Saturday, December 31, 2016

Readers write - Comments on the plight of the Rhythmic gymnasts.

Good evening Mike, Rick, Bob, Hank, Herman, and to the rest who I have copied this email to.

Today in the North Okanagan it has come to light that 4 directors are trying to shut down a privately run gymnastics facility that has been in operation since 2009.  I feel this needs to be addressed.

The GVA and areas that NORD serves has a critical shortage of sports, and recreational facilities.  If a sports association wanted to establish a facility the amount of dollars required to do so would be astronomical.  When I look at the facilities that we get to enjoy the common them is they are in Vernon and owned by the taxpayer leased or rented back to the user groups. 

Here we have a facility that is privately owned and operated.  This facility does not appear to be a tax burden to the residents.  It also frees up floor space other groups can use in municipal owned facilities. 

Having privately owned facilities in our area benefits our community.  We are currently undertaking a huge ice sheet expansion that is going to cost taxpayers millions of dollars just to construct, funds to furnish, and an ongoing expense to maintain.  Think of the tax dollars our citizens could be using to address other issues that is now tied up in the hockey rink expansion. 

Had we allowed a private company to come in buy land, build and operate a new arena we would have the needed ice surface for this community at 0 cost to our taxpayers.  Here we have a person who saw the need for a gymnastics club in our area that is furnished to the needs of her program.  It costs no money to the taxpayer.  In fact her property generates tax dollar for you to spend.  She attracts people to the area through competitions and programs.  She also keeps our local youth at home with their families while pursuing their dreams and training in gymnastic and theater skills.

As some will know I will be running in the upcoming 2017 provincial elections.  One of my points I will be marketing is we need to as communities find ways to be open for business.  Closing down businesses, because a building is to big is not encouraging growth.  Shutting down sports programs because they do not lease city owned facilities is a conflict of interest.  Instead of closing this facility may I encourage you to try a novel idea.  Keep it open, work with Camille to market her facility and program, and look for way to attract more private owned facilities to open up shop in not just your electoral areas but in NORD communities as well. 

Lets actually move forward in 2017 to build our communities and attract development.  We need to get past the trap of "not in my backyard" and start thinking "How can we get this in yard or my neighbors yard" 

Lets start here.  Support Camille and her program.  It isn't going to cost you a dime.  I will be a win for the entire area. 

Thank you for your time,  I trust you will do well in making Vernon and Coldstream a stronger community.

Your Sincerely,
Don Jefcoat
Posted with permission from the author.

Happy New Year!!!


What British Columbians will pay more for in 2017

CBC News

British Columbians can expect to pay more for electricity, public transit and car insurance in the new year.

ICBC, BC Hydro and Translink are all bumping their rates in 2017, and Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums will rise for more than half a million West Coasters as well.

Premier Christy Clark says she's considering rejigging the way B.C.ers are taxed, including changing MSP and property taxes, but nothing concrete is in the works yet.

Here are some of the services British Columbians will, or could, be shelling out more for in 2017.


Approximately 530,000 families in B.C. will see an MSP increase next year, according to NDP leader John Horgan.

For example, the new rates will see couples with an annual household income of more than $45,000 paying an extra $14 a month, or $168 a year.

The median total income for a family in B.C. is $76,770, according to Statistics Canada.

Senior couples who make over $51,000 will also see a bigger bill, landing in the highest price bracket without a chance at a discount.

There are some breaks for single parents who make less than $40,000 a year — they could save up to $1,248 annually, or $104 every month. Single parents with two kids could keep at least $900 in their pockets each year.

The provincial government said the new MSP rates are meant to give low-income families a break.

BC Hydro

BC Hydro's rates are slated to rise by 3.5 per cent on Apr. 1, 2017, keeping in line with the corporation's 10-year pricing plan.

The increase means the average monthly residential bill will go up by about $3.74.

The new rates are to help update BC Hydro's aging infrastructure and enable the corporation to keep up with the ever-growing need for power.

The demand for electricity hit a three-year provincial high on Friday in the midst of a two-week cold snap on the South Coast.

BC Hydro rates are going up by more than 3 per cent next April.

ICBC (read more)

Here is a "legal" question: do I have to be dead to be able to cash this cheque?

There is an incentive to call it quits: $58.00!

Selected Morning Star Newsclips - In case you missed them.


See also the report on the Vernon Blog by Kate Bouey!


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Coldstream Committee of the Whole Meeting

Note: Council will discuss of 2017 GVWU water rates and long-term financial plan.


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Bob Kingsmill's Pottery Sale

Mary Anne would love to see all interested visitors!


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Comments on RDNO’s grant application.

During the 2014 election campaign a high pressure referendum campaign attempted to convince Greater Vernon’s water customers to approve the borrowing of $70 million for the completion of the Master Water Plan. The plan included, among other items, a filtration plant at the Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant for $26.5 million.

