Monday, July 30, 2012

Gardeners! For your attention.


Complaints about water bills.

Many residents approached me with concerns about their new water bill. They are unhappy about the very high flat fee GVW charges  which is a disincentive to saving water.

I agree with their concerns.

While GVW’s policy is to recover costs through “user pay” in reality they are not doing so. The $78.12 flat fee ($312.48 annually) is basically a parcel tax as it is applied regardless of water use. Just to compare the magnitude of this tax consider Coldstream’s municipal tax on a $400,000 property at $784,76 annually. In fact, I received a complaint from a lot owner whose municipal tax almost equaled his water fee. He used no water.

Part of our water cost recovery is certainly not user pay, in fact, it is the most regressive form of taxation as it is applied to each property regardless of its value. This tax provides almost $8 million revenue to the water utility. Granted, there is a potential 80 cubic meters of water available for this price but many will not use all of the allowable volume.

There are fairer options available for covering the costs of the utility.

My preference would be ad-valorem taxation for financing infrastructure costs. The current cost of our borrowed funds ($35 million) is about $2.5 million annually. To cover this sum an approximate mil rate of 0.2 would be charged to the properties of water customers. A property worth $500,000 would be paying $100 annually.

An access fee of $25 per quarter ($100 annually)  would cover administrative costs, such as meter reading and billing costs.

The rest of the budget should be collected through user pay. This would be a fairer user pay system.

A future article will tackle the fairness of the amount collected by GVW and the fairness of the current graduated block fees.


Saturday, July 28, 2012


I am concerned about the next water plan as the previous two plans produced limited and unsatisfactory results. It is almost like we are proceeding on a trial-and-error basis at the customers' expense. We need a cohesive and affordable plan that will serve Greater Vernon residents for years to come. I want to be the taxpayers eyes and ears at the planning stage and not just a rubber stamp after the consultants come up with a plan just as it happened before.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Made in China - Thanks for the tip, Doug!

Anyone who bought an apartment here sure has a problem.
Talk about a collapsed market!


(1) An underground garage was being dug on the south
side of the building, to a depth of 4.6 meters (15 ft).
(2) The excavated dirt was being piled up on the north
side of the building, to a height of 10 meters (32 ft).

(3) They dug right up to the base of the building.
Then the rains came.

(4) The building experienced uneven lateral pressure
from north to south.

(5) This resulted in a lateral pressure of 3,000 tons,
which was greater than what the un-reinforced pilings
could tolerate. Thus, the building toppled completely
over in a southerly direction.

*First, the apartment building was constructed.*

Then the plan called for an underground garage to be dug out.
The excavated soil was piled up on the other side of the building.

*Heavy rains resulted in water seeping into the ground.*

The building began to tilt. Then it began to shift, and the
"hollow" concrete pilings were snapped due to the uneven lateral pressures

 And thus was born the eighth wonder of the world.

If these buildings were closer together, it would have resulted in a domino effect.


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

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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.