Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Cats Are Away

But no mice feel like playing anyway.

It's the annual meeting of the Southern Interior Local Government Association, this year held in Kamloops.
And local government and regional district folks and bureaucrats are attending.

So why aren't the mice playful?

Well, for one thing it's yet another "rah rah" quasi-socialist (NDP-ish) organization borne of bureaucrats, a sister to the annual Union of British Columbia Municipalities.  The UBCM's slate of 2014 Resolutions are listed here.

One good thing may come out of the SILGA meeting in Kamloops.
And that is the plan to have attendees tour both the Waste Water Treatment on Mission Flats Road as well as Kamloops' Water Treatment Plant on River Street. 

The good thing might be that our area's officials (politicians from the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee and bureaucrats from Greater Vernon Water) might become the laughing stock of Kamloops -- amid whews! from other attendees who live elsewhere -- once GVW's water rates become known.

That would be a good thing indeed.

But maybe other jurisdictions would be envious...of the full coffers at Greater Vernon Water!  (egads!)

Rather than more yabba yabba from me, here's the SILGA convention agenda.
Everybody heads home Friday, May 1st.

"...and GVW officials leaned against a loose railing at the waste treatment plant," predicted Kia. 

Delegates feeling sorry for GVW customers

GVW customers aren't laughing.

Wonder what Kamloops' water rates and base rates are...
Their gas prices are always a few sheckles cheaper than here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Inbound, Outbound, Fogbound.

The local Morning Star newspaper's Letters section has, in the last month, received four known submissions from residents concerning the area's outrageous water rates, the failed water referendum and the need to review the Master Water Plan.

Is the Morning Star showing a duplicitous hand?
Are they so enamored with the shared bed of Greater Vernon Water officials and a handful of "yes man" politicians that Editors have--on their own--decided the water issue is simply a minor fury among the public, and that it will pass?

Are they so deluged with Letters--on topics so varied and pertinent--that Editors throw up their hands and settle for printing Dave Smith's diatribe on the performance successes of Elizabeth May and Andrew Weaver of the Green Party today?

Tough decision, that one.
Yawn.  Double Yawn.

instructions from GVW officials?

"The only in-depth the newspaper concerns itself with is the swimming pool," puffs Kia.

Lucky indeed they hold a monopoly in the North Okanagan.
Where it's never foggy by the way.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Yes, But Who's Average?

Holy cow.

Must've been sleeping soundly when the District of Coldstream announced--very quietly, obviously -- that the tax hike this year is 4.76 per cent...

...for the average residential home assessed at approximately $469,000.

And don't forget that rate increases are expected from the Regional District, Regional Hospital District, and the Library too.  Afraid to even look to see what those increases are...but apparently the various agencies have "sent requisitions."

The five-page property tax rates Bylaw is here.

"Wonder how much of that increase is collective agreements for a burgeoning bureaucracy," muses Kia.

Wonder who's "average" in the Coldstream statement.

Nobody I know around here anyway.

Johnston's Jibe

And it's certainly a good one!

Entitled Water Rates, Bob Johnston's letter to the editor today appears to solve two problems at once:

"A few friends and I were discussing the water rates in our area when someone brought up how the province has given away water to Nestle's for a mere pittance.

We thought about a solution to the travesty and came up with the idea that the City of Vernon shold be in charge of selling water to Nestle's as the government would make a bazillion every year.

At the end of each year, there would be a surcharge to cover infrastructure (of course we all know what that $5 word means:  "because we can"), as well, a double-the-inflation charge etc.

In no time, the coffers would be stuffed with tons of dough.  With all of this extra money laying about, schools wouldn't have to close, teachers wouldn't be laid off and, most importantly, we'd not have to listen to Peter Fassbender.

Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best, aren't they?"
            Bob Johnston  

"A superb example of multi-tasking if you ask me," offers Kia.

Rare that people can maintain a sense of humour with residents' burgeoning water costs. 
Glad you have, Bob Johnston.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Government Surplus?

More accurately, surplus government.

