” Following is my reply:

Thank you Mr Gous for finally revealing the true identity of the man (a Coldstream resident) who guides Vernon Council.

You were the man who came to a public meeting in Coldstream’s municipal hall in 2004 and extolled the virtues of the Master Water Plan and urged residents to support the referendum for borrowing $35 million.

I vividly remember your heart-wrenching pleas to vote for the referendum or else we would all perish from Cryptosporidiosis and beaver fever (you did not want to have your young children grow up on this awful water). Yet, having spent millions of dollars many residents in Coldstream and B and C are still drinking the same water.

However, Vernon customers are enjoying highly treated water and the new developments, such as The Rise and Turtle Mountain, were able to materialize. No Goose Lake water for them. At the time you never expressed your concerns of the fact that Vernon residents might have to assist water related costs for the other partners. That concern was only expressed by this writer in a 2002 letter to the Editor (see attached). I assumed, the referendum took care of those concerns. Talk about keeping factual.

As for the “availability charge”: let’s not confuse the issues. That charge is the same for each household (presently $116.60 per month) whether they use any water or not. We could actually consider it the cost of financing the $35 million referendum borrowing. The annual financing charge for $35 million is about $2.5 million. Consider that extra charge to be Vernon’s contribution to financing the borrowed funds.

Do you think any of the partners would have agreed to the original deal had they known that the City could arbitrarily pull out of the deal? I don’t think so!

Those are facts the way I see them!

Thank you for being a reader of my blog.



1 comment:

VernonResident said...

I very much share Mr. Gous's concern to "just keep it factual".

Let's see how factual Mr. Gous's numbers are:

I challenge ANYONE, including Mr. Gous, to show ANY FACTUAL numbers with respect to agricultural consumption.

Perhaps Mr. Gous did not receive his latest Waterlines bulletin.

Agricultural metering is to be completed by 2010. In the meantime, NO METERS = NO CONSUMPTION NUMBERS, merely wild guesstimates.

Perhaps Mr. Gous is relying on that report from his "consultant", that uses "infill data", as in, data that is totally made up, fabricated i.e. NOT FACTUAL.

Let's review:
- Fee setting rationale: Utility operating costs are paid for by the users - ie. all water fee revenues collected = yearly utility operating expenses. Those who benefit from the operation of the service, pay for it.
- Every Greater Vernon water user pays the same rates for water.
- No Vernon users are subsidizing any others.
- We all agreed to borrow a horrendous amount of money to improve water quality and quantity for ALL users, not just Vernon's.
- We are all in the same boat, water is a limited SHARED resource and it is up to us ALL to manage it for the betterment of ourselves and future generations.

What would be the fee setting rationale under devolution?

Who decides how much the regional supply utility should charge Vernon, or Coldstream, or B&C?

If the City of Vernon does not find the terms of the GVW operating agreement (STILL OPERATING BUT THE AGREEMENT IS UNSIGNED!) agreeable, then open up discussion at the regional table and tell us what your beef is.

Or how about using your lake outfall, then you might not need TOTAL control over distribution and would be able to dispose of your treated wastewater like every other community in the valley.

Why is it that all of these water problems would go away, simply by giving Vernon total control over decision-making?

I have yet to see anyone make a financial case for devolution. According to Mr. Gous's "consultant's" report, Vernon's water costs would rise while rates would go down, which could lead to a shortfall of as much as $2 million in revenue annually according to my calculations using the same data.

A report with made-up data that shows how a fictional utility might be cheaper than a real one is certainly not FACTUAL.

Until the true cost of water is known, it is not only premature but irresponsible to promote any changes to the current structure.

Something smells.

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.