Tuesday, January 27, 2015

GVAC Special Meeting - Budget presentation

 If you are interested in the 2015 water rates you might wish to attend.


Media Release - District of Coldstream


Monday, January 26, 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The first Special GVAC meeting done - many more to come.

The first post referendum MWP meeting has come and gone. Participants, including members of the surprisingly large audience, presented their individual vision on the future of the Greater Vernon Water Plan. 

The general view was that the plan should investigate new directions. No direction was endorsed yet but the general consensus was that the public should be involved in the new direction and should own the new plan.

My input was simple: return to Duteau to agriculture use, no treatment of any sort, and provide treated domestic water to all domestic customers from the Kalamalka/Okanagan Lake system. That would require removal of domestic customers from the current mixed water system to avoid treatment of water used for agriculture. This should be the direction we would all work towards and develop the details as we go forward.

Anyone wishing to have his/her voice heard could get a hold of any politician or provide their thoughts to me by email (gyula1@shaw.ca) or to this blog blog via the comment function. Remember, a new Plan is not going to be free but our investment should result in a plan that is the best for the long term water supply, both domestic and agriculture, for the ratepayers of Greater Vernon.

Let us hope for success!


Six Weeks’ Paid Leave Opposed By People With Thirty-Three Weeks’ Paid Leave

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—President Obama’s proposal to give workers six weeks of paid leave is meeting strong opposition from a group of people who annually receive thirty-three weeks of paid leave.

Members of the group heard the President’s proposal on Tuesday night, one of the few nights of the year when they are required to report to their workplace.

The opponents of paid leave, who show up for work a hundred and thirty-seven days per year and receive paid leave for the other two hundred and twenty-eight, were baffled by other moments in the President’s speech.

For example, they were confused by Obama’s challenge to try to survive on a full-time job that pays fifteen thousand dollars, since they all currently hold a part-time job that pays a hundred and seventy-four thousand dollars.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Readers Write - Letter to the Editor (published with permission)

I believe the resounding defeat of the master water plan referendum shows that you cannot fool all the people all the time and underscores the need for politicans to take off their rose coloured glasses.

The provision of an adequate amount of safe drinking water is absolutely essential and elected officials need to hold those senior members of the water utility who have just been showing part of the overall water picture to the public to account.

It is ridiculous how much emphasis has been put on getting drinking water from Duteau Creek whilst largely ignoring the fact that the vast majority of people in Coldstream and Vernon get their water from the Mission Hill waterworks that draws its water from Kal Lake. Doing so distorts the water reality.

I suspect a lot of people currently getting their drinking water from Duteau Creek could be switched at reasonable expense to the Mission Creek water that comes from Kal Lake.

Problem is, from the perspective of those with vested interests, that would really show what a white elephant Duteau Creek is as a source of drinking water.

Intially, we were told that we needed to spend millions on the Duteau Creek waterworks because the province would not give us enough water rights to take water from Kal or Okanagan Lakes to meet our needs. That drum is no longer being beaten with much enthusiam perhaps because it’s credibility has been undermined by the fact that other communities bordering the lakes have water licences permitting them to draw what they need from the lakes. It’s hard to believe that the province would deny Vernon what it has granted to Kelowna, that is unless we fail to make a good case that we need the water licences. The horrendous cost of turning Duteau Creek water into something drinkable makes a darn good case, does it not?

Another thing the senior people at the water utility have told us is that Interior Health has ordered us to filter our drinking water. Quite frankly, that’s pretty hard to swallow. I think it far more likely that Interior Health has said that our drinking water needs to meet certain standards and left it up to our water gurus to figger out how to meet those standards.

I’m thinking too that Interior Health has few if any concerns about the bulk of our drinking water that comes from Kal Lake. Duteau Creek water is another matter entirely. Despite the millions of taxpayer dollars poured into making it drinkable, Duteau Creek water, especially at the time of spring runoff, has too many suspended particules that diminsh the efficacy of chlorination or ultra violet treatments. The fact that a lot of cattle poop in the creek and a lot of runoff from nearby fields contaminate it as it meanders through agricultural lands on it’s way to the multi million dollar waterworks does not reduce the cost of purification to drinking water standards either.

I’m no expert but I am a firm believer that you do not have to be a chef in order to criticize the cooking. What amazes me is that our elected officials ever approved spending so much to make water from a nonsuitable source drinkable in the first place.

Now, our elected officials need to go back to the drawing board and come up with a more economical plan. They also need to do so with their eyes wide open. It is common knowledge that fudging terms of reference can hamstring outside experts into being unable to recommend what they otherwise would do if not so fettered.

Over to you, our newly elected officials. We need you to sort this out for us. An adequate source of drinking water is a fundamental need, having it done at affordable cost is a fundamental need too. Kindly roll up your sleeves and get on with the job. Give the raspberry to any so-called experts who expound taking water from a source that is so initially unsuitable for making it drinkable that it will never be affordable.

It upsets me that letter such as this needed to be written. For goodness sake you elected officials, do you not realize that your constituents rely on you to determine how many beans make five on the provision of a need so fundamental as enough safe drinking water. Shame on your predeccessors, shame too on those of you who held elected office whilst some of the prolifigate water decisions were made over the past several administrations.

