Thursday, February 5, 2015

GVAC Meeting - Budget presentation - February 4, 2015

I have sent the following email to GVAC members prior to above meeting:
"It appears I will not be able to attend tomorrow's meeting although I would have dearly loved to do so. I have family commitments which could not be postponed.
I would vote against the budget and would make a motion to "have a moratorium on budget items that would go towards projects that were identified in the MWP Referendum". I have difficulty identifying all the pipes and projects that would have furthered the current MWP but staff knows what those are and, hopefully, they would identify such projects. One such project is the purchase of the UVT Analyzer. What is "Capital project contingency.... Is this a slush fund?
I would vote against any increase in the budget. Last year we had $2 M for dam upgrade. That is now embedded in the budget.
I would not allow any more addition to the reserves until we know where we are going.
We have over $7 M in both Statutory and Operating reserves. We should not put in anymore till we get new directions ($736,000).
The Water rate calculator is an abomination. We should not determine the rates on a hit-and-miss basis. All those variables (volumes of a,b,c,d,e are estimated each with a potential error term). Using a normal user pay system will reduce the error to the estimated volume of water sale (5,766,696 cubic meters for 2015 and the number of customers "Base  24,325", this latter is not even important). Using the budget need as the "fixed cost" ( we must get all the revenues to cover all the expenditures) we get the true unit cost of water delivered to a customer's tap. To make sure everyone contributes to the costs we should set a minimum fee (access fee of say 10 cu. m.) that every connection must pay. Anyone using more than the 10 cu m will pay by multiplying consumed volume with unit cost.
More increase following the 23% increase from last year is a major blow to the citizens of Greater Vernon - like a penalty for voting down the referendum. Had either Vernon or Coldstream increased taxes at this rate there would be different people occupying those seats. So let's give a break to the ratepayers.
I am sorry again for missing the meeting but I am sure you will make wise decisions.
Obviously, the majority of directors believed that a 2% increase was still necessary. I am sure the operation and maintenance portion of the budget contains reasonable coverage of repairs and unforeseen expenses but be it. That was the decision by the majority.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How did it get this bad? Our water costs 2 to 3 times what citizens in Kelowna and Penticton pay for theirs (and that is before filtration!). Perhaps it is because we chose the wrong source and keep shovelling money at it to make it work for us!? Duteau gives us questionable quality in that it has high trihalomethanes (carcinogenic compounds that result from chlorination acting with high organic content) and high aluminum content (derived from the chemicals added to clarify the water) relative to lake sources, even if filtered! Shut the "white elephant " down and source the domestic water , like our neighbours do, from Kalamalka and Okanagan Lakes.

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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.