Wednesday, October 8, 2014

More concerns about cost estimates.

Taxpayers who attended the public meeting(s) are familiar with the presentation by staff that begins with Walkerton and continues with the fret of pending water born disease outbreaks. That softens up the audience for the next segment provided by the consultant who goes through a number of slides to demonstrate that proposed option is the most cost effective option. Here is the slide in question:

Option 2 is the favoured option of the consultants and staff.

Note that Option 6, the most desirable option for long term efficacy, is depicted as the most expensive and least desirable option. The slide below is a closer examination of Option 6.

Observe that the total cost is listed at $182.8 million. However, that includes a filtration plant in 2042. I am reasonably sure that many of the current customers will not worry about that cost by 2042. Removing that sum will leave a cost of $132 million, a price tag much more attractive.

Consider deferring Okanagan Lake intake, costing $34.7 million, until 2030. The price tag will drop to $98.1 million, a much more comparable cost.

Additionally, the system separation and irrigation transmission main costs should also be evaluated for accuracy. The initial cost estimate for total separation was $35 million and we have completed about $12 million worth of those projects. It is highly unlikely that separation costs increased from $23 million ($35-12=$23) unless the original estimates were guesses. If they were inaccurate then the new estimates could be also highly unreliable as the same financial expert was making both estimates.

It is easy to rush through a presentation to customers unfamiliar with the projects and unsure what questions to ask. This is why it is important to re-evaluate the MWP by an independent group of experts who will then consider other viable and more cost effective plans.


1 comment:

Grasshopper said...

Interesting, I like the long term thinking. I hope its a no vote and they are forced to re-look at the plan. And has anyone asked for more time from Interior Health, or are we just doing what they say, no questions asked. I wanted to ask the Int Health rep at the last info meeting how many people were currently in VJH as a result of the water. Standards are great, but there is always going to be risk to someone, and spending millions to eliminate the slightest of chances of risk makes no sense. Its the same mentality as the school district in the US that is banning swing sets because kids could possibly be injured. We should all live in a bubble i guess

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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.