Today's Morning Star newspaper's heading "RDNO seeks input on agriculture" was more likely to draw response of  "oh, for heaven's sake" than the regional district's attempt to obtain "input about the future of agriculture."

No matter that the District of Coldstream's agricultural plan (much of it dealing with RU10/RU20 zoning) several years ago drew the ire of many East Coldstream residents as acreages, in one fell swoop, were with the stroke of a pen going to be rezoned to allow subdivision only if minimum sizes of 25 acres and 75 acres existed.  Public hearings, public letters, public meetings...yabba yabba yabba produced a draft agricultural plan that covered five or six links and massive tomes on the DoC website.

That draft agricultural plan, by the way, is nowhere to be found on the District of Coldstream's new links, nothing.  Not even if you search "agricultural plan".  It's simply gone.

But no matter.
That's about what it was worth anyway, say many landowners in East Coldstream.

So now the regional district wants public input on THEIR agricultural matter that they're located 5 minutes away from the District of Coldstream municipal hall (and physical proximity / similar soils / similar crops would typically lead one to believe that similar viewpoints might be held...ahem!)

But, no, they're doing their own bloody ag plan! we go again.

Obviously having learned from Coldstream, unelected bureaucrats and the unelected regional agricultural advisory committee have already set priorities.
Something called a foregone conclusion, ya think?

They admit they've been at it (Ag Plan was initiated) since 2013 "with input from member municipalities and the regional agricultural advisory committee".

So with that statement, they're admitting they already have public input...because that's what the member communities received from the public.

However, this make work project states:
"Based upon the input received, the draft plan focuses on seven priorities:

1.  Protecting farmland and farmers;
2.  Strengthening the local agricultural economy;
3.  Encouraging sustainable agricultural practices;
4.  Managing clean and accessible water;
5.  Ensuring farmland availability for emerging farmers;
6.  Creating supportive government policies and regulations;
7.  Raising awareness and education."

Here's a public answer to each of those 7 priorities:

1.  Don't you think they're protected enough with basically zero property taxes?
2.  Do bureaucrats really believe the agricultural economy will be strengthened by encouraging more people to farm?  i.e. more competition?  Maybe they missed the class concerning Supply and Demand.
3.  Sustainable practices for farmers?  Their motto is "there's always next year" (refer to 2.)
4.  Farms don't need clean water.  And accessible?  No problem, they pay zilch, subsidized to the rafters by the rest of us.
5.  Refer to 2.  Sure...our kids--having seen us work 14 hour days in the rain--are keen to do it too, for 3 bucks a day on average.
6.  Supportive policies and regs from gov't?  It's either policies or regulations, not both!
7.  Haven't we just about killed the word awareness by now?  People are so aware they can't close their eyes at night to sleep.  People are so aware they're sick of reading the newspaper.  People are so aware they're hiding in their homes.  Go away with the "education" schtick too.  "Inform" people if you will, but don't tell them they're idiots by having to educate them.  You're dealing with adults, for the most part, remember.

"Simply another in a long line of make-work projects to justify their existence," nods Kia.

Ya, if only.... never mind.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Alarm Bells Ring for Dunsmore

Bill Dunsmore's letter to the editor of the Morning Star was printed April 12, 2015 under the heading Balancing Act...though it's doubtful that he would have penned that heading considering the content of his letter, reprinted below:

"Simply put, we who live in Vernon are in for some financial difficulties.

Let me explain.  We have gone from a small but very well balanced city in terms of area and structure to one that finds it difficult to support its expenditures.  Basically, annexation, senior government downloads and generous collective agreements have inflicted most of the damage.

In order to run this city the administration counts heavily on residential property taxes.  These constitute about 50 per cent of our revenue.  The other 50 per cent comes about through the sale of services and senior government transfers.  The only part of this revenue stream that is adjustable by the administration lies in property taxes.  Cities and municipalities are not permitted to run deficits, hence budgets need to be trimmed or taxes raised.  Usually a bit of both happens.

