Monday, August 27, 2012

Coldstream's Minority Rule

Interesting Letter to the Editor written by Terry Downton, published in August 26, 2012 Morning Star:

"Coldstream Suites:
It must be nice to have all of the money you need and not have to look for some extra mortgage help.  While some residents might not like suites, many residents of Coldstream have suites and many more want them.

Many residents live near Okanagan College and there is very little accommodation in this area.  Should we not support people being able to walk to school?  Let's face it, we have a need for rental accommodation in Coldstream.

"We should not let a minority of complainers dictate what the majority wants."

The current situation, where Coldstream expects one inspector to look after all of the building inspections and then have to waste his time answering suite complaints, must be very frustrating for the district.  It seems that you can have a suite in Coldstream if your neighbour does not complain.

What about situations like having elderly parents come and live with you?  How about those adult children who cannot afford to even rent anywhere in Vernon or Coldstream?

Why does Coldstream not create a process where residents can apply for legal suites?  Or better yet, do what Kelowna did and make all suites legal and stop wasting valuable resources chasing something that is almost impossible to enforce.

Kelowna is in the process of making all secondary suites legal as they realize that affordability of homes and low income housing is a serious issue in the Okanagan.

It is easy for a person who brings home a six-figure salary to complain about a few extra vehicles in his neighbourhood.  What about all of the students and hard working families trying to survive in one of the most expensive places in Canada to live?

The population of Vernon has increased while school enrolment has been plummeting.  That tells me that rich retired people are moving here while young families are moving out.

If the tenants are parking on the owner's property, then there should be no issue.

The point of extra traffic on Point Sage is a joke because it is a dead-end street and the extra traffic generated by two or three cars per day is negligible.

I don't have an illegal suite.  I have had my inspection thanks.

But I would encourage residents of Coldstream to send anonymous letters to the district in support of legalizing suites (so you don't have to endure your inspection).  We should not let a minority of complainers dictate what the majority wants.

With all of the trouble in today's world, one must have a lot of time on one's hands to complain about a car going by their house twice a day."

"Good letter, Terry Downton," says Kia, adding "we acreage owners in Coldstream agree with you that the minority seems to be winning with this Mayor and Council".

Friday, August 24, 2012

Dismissive, Condescending, Patronizing and Disdainful doublespeak from District of Coldstream

Remember the letter the Coldstream Acreage Owners' Association sent to the District of Coldstream in early May, with a request that their reply be sent to each of our 37 members (with names/addresses provided)?
A simple task, given that the bureaucracy's computer can generate address labels for 37 members in...oh, about 20 minutes.  Postage would've cost about 20 bucks, easily paid for by Petty Cash. 

Well, the District has replied..."...It is our policy to correspond to the contact person at the beginning of the list you have provided and I trust you will forward this information to the members of the Coldstream Acreage Owners' Association."  

A sincere apology to the CAO family whose name appeared first on the members list...obviously the District feels that you have a photocopier at the ready for distribution to the other 36 members.

Not to mention the time for the task.

Because that family is likely busy farming versus pushing papers around on a desk.

...but that's only a precursor that epitomizes how this Mayor and Council listen to their constituents.
Or not.
Especially when they themselves have asked for public input.

The District of Coldstream's dismissive, condescending, patronizing and disdainful replies follow:

CAO question:  Has Council considered the Tax implications of rezoning property in Coldstream?  What are council's plans to deal with these implications, specifically, if no additional taxpayers can be added through the subdivision of does Council see managing the increased debt for the community (from approx. $100,000 to more than $6 million dollars to date).  In light of the Antwerp Springs fines, twinning of the water lines (estimated up to $147 million calculated by Councillor Kiss), plus various other projects, Coldstream Acreage Owners (CAO) are concerned that the only solution will be to raise taxes rather than add new taxpayers.

DoC reply:  "This question stems from some underlying assumptions that are not correct as follows:
(a)  the increased debt (largely for the construction of the two fire halls in 2008) is quite manageable for the existing tax base and smaller than that of most communities of Coldstream's size;
(b) Antwerp Springs fines will be sufficiently small to be ignored in overall long-term financial and revenue planning matters;
(c) Twinning of water lines will not cost $147 million and will be paid for by the entire domestic customer base in Greater Vernon Water; and
(d) Increasing the density of rural properties does not reduce the tax burden on everyone else.  In fact, it adds to the burden as it places pressure on farm use, and places more citizens in rural areas who then want urban-type services such as storm water removal, parks, pathways and street lighting which are extremely expensive to provide in low-density areas.
The conclusion is to restrict densification in rural areas in order to reduce the long-term pressures on taxation.  Thus, if Council wishes to maintain a minimum 2 hectare parcel size in the RU2 zone, tax revenue generation should not be the motivating factor."