Consultants and staff insisted that the selected Option #2 was the most cost effective solution to GVW’s water problems. There were public presentations and media advertisements urging the ratepayers to approve the borrowing.

Some politicians opposed the proposed MWP. They demanded an independent review of the proposed plan but the majority rejected the request. They accepted the words of the “experts” that there is no need for a review. There could be no improvements to the perfect plan. So, the referendum proceeded. It failed decisively. 

At the November 3, 2016 GVAC meeting the following resolution was approved:
“The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee will submit a $5.6 million grant application to the federal government for ultraviolet treatment at the Duteau Creek plant.” (Morning Star, November 6, 2016).
Apparently, there were ways to improve the plan. The above news clip reflects one of the benefits of the failed referendum. Could an independent review uncover additional improvements? The current plan must be reviewed and compared to Option #7 using this new evidence.

Applying for a grant before the plan is completed is like repeating the mistake we made in 2004 (or 2006?).

The $30 M DCWTP was built with the help of a $13 M grant from Senior Governments. The vision of a grant was too much temptation to resist and GVW decided to build a $30 million 162 ML/d  treatment plant without first completing the entire plan. We are still working on it.

Based on the 2012 MWP proposal we will only need 110 ML of water from the DCWTP for the filtration plant. That makes 47% of the DCWTP production capacity redundant. If we divert even more untreated water to farms it will render redundant even more of the DCWTP.

Had the referendum succeeded, by now we would be building a new $26.5 million filtration plant at Duteau Creek using a maximum of 110 ML/d of pre-treated water. Instead, staff is proposing a new option for $7 million instead of the filtration plant. That would already be a saving of $25 million over the original proposal. Could an independent review uncover some additional savings? Quite likely.
Why did this proposal not surface earlier? Why did it take four years and a failed referendum to discover this possible alternative? After all, Kelowna has been using UV treatment since 2005. Our own Mission Hill Treatment Plant is using UV treatment since 2006. It is already in our system. Currently, GVW is working on improving the intake system at Kal Lake and it is expected that the Kal Lake water turbidity would be further reduced. More reason why filtration could be deferred even longer.

So, now that this treatment appears to be an acceptable alternative, why not reassess the MWP options in light of this new revelation?

If the use of ultraviolet treatment instead of filtration at Duteau is acceptable by IHA we can expand its use at Mission Hill and close DC. We are already serving 80% of our customers from MH. Instead of building a $50 M filtration plant at MH we can negotiate a filtration deferment and spend our money on extending the MH distribution system to customers currently using Duteau water. We won’t have to spend the $7 M either as we already have the UV facility at Mission Hill. That’s $57 million savings. 
Also, we must critically review the cost estimates of the total separation. We are relying entirely on the estimates provided by our current consultants. Their first estimates of separation costs were only a fraction of the current one.

We could return to using the original VID irrigation system only for agricultural crops. It was very efficient for irrigation prior to 2006. It just could not provide domestic water. If you wish to have an idea of what the VID and later NOWA’s  “domestic” water quality was from 1970 to 2006 check out the video:


The video demonstrates the tremendous amount of work, money and processing associated with producing the same quality water that is produced by Kalamalka and Okanagan lakes for free. Furthermore, there are no nasty byproducts, referred to as “cake”.

There are other reasons to review the plan. The original plan was based on a number of faulty assumptions (statistically referred to as Type II errors) which I’ll discuss later.

An independent review is a must!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Selected Morning Star Newsclips - In case you missed them.



Selected Morning Star Newsclips - In case you missed them.

Mr Bodkin makes an excellent point of the untenable water rate issue. He is right, the rate structure is extremely unfair.

The current policy of the Board is supposed to recover half the costs from infrastructure fees (base fees) and half from user fees.

Based on this policy half of your bill should be the cost of the water you used with a matching cost for infrastructure. Unfortunately, this only happens when your quarterly consumption is about 83 cubic meters (base fee: $102.00, user fee: $101.91). 

Here are a couple of examples of bills at various consumption (base fee includes meter fee of $7.00):

    15 cu. m. per quarter: Base fee: $102.00, user fee: $    11.85, ratio:  90% - 10%.
    50 cu. m. per quarter: Base fee: $102.00, user fee: $    47.40, ratio:  68% - 32%.  
 150 cu. m. per quarter:  Base fee: $102.00, user fee: $  260.70, ratio:  28% - 72%.            
 900 cu. m. per quarter:  Base fee: $102.00, user fee: $2038.20, ratio:   5% - 95%   

Does anyone believe that these figures comply with the 50-50 policy established by the Board?  Is it fair that the less water you use the more of your money goes to infrastructure costs? The policy is that half of your fee should go to infrastructure costs and the other half pay for the operation and maintenance of the system.

Another problem is that Industrial, Commercial and Institutional customers pay a lower rate than domestic customers. All customers should be paying the same rate


Monday, November 14, 2016

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.