Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Parks and Recreation negotiations clarified.

The electoral Area's Directors and Coldstream Council released their position papers on the Parks negotiation prior to the November 9th joint meeting. The documents are attached below.

There are two major concerns for Coldstream:
1. Taking over operation and maintenance of sub regional parks within the boundaries of Coldstream, and

2. Ensuring that one jurisdiction cannot dictate to the rest of the jurisdictions (the governance issue).
Coldstream Council's major concern with the governance issue is that following the next census Vernon might get an extra vote and with their majority they can make financial decisions that would drag Coldstream into expansion of facilities, and consequently into greater financial expenditures, without their consent.

In the past Vernon demonstrated dictatorial tendencies in negotiations. The original sewer agreement in the mid 70's were quite amicable since Vernon was desperate for Coldstream's support in securing the necessary funds for the new sewer plant and spray irrigation system.

Years later the contract was up for negotiations and Vernon refused to negotiate the contract renewal under the same terms. They eventually went to court requesting an injunction to prevent further connections to the sewer system by developers in Coldstream.

Vernon insisted that Coldstream did not pay enough for policing, although Coldstream satisfied legislated requirements. They demanded an escalating extra policing cost to0 be included in the contract starting from $40,000 and increasing to $200,000 plus cost of living increases. The majority of Council eventually voted to accept the contract not wanting to go to court. Sometimes it is better to settle contentious issues in court once and for all.

Another example of muscle flexing was in the late 90's when a developer's offer to build a multiplex in Coldstream was rejected by Vernon (the Electoral Areas were not supportive either). The developer would have built and operated the twin ice sheet facility, one of which with 2,000 seats, at his own expense and only requested GVPRD to purchase $500,000 worth of ice time a year . That ice time could have been sold at reduced rates to minor hockey.

Lastly I point out the change of heart by Vernon with regards to Greater Vernon Water, specifically their demand to withdraw from the distribution system. That would increase water rates in Coldstream and the Electoral Areas and significantly reduce the rates in the City.

These are my reasons to insist on a fair resolution of the parks review. I believe we must ensure that Coldstream taxpayers get a fair deal and in the future.


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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.