CAO question:  Has Council considered the business implications of rezoning rural lands in Coldstream?  What will Council do to encourage business investment in this community?  Any business that is considering Coldstream for their operations will be discouraged from locating here as there will be fewer opportunities for a variety of employee housing.  It is unclear what the impact will be on potential new businesses and families.

DoC reply:  "The rezoning of the RU2 properties to limit subdivision to a larger minimum size would be consistent with encouragement of business investment.  First, the Coldstream Agricultural Plan has indicated that larger properties (i.e. those sized greater than 4 hectares) have a higher chance of remaining as viable farms based on Class 9 Assessment (Map 2.1).  Second, if Agri-Tourism is to be considered, Section 2.5 of the Plan indicates that the minimum property size of overall properties used for Agri-Tourism should be 8 hectares.  Coldstream is embarking on a Tax Revitalization Strategy to encourage business investment on commercial and other appropriately zoned properties."

CAO question: How does Council see limiting the use of both agricultural and non-agricultural property by rezoning?  The impetus for this rezoning plan appears to be that Council thinks that be rezoning private property in Coldstream, agriculture will be protected.  Or, is this an attempt by Council to stop what has often been referred to pejoratively as 'trophy' or 'manor' houses on both ALR and non-ALR designated property in Coldstream?  Global studies prove that small parcel farming contributes to food security and keeps families attachede to, and intact on, their lands.  By forcing people to "farm" 24.7 acres, does this Council think that farmers can make a viable living?  We have greater than 500 acres owned by CAO's that disprove that anyone can make a living on 24.7 acres without additional income.  This places a financial and social burden on some people in the community to maintain the "idea" of a farm.  As for stopping the building of 'trophy/manor' houses, the Local Government Act does not legislate house size and style in this manner.  So-called trophy houses might be houses that have a certain square footage (footprint), but these are called "complex" buildings and are defined and regulated in the Building and Plumbing Bylaw (#1442).  There is an argument that the home plate model places unfair, unsafe, and onerous burdens on acreage owners with no quantified benefit to them.

DoC reply: "The follow-up to this question speaks to three issues:
(i) minimum lot size for viable farms;
(ii) size of housing and use of RU2 properties; and
(iii) size of the home plate provision.
These issues are dealt with as follows:
(a)  The follow-up refers to "global studies" which "prove that small parcel farming contributes to food security and keeps families attached to, and intact on, their lands".  The Farming economy in BC is not necessarily representative of the global farming economy.  In fact, the ALC has taken the opposite view in which small plots are less viable as farms.  As such, they become more desirable for simple residential estate use and are lost to agriculture.  Coldstream's statistics bear this out, as the following Class 9 Assessment figures show that a higher percentage of smaller lots to not maintain Class 9 (Farm) status:
Lot Size                                % Class 9
0 - 2 ha                                     25.5
2 - 4 ha                                     62.0
4 - 10 ha                                   82.8
> 10 ha                                     80.4
These statistics indicate that lot sizes less than 4 hectares have substantially lower probabilities of being maintained as a viable agricultural use.  The Coldstream Acreage Owners indicate that it is difficult to make a living on a 24.7 acre farm.  This fact is not necessarily relevant to long-range planning, as it appears that the vast majority of larger parcels are being maintained as farms, even though additional income is being earned.
(b) There is no desire by Council to prevent the construction of larger houses, as the size of the residence has no relevance to the property's use for agriculture.
(c) The size and location of the home plate does not put "onerous" burdens on acreage owners unless it is considered that proximity within 60 metres of a road is "onerous".  The size of the home plate (approximately one acre in size) is generous enough for a very large building along with accessory residential needs.  Where site topography places unique restrictions on the location of the home plate, a variance process is proposed."