I am one irate citizen who feels badly let down.


Addition to GVAC Special Agenda - January 22, 2015


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

GVAC Special Agenda - January 22, 2015

No additional information available!


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Readers' write - Comments on the MWP

It's very troubling that Regional District of North Okanagan bureaucrats are trying to circumvent public input on certain aspects of the master water plan by having controversial issues not on agenda introduced as late items during a public meeting.  Doing this essentially means the public is not allowed to prepare prior to the meeting.  Also troubling is that you never have an agenda item for "Questions From the Press and Public" at the end of meetings.

I'm not very familiar with the justification and timeline involved with raising Aberdeen dam, but this was one of the items recently rejected by Vernon and district voters.  With all the public pressure currently being applied on you about many things, including peer review and investigation of other water sources, RDNO staff seems quite disingenuous with their report.

They seem to think that the referendum was defeated because of a lack of Provincial grant funding.  That may be the case for some voters, but certainly not all.  My mother and siblings voted no after careful consideration and upon reflection of water rate increases imposed since the Duteau treatment plant experiment started around twelve years ago.  Others, perhaps the majority, questioned the technical and environmental aspects of the plan.  Why is it so expensive, grants or not?  Why is it so limited in scope?  What is the resulting carbon footprint?  Why would you forge ahead with any aspect of this MWP without first determining the direction your ratepayers actually want you to go?

Also attached are some thoughts on the meter reading aspects of this late item report. 


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Coldstream Council COW Agenda - January 19, 2015



Vernon library to remain open Sundays

Vernon Council voted to keep the Vernon library open on Sundays by approving a funding request of $21,000. Council also requested staff to ask the District of Coldstream and the RDNO to share in the extra expense.
For further information please visit The Morning Star and KISS FM.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Okanagan Lake Water Quality - January 15, 2015

Kelowna's Water Utility provides daily turbidity index for their Okanagan Lake source. This is the major water source for the city. Due to the high quality water Kelowna can satisfy quality goals set by IHA without having to filter. Their treatment regime consists of ultraviolet irradiation and chlorination before sending it to their customers.

Anyone interested in following the quality reports can access them at Kelowna water.


Target targets departure from Canada

Target to pull out of Canada

Target says it will close its stores in Canada – a market that it entered only two years ago.

The U.S. based retail company has 133 Canadian locations and 17,600 employees across the country.

Target Canada has struggled from the start and there has been speculation in business circles that its days were numbered.

Brian Cornell , who became the U.S. company's chairman and chief executive last year, said he had promised to take a hard look at ways to improve the discount retailer's performance.

"After a thorough review of our Canadian performance and careful consideration of the implications of all options, we were unable to find a realistic scenario that would get Target Canada to profitability until at least 2021," Cornell said in a statement.

"Personally, this was a very difficult decision, but it was the right decision for our company."

The company says the stores will remain open during a court-supervised liquidation period and it's working to ensure employees are paid at least 16 weeks of severance.

Target says it will also work with an advisor to sell its real estate and expects to spend between US$500 million and US$600 million in cash to end its Canadian operations.

Target Corp. will also record about US$5.4 billion in pre-tax losses in its fourth-quarter, mostly related to the Canadian operation.

The company said it would provide US$175 million of credit to fund Target Canada's operations while it winds down under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act, or CCAA, which is one of the

Canadian equivalents to the U.S. Bankruptcy Act.

It is seeking to have the court appoint Alvarez & Marsal Canada as CCAA monitor, a role that acts as a liaison between the court, the company and other stakeholders.



Monday, January 12, 2015

Coldstream Council Meeting Agenda - January 12, 2015



The above document was a late addition to the Agenda of the January 8, 2015 GVAC meeting. I provide it here for information as it was not included in the published public Agenda. There are two recommendations of interest both requesting the approval of grant applications to senior governments.

One of my concerns with the above document was that it was a last minute addition at the end of the meeting. It came on the heals of a defeated referendum and one of the grant request was for an item that was also an item in the referendum. In light of the anticipated review of the MWP the question remains if and how the Duteau system will be incorporated into future plans. Even in MWP 2012 the Aberdeen dam was a low priority item projected to be constructed in 2022.

The argument could be made that this is a request for a grant and not an expenditure of local taxpayers. However, if the grant is approved will it effect future grant applications for higher priority projects?

The grant application for water meter improvements is even more puzzling. There is no analysis to demonstrate how those expenditures will increase water rates and how much benefit the expenditure of over $8 million will have on the overall management of the plan.

One also may wonder, if this meter improvement was in the plans prior to the referendum question, would it have come up as an additional expense after the referendum was approved.

 A plan must be completed in advance of a request for financing and not presented in peace-meal fashion.

What do you think?


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Selected Morning Star Newsclip - In case you missed them


More snow!

Getting to the point where storage is becoming a problem. Hope it stops for awhile!


Monday, January 5, 2015

An unpleasant surprise!

It was a lovely sight when I looked out this morning but I soon realized the unpleasant consequences of the beautiful view: SHOVELING! And there was a lot of that


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year! - Debbie and Gyula


Happy New Year!


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.