Twenty years ago, Vernon was a small to medium-sized city with a growing infrastructure problem, even then Vernon was more than 100 years old.  Little Vernon had its own Vernon-sized fire department, and police detachment, as well as other civic agencies.  After annexation, and years of senior government downloads, things are different today.  The city's size has more than doubled and the RCMP detachment is now responsible for the whole of the North Okanagan.  Together with bylaw and parking enforcement and fire protection, our protective services consumed $16,417,000, or 59 per cent of our residential tax base.

The fire department consists of 40 full-time people and a number of paid on-call firefighters.  They work primarily out of one hall (hall one) and provide 24/7/365 days a year service.  The volunteers, 13 around the Landing (hall two) and five at Predator Ridge, are paid for training and call-out.

Three years ago, we had two halls with 27 volunteers.  Volunteers constitute so little of the budge tthat I couldn't find out how much they cost.  The career firefighters, on the other hand, were a different story.  Twenty made more than $100,000 per year.  Most of the others earned in the mid-$90,0000 range, while two were in the low $80,0000 range.  The average for firefighters in Canada was $83,793.00 while paramedics made $67,169 and bylaw officers made $56,039.

Policing is more difficult to analyze.  Information concerning the North Okanagan detachment is not readily available.

Best guesses are it numbers from 40 to 55 members in total, including a superintendent and an inspector as well as a number of sergeants, and corporals.  The RCMP contract for 2013 cost the city $6,717,000.
The city also paid administrative support costs of $2,605,000.

The only hard information I could find concerning RCMP costs came from Paul Palangos' book Dispersing the Fog, when he stated that it cost about $156,000 to keep a uniformed RCMP patrol oficer.  The cost for a municipal constable was around $105,000.  This figure is more than five years old.

Bylaw officers are both cheap and effective deterrents to crime in our urban area.  The whole agency gives a big bang for the buck and should probably be expanded in scope and numbers.

Solutions lie in winding services back.  We can't afford more than a core firefighting role so let's go back to what worked in the past, career officers for the city core and volunteers for the rural areas surrounding Vernon.  It seems to work for Coldstream, Lumby and others.

In terms of policing; we need more auxiliaries, trained, armed and living in Vernon long-term.  These officers would, over the long run, be very effective in community policing.

The $750,000 overrun on our running track and 3.7 per cent increase in civic taxes, as well as impending B.C. Hydro increases, are only wake-up calls."
Bill Dunsmore    

"There'd certainly be fewer arguments concerning parking infractions," offers Kia, grinning "with an armed bylaw officer."




Today's Morning Star story by Rolke "Waiting game upsets board" is just so much fluff from the RDNO.

They continue looking for an easy way out (to continue with the Master Water Plan) by meeting with the Interior Health Authority despite IHA having stated they were not going to force filtration; that they simply wanted to see progress on meeting drinking water standards...eventually.

Kudos to Vernon councillor--and RDNO director--Catherine Lord who "wants a focus on accessing water licenses from the government or possibly transferring licenses to other water sources such as Okanagan Lake."

Chief RDNO bureaucrat Sewell says "We're working through all of the questions of what we want to achieve."

How about focusing on what the public wants to achieve?

He attempted to add detail:  "Our objective is a plan that is not only endorsed by the board and IHA but has support from the public and we have political support."

There ya go...with the failed $70 million borrowing referendum, obviously there's no public support.

Of political support--if one were a betting person--one could avow that the gap is narrowing between Macnabb's "proceed at full speed" supporters and the politicians at Coldstream and Vernon who've had second thoughts since receiving the Powerpoint presentation from the grassroots group "Citizens for Changes to the Master Water Plan."

No mention by Sewell of the planned May "workshop", which had been promised to the Citizens group.
That doesn't bode well.

Maybe the push by the board for answers will nix the workshop entirely.
That would be a serious mistake by RDNO.
Very serious.

Finally making sense, Sewell added "We will go through what we did and the options we investigated and the options we didn't investigate," he said.

"As long as the options they didn't investigate cover more than three minutes," says Kia suspiciously.

Bureaucratic--or political--language.

Smoke 'n mirrors.