CAO question:  Has Council considered the impact on real estate values by this rezoning?  It is possible that the rezoning of acreages in Coldstream will devalue farmland and non-agricultural land.  While some individuals may benefit by increasing their holdings as land becomes more affordable, this does not benefit the CAOs who invested their money in their land under the current zoning.  The rezoning bylaw creates a market of 20+ acres that cannot be subdivided and therefore must be managed as farmland (typically the solution is hay as 20+ acres is difficult for one family to farm and not large enough to create a viable living).  How will a new young generation be able to become farmers if there are no smaller parcels available (20-74 acre parcels are beyond the reach of most people's financial ability)?  In addition, some of the most intensive and productive farmlands have high value crops in greenhouses that do not require large tracts of property.  Smaller holdings have this potential.  Has this been considered in Council's deliberations?  It has also been suggested that Agri-Tourism is a goal for this Council.  Agri-Tourism consists of motor home parks and viewing small scale agriculture as tourist opportunities.  However, visitors who come to Coldstream do so to admire the lake and the park and contribute little to the economy or the community, short of buying fuel for their vehicles and boats.  Does Council have information about small scale Agri-Tourism studies that quantify the benefit of this option taking into consideration the size and uniqueness of the Coldstream community?

DoC reply: "The rezoning would put a stop to real estate values being artificially inflated by speculation on the subdivideability of ALR land.  This would likely make the purchase of farm land less burdensome and improve the overall viability for agriculture.  However, their ability to subdivide likely never existed, as subdivision of parcels less than 20 hectares in size has typically not been approved by the ALC.  As indicated earlier, the Coldstream Agricultural Plan speaks to Agri-Tourism."

CAO question:  What are the benefits to the taxpayers of Coldstream of this rezoning?  Does Council have data to suggest a benefit to all residents of Coldstream, or is this rezoning for the benefit of some, and how do you quantify and qualify that benefit?

DoC reply:  "The purpose of the proposed rezoning was not to specifically provide tax benefits to residents.  In that sense, the question is irrelevant.  The primary purpose of the rezoning proposal is that it improves the sustainability of the agricultural sector of Coldstream's economy.  There are indirect tax benefits to residents as outlined in (d) above."

CAO question: Will Council ensure that every property owner be cntacted directly by mail to inform them of the pending rezoning?  It has come to our attention during the formation of our Association that the majority of people in Coldstream did not see the newspaper notice regarding the rezoning proposal.  The Agricultural Plan Open House on March 14,2012 had 100 people attend over two hours.  Of the approximately 10,000 taxpayers in this District, this attendance record proves that people have not been advised so as to make informed decisions.  The current configuration of lands in Coldstream has been in place for the better part of two generations.  This rezoning removes property rights, devalues some properties, constrains decisions about outbuildings, barns, employee accommodations, etc., and severely limits growth, not what people bought into when they purchased land.  This rezoning may not merely 'manage' land use in Coldstream as may have been intended.  Vibrant, healthy communities have managed growth and encourage responsible growth.  How does this Council intend to mitigate limitations that they will put on growth ('stymied' versus 'managed') through rezoning in Coldstream?

DoC reply:  "Council has directed that further information be provided regarding the proposed minimum lot size for subdivision in the RU2 Zone.  This wold include a mail-out to property owners in this zone.  This will be in addition to the extensive consultation that has already taken place on this issue (three open houses, a public hearing, and ongoing collaboration with two separate Agriculture Advisory Committees over the course of three years).  It should be noted the underlying premises to the follow-up commentaries are incorrect, and that the zoning amendment does not remove property rights, nor does it make any properties non-conforming.  The propose amendment to the RU2 Zone minimum lot size does affect 'growth' in bona fide agricultural areas.  Council has set this as an objective in ALR land in order to protect its viability for agriculture.  In this sense it has been consistent with the objectives of the Agricultural Land Commission.  The proposals do not have any impact on agricultural outbuildings as suggested, and employee accommodations are being researched to determine requirements that are relevant and workable.  The District is under no obligation to mitigate limitations on growth in agricultural areas.  It is precisely through land-use regulations that Council can both stimulate prevent or shape the type of growth that happens in targeted areas.  This is done in consideration of the long-term vision that Council has for the District."

CAO question:  Council is saying that bona fide farmers are the only ones who will get farm water.  Who is payhing for the water allocation and meter, irrigation pipes/sprinklers/emitters for the demonstration garden at the College demonstration garden initiative?  The demonstration garden at the Okanagan Universit College site needs $2,500 for seed and $10,000 for a coordinator next year.  And, since no new water allocations are available unless people are bona fide farmers, which group of farmers has given up their water so that the College's demonstration garden can have water?  Are Coldstream taxpayers going to be contributing for annual seeds, coordinators, and water for this latest initiative?

