Friday, March 6, 2015

Call For Plan Ban Rejected

Written by Peter McIntyre 
Friday, 06 March 2015 16:21

A citizen's group says public opinion appears to be swaying over the direction of Greater Vernon's master water plan.

Terry Mooney from Citizens For Change is pleased to hear local politicians at least talking about limiting the Duteau Creek source to farming, and switching domestic customers to Kalamalka and Okanagan lakes which he says would be far less costly.

"I think there's a will now for the public representatives to at least have a good look at this master water plan and fix the mistakes that were made in the 1960's and 70's," Mooney tells Kiss FM.

Mooney says his group is disappointed the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee decided against a moratorium on all master water plan projects based on last November's failed referendum.

"We were trying to make the distinction that it has nothing to do with the day to day operations, but we still need the direction that money is not to be spent on any of the six projects tied to the referendum," says Mooney.

GVAC vice chair Jim Garlick disagreed, saying that vote was for borrowing 70 million dollars for six projects, not a vote on the plan itself.

BX Silver Star director Mike Macnabb led the opposition to the motion made by Coldstream director Gyula Kiss, saying a ban doesn't make sense, given that everything they do with water, relates to the master water plan.

Vernon director Bob Spiers supported the ban, saying if at some point they decide the Duteau source won't be used for domestic use, studies in this year's budget will be unnecessary.

"Why spend that money?, asked Spiers. "It should be put into a pending reserve for master water plan projects."

 " was for borrowing 70 million dollars for six projects, not a vote on the plan itself."

I wonder how we could actually go ahead with a plan that has no funding. 

Unless we ask people why they turned down the borrowing it is simply a guess why they did so. Coldstream residents voted 70% against the referendum. Did they do so because of the money or because they did not like this particular plan? Perhaps they did not like the idea that after spending close to $200 million they would still be irrigating agricultural crops with very expensive filtered water.

Just for the sake of argument let's assume they turned it down because of the money. Where would GVWU get the funds to implement the plan? Will they start collecting the $70 million through increased water rates? Perhaps. But having rejected the borrowing at an estimated annual repayment of about $5 million would these same ratepayers be happy with increased water rates in the order of $10-14 million a year? GVW did that after the 2004 referendum but now there are more careful watchdogs keeping their eyes on the till. Santa Claus (senior governments) is unlikely to come up with the dough so our investigative reporters should find out from where the money is expected to come from for the "unrejected" MWP.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone should assume that the reason for turning it down was simply the money. There were a lot of other factors as well.

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.

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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.