The lost art of Plainspeak is likely on a museum shelf.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Bureaucrats Won't Be Interested this Cost Recovery System for water in the Greater Vernon Water system.

They won't be interested in fairness and equity, chiefly because it's never been important to them in the past (remember "private fire hydrant charges")?

So yet again a brilliant idea from the brilliant mind of Gyula Kiss:

"The major advantage of this proposed system that everybody pays the same rate and no customer is penalized nor subsidized."

Links are provided to my proposed Interactive Water Calculator and the description of it in PDF format. For comparison the Calculator used by staff is included in the Excel file. The current consumption volume is used by both. Note the domestic and ICI consumption below:

2011---> 6,359,000 cu. m.
2012---> 5,720,000 cu. m.
                        2013---> 5,697,000 cu. m.

I assume that the 2014 consumption was 5,781,648 cu. m., the value used by staff for the current calculations. If we change that value in the calculator to 5,600,000 cu. m. the unit cost will increase to $2.67 and all derivatives change accordingly."  G.Kiss

The link to the User Pay Cost Recovery System is:

The calculator (interactive) in Excel is as follows:

"Bureaucrats are keen to eliminate user categories which, at the time, was a fair system because they had failed to separate agricultural (non chlorinated) water from domestic," says Kia.

But now they're not proceeding as they should with separation...AND eliminating the Commercial Non Potable Irrigation category.
Because that's what bureaucrats do!

Prerequisite for Government(s) to Screw Up

At least that's the way it seems.

Throwing good money after bad -- whether it's local government spending $29 million of taxpayer money to build a water treatment plant (Duteau Creek) where it doesn't belong because only 4 per cent of treated water during summer goes to domestic use, or whether it's our Federal government(s) (since 1974 so you can't blame just the Conservatives!), for borrrowing money on the international market versus the "no interest" borrowing via our own Bank of Canada -- examples simply go on and on.

Maybe it's the ubiquitous Murphy's Law that causes things to be shoddily run.
We used to laugh at the notion of government paying $5,000 for a hammer.
There's even a story about the 99 stupid things government did with your money.

Maybe the "G"-governments--in this case the G-12--are forced under the laws that originally formed the group of 10 industrialized nations to borrow internationally to support the International Monetary Fund.

Whatever...the result is the same.
Wasted money.
Wasted taxpayer money.

Read it and weep.

At the trillions of dollars that have been wasted in Canada.

Just think what that money could have provided for Canadians...infrastructure, policing, water treatment, sewage care of the elderly, retired military and the vulnerable in our society.  All the stuff that make a country or city safe and healthy for its residents.

No-one could tell this story better than The Tyee, so no more needs to be said by me.
Entitled Liberate the Bank of Canada, it'll have readers seething with anger.

And this is just Ontario...

"Yes, it has become a prerequisite for governments to screw up...and their bureaucrats are doing an impeccable job at it,"  offers Kia, adding "the North Okanagan fits in nicely."

There's a lovely little definition for political correctness:

"Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rapidly promoted by mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end." Student at Bond University, Australia


This letter was submitted to the blog--and also to Councillor Kiss' blog--following submission as a Letter to the Editor of the Morning Star.

And not published by them after more than a week.


City of Vernon
3400 – 30th Street
Vernon  BC  V1T 5E6
The Morning Star (April 5, 2015) newspaper reports that conditions of an agreement between GVAC and the Township of Spallumcheen were arbitrarily bypassed so that treated water is now supplied to a private business.

Mr. Mund is quoted as saying, “We’re here to help our businesses grow.”  This is too much to impose on a City of Vernon taxpayer coping with hugely exorbitant water rates!  The 80,000 apples should have been planted in an area where untreated water is available.  Was the orchardist advised in advance that water would be made available despite the existing agreement and a staff recommendation against providing additional water?

In the same newspaper, a letter to the editor expresses concern for local cattle producers facing hardship.  Should we be subsidizing cattle producers, too?  How long would the list be of local businesses wanting financial help? 

Mr. Mund seems to have forgotten he also wears a Mayor’s hat.  Who’s looking after my interests?