DoC reply:  "Council has never passed a resolution saying that bona fide farmers are the only ones who will get farm water.  Any policy regarding farm water rates is set by the Greater Vernon Water Utility, not by Council.  However, Council members have expressed general support for the farm water rates being limited to those customers whose needs are legitimately related to agriculture.  Presumably, as the irrigation needs of the College will be for a demonstration farm/garden, Greater Vernon Water would supply the College at the agricultural allocation rate.  However, this decision is up to Greater Vernon Water, not Coldstream Council.  Coldstream taxpayers are not paying for the irrigation infrastructure at the College.  The letter asserts that farmers must give up water to allow the College to have farm allocation.  This premise is incorrect.  While the College is fundraising for contributions to the project, no commitment has been made by Council at this time."

CAO question:  Is Council aware that this RU10 and RU30 rezoning removes the right of access that all land owners have to the decision making authority and adjudicators at the Agricultural Land Commission?  The only exception to this fact would be the second or third largest land owners in Coldstream who, under the new rezoning, would be able to subdivide and thus potentially have access to the Commission.  The Agricultural Land Commission has always been the final authority on agricultural land.  For those homeowners who are over 55 and cannot make a living here, the option is to defer taxes on their properties.  While this may appear to have no impact for this Council's budgets, it does place burden on the province in transfers.  If an increasing number of subsistence farmers defer their taxes in British Columbia, how does this Council perceive the province will respond?

DoC reply:  "The premise underlying this question is incorrect.  Landowners have no right of access to the ALC.  It is Council that has full discretion regarding any referral or non-referral to the ALC.  If Council is supportive of subdivision in ALR land, then it must submit the application to the ALC.  However, Council is under no obligation to submit an application if it is not supported by Council.  What has been happening is that subdivision applications that would result in parcels less than 10 hectares in size have generally been rejected by the ALC.  The proposed zoning amendment is unlikely to change the practices for subdividing agricultural land.  It merely aligns with current ALC practice.  In doing so, it eliminates fruitless costs and time in pursuing these applications and aligns expectations with reality.  The letter makes reference to deferral of taxes by seniors.  Where the land meets the revenue requirements of BC Assessment, overall taxes are low and the need for deferral becomes a non-issue. "

DoC closing: "As the organizer of the correspondence dated May 1, 2012 to the District of Coldstream, I am writing to you so that you may pass on the above information to interested members of the Coldstream Acreage Owners. (signed)  Michael A. Stamhuis, P.Eng. Chief Administrative Officer, cc: Mayor and Council"

...Mayor and Council, during a July meeting, deleted these comments from the reply:  

 "As a result, by implementing a higher limit on the minimum land area, farm land property values will likely drop."  and

"For those property owners who had invested in their properties with the intent to subdivide, it is true that their property values may decline." and

"If property values are devalued, any such value reductions stem from inflated property values based on incorrect expectations of subdivideability."

Interestingly--coincidentally--another topic surfaced about the same time as Council was considering the bureaucrat's draft reply prior to mail-out to Coldstream Acreage Owners.
...seems the provincial Ombudsman has produced a checklist for "administrative fairness" in dealing with complaints from the public.

"The Ombudsman must have the District of Coldstream on speed-dial by now," explains Kia.

The District of Coldstream recently implemented a written formal policy process where questions/issues from the public now go to Michael Stamhuis (bureaucrat-author, above)...if it remains unresolved, then the issue goes to Mayor and Council.

Kia adds:  "So they're not only firmly nailing the door shut on any contact with the ALC, now access to their Mayor and Council has been removed and residents must deal with a bureaucrat."

Friday, August 10, 2012

Coldstream's Duplicity infects Regional District

Suddenly the District of Coldstream wants a Letter of Support from the North Okanagan Regional District concerning the extension of the Kidston Road multi-use path (no such request appears to have been made for the first segment completed last year).

So Mayor Garlick--a director of Greater Vernon Advisory Committee (GVAC) which meets regularly at the Regional District office--asked for it.

And he got it, according to today's story in The Morning Star.

But Coldstream's Mayor Garlick should not have received that support. 

Firstly, because the Regional District's administrator, Trafford Hall, is relatively new to his administrative post and would be unaware that a standard building permit was withheld for one year in order for Coldstream to be given the land for the path by the permit applicant.

Mr. Hall should have been apprised of the project's unsavory history.

Mr. Hall should ask Mayor Garlick why that was omitted.

