Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dog owners remember!

In order to save on your dog licenses you must purchase your licenses prior to January 1, 2012!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Coldstream sewer rates - Morning Star

Coldstream sewer rates - a minority report.

Council has voted 4-2 to adopt the Finance Director’s (CFO) recommendation for the 2012 sewer rates, thus, the debate is over. My comments are directed to the report by Jennifer Smith in the Morning Star (attached). It is also an advance notice of my recommendations for next year.

My proposal for the new sewer rates was based on a complete analysis of the data collected by the District on water and sewer consumption and revenues received based on  those consumption.

Here is the situation in a nutshell:

We cannot measure sewer contribution directly as there are no reliable individual sewage meters. The first quarter water consumption is used to estimate each household’s contribution as it is assumed that during the winter months most of the water consumed by customers end up in the sewer. We estimate the full year’s consumption by multiplying the first quarter’s water consumption by 4. Adding up all first quarter consumption volumes we arrive at the total sewage contribution from all users. In Coldstream it amounted to about 346,200 m3 .

The total cost for providing sewer service for Coldstream customers is estimated at $1,400,000. The estimated cost of collecting, treating and disposing 1 m3 of sewage is then estimated at $4.00 (with refinements it is actually $3.80).

It is fair that every customer contributes a minimum amount to the system so a base fee is established. Here is where the CFO and I made different recommendations.

The CFO calculated a minimum fee by establishing a base fee at $56.45 plus a 15 m3  consumption at $2.51, for a total minimum of $94.10. Every customer must pay this. Additional consumption is charged at $2.51 per m3 . How did the $3.80 unit fee dropped to $2.51? It was due to charging $94.10/15=$6.28 per m3 for the first 15 m3 to all customers whether they use it or not. The setting of the minimum fee and the consumption fees have very little to do with the actual unit cost of sewage. The result is that the unit cost is decreasing with increased consumption (see Table 1).

The proposal I advanced to Council involves actual unit costs of sewage all the way through.

The minimum fee was set as the cost of 20 m3 of sewage at $3.80 per m3 or $76.00 per quarter. All additional m3-s are charged at $3.80. Table 1 also provides a visual example of the KISS principle. It demonstrates that up to 20 m3 consumption unit prices are dropping from a high of $76.00 at zero consumption to a minimum of $3.80 at 20 m3 and it remains at $3.80 per m3 from there on. The 20 m3 minimum is necessary to ensure that everyone contributes to the operation and maintenance of the system.

It is true that larger families (and less careful consumers) are paying more due to higher consumption. They do so for every other commodity they must purchase. More bread, more milk, more shoes, etc. but it is not Councils prerogative to request that sewer customers subsidize larger consumers. Councillor McClean’s comment that “We are actually going to penalize larger families and they have no choice, consumption is consumption,” is incorrect. We are not penalizing them, we are billing them for their consumption at cost. Customers with lower consumption will also be paying their fair share.

“This is a big step to more of a true user-pay system,” he said (Trevor Seibel) of Kiss’ proposal which would have generated Coldstream an additional $70,000 in revenue.” It is true that $4.00 unit cost would have provided $70,000 more revenue. However, a correction to $3.80 per m3 rectified that problem and the revised costs would yield the right amount of revenue. The major point here is that it would be “more of a true user-pay system”!

Table 2 represents the frequency distribution of users in 10 m3 increments. Note that nearly 83% of users are between 0 and 60 m3.

Figure 1 is the visual representation of the same frequency distribution.

One way to design more accurate billing models would be to measure sewage contributions directly. Unfortunately, meters for individual sewage measurements are not available. A dual water metering system, one of which would measure indoor usage of water, and another the otside would be a reasonable alternative. It is not recommended at the present time.

If anyone is interested to compare billing rates based on the 2011 first quarter water consumption could visit sewer rates 2012.

Comments are welcome.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!


Gyula and Debbie


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Robotic pollination science fiction or real?

It’s a news story that broke late in November and surprisingly it didn’t cause much of a stir, but its one that will no doubt gain some traction as the public feels the sting and begins asking tough questions.

Computer scientists and engineers at Harvard University have developed and licensed technology that will make it easy to test collective algorithms on hundreds, or even thousands, of tiny robots.
Read more

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Photo Gallery - Happy Holidays. - Debbie

Happy Holidays Everyone! 

Rough-Legged Hawk, Pygmy Nuthatches enjoying Xmas dinner, Slate Junco, Bald Eagles at Kal Beach, Rose's Pond and Kingfisher-Mabel Lake.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Coldstream Council meeting -- December 19, 2011 - Reminder!


Setting sewer rates for 2012


Selected News Clips, Morning Star, December 16 and 18, 2011

 December 18, 2011


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Coldstream Community News

By the end of this week, Canada Post will have delivered the District’s December newsletter to homes and businesses within Coldstream.

However, the Community News newsletter is not delivered to those homeowners who have indicated to Canada Post that they do not wish to receive unaddressed admail.  I have placed an ad in the Morning Star regarding holiday hours and also included a notation that if residents did not receive the newsletter, they can either:

·           pick up a copy (supplies are limited) at the Coldstream Municipal Office, or
·       view it online at under “What’s New” on the home page.


GVAC Agenda - December 17, 2011


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Aviva Community Fund - Rebuild Camp Hurlburt

Semi-Final Voting begins Dec. 5, 2011 at 9AM PLEASE REGISTER AND VOTE. As at 6 PM Sunday with 6 days left in Contest, Camp Hurlburt has 5382 votes and is in 16th place. The candidate in 10th spot is at 6228 votes Send out e-mails and Tweets to everyone and get them to sign up and vote for this worthwhile cause.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Readers write: Another gift shopping idea.

Also at the Women's Institute Hall on Kalamalka Road, across from the big Christmas tree on Saturday!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Selected News Clips, Morning Star, December 7, 2011


Public safety and security for Business and Residents in our community.

For matters of interest in public safety and security for Business and Residents in our community.

From: Warren Smith Vernon/ North Okanagan RCMP Safe Communities Unit
Rural Programs: 250.550.7843
Fax: 250.260.5866
Victims get called at home or by e-mail by telemarketers posing as Microsoft troubleshooters. Suggest that your home computer is not running efficiently and to bring it up to speed will cost in a range of $160.00 to $300.00, credit card info is requested or arrangements to send money through wire service such as Western Union to complete transaction. Personal information is sought and in extreme cases computers have been hijacked and bank accounts have been emptied. The North Okanagan is easy pickings right now, and this fraud is prevalent. Spread the word to prevent families and friends from being a victim.
Three simple steps to follow when a crime is taking place:
Always consider your safety and let Emergency Services do what they do best.
Please share this information with all of your contacts and help prevent crimes from happening in your community.

1.800.222.TIPS (8477)
Warren Smith
Rural Programs Coordinator
Vernon/North Okanagan RCMP Safe Communities Unit
#101 - 3334 30th Avenue, Vernon, B.C. V1T 2C8
Office: 250-550-7843 Fax: 250-260-5866
Cell: 250-540-0658


NORD Meeting Agenda - December 7, 2011


Monday, December 5, 2011

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.