It seems to me that decisions about our water are being made with little or no regard for the people who pay for it.  As you are aware, using treated water for other than domestic purposes is most controversial, but if this is a short term solution for the orchardist, at the very least he should be paying the same rates as I do for the same treated water.

Is the City of Vernon taking any action so that I am not subsidizing the cost of water for the orchard?"

They're either a business...or they're not.
Either way their water is subsidized.

Bureaucracy, the rule of no one, has become
 the modern form of despotism.  Mary McCarthy

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

42.9 Per Cent Water Base Rate Increase?

NOTE (Apr.17/15):  GVW's Zee Marcolin phoned Wed., Apr.15/15 to state that Coldstream "made a billing error" by including a $118.07 Fire Hydrant Charge on the 1st Q irrigation invoice.  Zee added that base and consumption rates "had only gone up 2%", and that the fire hydrant charge should be $33.00 per Quarter. 


It's for 1st Quarter (Jan-Mar 2015) golf course IRRIGATION meter.
In the first quarter?

Zero consumption, both in 2015 and 2014 (obviously, during winter).

But the Greater Vernon Water base rate has jumped to $425.87 from $297.95 for the same period last year.

That's a 42.9% increase.

Presumably base rates are used to pay for infrastructure renewal (ahem...cough cough).

So why would it cost more for the pipe to go along the street past Highlands Golf than it does as it passes residences along the street?

Same pipe.
Same cost to renew the infrastructure.

"Same majority group of morons approving Greater Vernon's budget,"  Kia sneers.

Deceived by the deceivers...again.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Living Water?

More like wheezing water...

British Columbia's 100 year old Water Act--which is reportedly being updated--continues to draw the ire of residents.

An April 10th, 2015 letter to the Morning Star newspaper by Casey Berlanda makes salient points:

"Recent media reports on the heavy water use by B.C. craft breweries beg the question:  Who is really sucking B.C. dry?

Before the B.C. government recently decided to charge a well known water bottling company $2.25 for one million litres of groundwater, the same company took 285 million litres of free groundwater.

The company will pay $6.25 for an Olympic size swimming pool of groundwater, whereas an ordinary B.C. citizen would be charged $180.  In other words, the company pays $0.00000225 per litre of water, which it then sells back to British Columbians for $1.75 per litre bottle, or for 777,777 times the cost of the bottle's contents.

So please, let us all tell the B.C. government to charge water bottling companies the same it charges taxpaying British Columbians for water, and please, no more talk about craft breweries using too much water."
Casey Berlanda

"777K?   No wonder people play the stock market," gasps Kia, adding "shareholders are thrilled...B.C. taxpayers aren't."

Thanks Casey Berlanda. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

But Will They Listen?

The March 2015 issue of Turf & Recreation magazine contains an Editorial by Mike Jiggens whose point may--or may not--interest Greater Vernon Advisory Committee members as they proceed on their path to eliminate the Non Potable Commercial Irrigation Category by 2019 (with hefty rate increases each year until then):

"...government legislators need to be reminded of
golf's impact on the economy and perhaps
refrain from passing legislation
 that could become an obstacle
 for golf to attain as healthy a status as possible."
Pat Jones, GIE Media, OGSA's conference in Ontario.

Golf's value to the economy in Canada is $13.5 Billion.

" about refraining from approving odious rates," suggests Kia.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

A Brilliant Mind

Yes, he has a brilliant mind.

Gyula Kiss, Coldstream councillor is analytical and astute...qualifications that should be prerequisites for elected office.
But aren't, it seems.

Unmatched intelligence has its pitfalls.

Especially in a governance structure as complex (oft-called "dysfunctional") as Greater Vernon.
But don't rely on minutes of meetings from the monthly Greater Vernon Advisory Committee to shed light on the pitfalls encountered by Mr. Kiss.
Meeting minutes are purposely vague, and serve to hide what really transpires at meetings.

"The 162 ML treatment plant at Duteau is 47% larger than what the filtration plant would be able to use."  G.Kiss

The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee is at fault for the water miasma that faces the region.
And has faced the region for some time.
Gyula Kiss is only one member of that committee.