Judy Paterson (the permit applicant) explains it better than anyone, and her reaction to The Morning Star story follows:

"The article today on the Kidston Road Multi-use path as posted on the website does not provide links to the year long fight that my husband and I had with the District of Coldstream regarding their illegal actions over a building permit in order to force us to give them land for their "path". I wonder why?

For your information, our case was (and still is) followed by the Canadian Constitution Foundation, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the Homebuilders Association, various municipal and BC and federal government agencies including the Ombudsman's Office who are reviewing it now, as well as a large number of contractors, businesses, and interested people in the Okanagan Valley as well as Vancouver, North Vancouver and Richmond. The opportunity that the paper has to expose irregularities in municipal process are huge and yet you
(Ed. note: The newspaper) remain silent.

The reporting of this latest initiative is discouraging to say the least. We currently have a complaint in to the Ombudsman's office with regard to the District's prejudicial actions (which included according to an insider source, of looking into our financial background). The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has even met with Jim Garlick on our behalf to bring their concerns to his attention.  The District of Coldstream could have our land for their path (and Marie Besso's tea house that she told me two years ago should  be what was on my property, not my home) as we have put our property up for sale.

And yet they (Ed. note: The District of Coldstream) do nothing, perhaps waiting for another homeowner to naively show up asking for a building permit. The rhetoric about how we are making it unsafe for school children to go to school because we won't sacrifice our frontage to the "greater good" is nonsense if the District is only prepared to try to extort property rather than purchase it lawfully.

Now the GVAC is apparently in support of this wonderful project.  The fact that the provincial government will no longer provide grant money for it should give everyone pause.  The grant applications for this project were manipulative and contained false and unverifiable information and failed to inform the (Ed. note: the BC gov't, the issuers of grant money) government of the true facts of the path (including the phasing of the work which is not permitted under gas tax funding). The District has maintained in grant applications that this is not a phased project, in contravention of the terms of the gas tax grant applicability.

Coldstream has effectively devalued our home and land to the point that no one will buy it and we will be forced to abandon it.  It is shocking to me that the paper isn't reporting this issue in a more reflective way.

If a municipality or other governance can use extortion and manipulate homeowners/taxpayers (illegally holding up a permit so they can pass a bylaw is strictly prohibited by the Local Government Act is just one of the actions of the District), then everyone should be concerned.

If my rights are not enforceable, yours are next.  This "path" - basically a third lane along a country road which will destroy old growth trees and add tons of asphalt to the environment, is shameful, especially as it is built on extorting land from people (in effect taking away their retirement income and destabilizing real estate).

And the idea that you can ride horses and bicycles and have babies in buggies all safely passing each other belongs on another planet.  Bikes, babies and horses don't mix.

It is obviously a political legacy project that takes none of the safety issues and property rights of homeowners into consideration.  Mr. Garlick wants to spend other people's money on large projects that require significant amounts of concrete. Period.  All in a rural country setting with no hope of extending the tax base to cover these projects.

The District is also taking away property rights (and devaluing people's savings and equity in their land) with their latest re-zoning "initiative" under the guise of protecting farmland.

Isn't it time we asked ourselves why our governments have to be so deceptive?  What is it they are really trying to achieve? 

If the North Okanagan politicians think that these actions are for the "good" of people we need to remind them that of the pitfalls of that thinking which is the erosion of rights and the ability to live free of excessive governmental intrusion.

Every homeowner in this valley may be at risk for some government project on their land with no compensation because once the Kidston Road path is done, there are many more paths in the works.  

Mr. Garlick stated at a Committee-of-the-Whole meeting this year that the District's goal is to ensure public access to private property.
And he is very persistent.
It doesn't just mean my property. It means everyone's."
 Judy Paterson

Hopefully, Mr. Hall, the Regional District's new administrator will do some digging into these facts.

And hopefully the other directors will reconsider hastily issuing a Letter of Support for the next segment of the path.
At least until they're assured that the District will treat its taxpayers/landowners with procedural fairness and natural justice.

One question that may be appropriate for Mr. Hall to ask Mr. Garlick:  "Why was a Regional District Letter of Support unnecessary last year, but is now deemed necessary for this extension of the path?"

"Looks like Garlick's seeking a partner in Coldstream's duplicity," offers Kia.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Barry Beardsell Nails Directors

He's a former Vernon city councillor, and his Thursday presentation to the Greater Vernon Board of Directors at the regional district ruffled some feathers.

The Morning Star's Roger Knox did a good job of the story, and a reprint of the August 5th story follows:

Parks and recreation is a disaster.  The mayor of Coldstream favours development over parkland.

And Barry Beardsell was just getting warmed up.

The former Vernon councillor slammed Greater Vernon Advisory Committee directors during a 13-minute presentation Thursday.

"I'm here on behalf of Greater Vernon taxpayers who are concerned about management of parks and recreation, and the accountability related thereto," said Beardsell, who claims the parks and recreation function has been a "total disaster" since former Regional District of North Okanagan administrator Barry Gagnon left in 2005.

"A million dollar asset has been turned into a swamp."
-Barry Beardsell

Beardsell started his presentation with concerns about the land behind the regional district office (which is where GVAC meetings are held), saying a million dollar asset has been turned into a swamp.

Beardsell said the expectation for the land was for a school, soccer fields, tennis courts and playgrounds.

"Not once did Greater Vernon parks directors sanction or approve the destruction of the property," said Beardsell.  "The loss to Greater Vernon taxpayers is enormous."

Beardsell accused Coldstream Mayor Jim Garlick and "possibly the rest of Coldstream council" as being more interested in development than anything else, and called for an independent review for issues related to titles on property, unfulfilled developer commitments and compensation for future roadways and existing damages.

The former councillor stated he had "a lot of documentation" to back up his accusations, which troubled Garlick.

"The land (behind RDNO) was actually traded with the view to make it a water treatment facility, not a park and we can provide that information," said Garlick.  "We have been working with volunteer groups on that land to enhance it as a wetlands area because the ministry of environment says it needs to be done."  (emphasis: blog author)

Garlick said development for that land has existed in Coldstream for years, and the actual development that took place next door to the RDNO office was done before 2005.

"There's a lot of misinformation that muddies the water moving forward,"  said Garlick.  "I have these concerns when comments made in public become truths someway."

Beardsell also blasted directors for no accountability on the "disastrous events" of the Vernon Rec Centre swimming pool, not having a parks and recreation manager in place to run a $15-million operation, going to referendum on a sports facility at Okanagan College, no review on operations at the Wesbild Centre, which he said is utilized for "little more than hockey", no replacement plans for the Vernon Civic Arena and no plans for the Vernon Public Art Gallery and Greater Vernon Museum.

Regional District administrator Trafford Hall said Beardsell or any member of the public can stand before directors and say anything they want.

"It doesn't have to be substantiated," said Hall.  "Mr Beardsell presented a long list of grievances.  Some are substantiated, some are not, some are unfair and some I'm taking into consideration."

"So he ruffled some feathers," begins Kia, "they're lucky Mr. Beardsell didn't add tar."

A question remains:

Since when does the Ministry of Environment decide how a property will be used?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Flood Fixes -- Vernon vs. Coldstream

It's the Olympics of Flood Mitigation in the adjacent communities of Coldstream and Vernon.

And Vernon leads the drainage race by more than a nose.

Coldstream's coffers contain more cobwebs than money, likely the justification Mayor Garlick and Council needed to decide that the District of Coldstream would charge homeowners for off-site drainage improvements.
It'd never occur to Coldstream to spend less money!

Vernon's flood mitigation work adjacent to Marshall Field begins this week, with completion slated for November.


Well, the District of Coldstream has decided to charge homeowners $2,500, but there's a proviso that they don't have to do the work until a later date. 
So flooding couldn't be the priority.
Collecting money is.

While Vernon is working on solving acute flooding during the cool and rainy spring this year, the District of Coldstream is simply collecting money before any real work occurs. 

The City of Vernon has another leg up on Coldstream -- their civic project page states how the project is being funded.

Coldstream could also apply for grants-in-aid, with partial costs funded by capital costs (general taxation), but maybe last year's fudging of the bike path application has awarded Coldstream a C-minus rating among provincial bureaucrats who award grants.  You know...the bike path purportedly requested by 600 people that would eliminate greenhouse gases and have people cycling to shop...more than 6 kilometres.
Click on the Google satellite map to see.  (The link is found 2 paragraphs into that page's story). 

Any flooding that occurs next year will have been mitigated at Vernon's Marshall Field and Okanagan Landing Roads.

Coldstream's flooding next year will be...well, another flood.

"The Gold medal is awarded to Vernon", announces Kia, "for getting the job done."

Because Mayor Garlick's throwing shekels at Coldstream's cobwebs.
Oh...and he's violating private property rights with the mass rezoning of people's acreages with RU10/RU30.
Also detailed here.
"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."   Winston Churchill, referring to misplaced idealism.