"The politicians had a poor understanding of the situation.   The plan they have might be the best plan under the sun but it is not funded.  If they wish to carry on with it they would have to find an alternative founding source. Would it be reasonable to expect that the Ratepayers, who rejected the borrowing of $70 million at an annual repayment schedule of $5 million would accept a direct annual payment of $10-14 million. The politicians may think that the plan is still alive the way it is but they must find financing. Except for charging $10-14 million annually (a household increase of about $400 or more) the only alternative would be Senior Governments grant." G.Kiss

Committee member Kiss has entered his seventh year on GVAC and finds himself almost alone in battling an entrenched bureaucracy that is decidedly too weak to admit mistakes have been made.
So they continue to throw good money after bad.

"I maintain that the system for agriculture should return to agriculture and all allocations should be honoured.  Domestic supply should be coming from Kalamalka and Okanagan Lakes.  It is that simple.  Had we started out from those principles we would have an unaltered VID (Vernon Irrigation System) working without any money spent on it and we would be using Okanagan Lake without filtration like Kelowna is doing.  Kelowna built the UV treatment plant in 2006-2007 for about $7 million and have no trouble at all,"  says Gyula Kiss.

"You go into any restaurant today and water
is all that people are talking about...people are leaving the area, moving, because of water prices.  Young families too."  Jack Gilroy, former Vernon councillor

Bureaucrats, with only one exception (Vernon Councillor Bob Spiers) are relying on the public to not do any research on the water topic.
However, to aid residents who wish to do that very thing--and they certainly should--this blog entry will provide a compendium of documents to give residents all the information they need to make informed decisions and contact their elected representative to demand change.

A recommended start point is this Power Point presentation of easy to read slides from the grassroots group Citizens for Changes to the Master Water Plan

Links to pertinent documents follow:

November 2014 Referendum Results are here and here.
The referendum said "NO", but perhaps Greater Vernon Water has this idea: 
"Perhaps we still have funding if we use increased water rates in the neighbourhood of $4-5 million annually ($165-205 annually per household) and carry on at a snail pace with the proposed projects. It will take 15-20 years but we could complete it." 

Water rate changes since 2003 are here.

Gyula Kiss' "water rate debate", based on his seven years of attempts to influence bureaucrats and officials--with logic--is here.

Duteau Creek water quality measurement reading is here.

Gyula Kiss' Water rate formulae here, which shows a true user pay system, based on fairness.

Irrigation water separated from domestic water (diversion) costs are here.
Councillor Kiss on fairness:
"I actually want all those people pay the same rate based on their consumption. As for golf courses that don't need treated water they should receive untreated water and pay untreated rates. I don't see why John Doe should subsidize me because I use lot more water in the summer. If I use 250 cubic meters I should pay for 250 cu m. If the brewery uses 5,000 cubic meters they should pay for 5,000 cu m. We all need treated domestic water. The separation we are promoting would help us achieve those goals.

Why are our rates so high?
Because we bungled the plan from the start. Wasted a lot of money for which we are responsible. Even if you don't look at anything else the 162 ML treatment plant at Duteau is 47% larger than what the filtration plant would be able to use. How much less would a 110 ML plant cost than the 162 did? Added to that waste is the diversion proposal costs (at the last link provided above) some of which have already been completed. Of course, the entire Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant was an unnecessary expense.
And yes, untreated irrigation water should be sold at cost for whatever it is being used to irrigate."

Greater Vernon Water's Lavington separation Conceptual Engineering Report is here.

Greater Vernon Water's Master Water Plan (2012) is on the RDNO site here.

Link to the revised Greater Vernon Water's Master Water Plan (2002) is on the RDNO site here.

On equitable water costs, Gyula Kiss sums up:

"The principle is that we calculate the unit cost of domestic water to deliver to a customer. All customer must pay for 10 cubic meter per quarter at the going rate (this example is 1 cu m water costs $3.09 so all customers must pay $31 per quarter). If they use more water they have to multiply the volume of water used by $3.09 and that will be their quarterly bill. No smoke screens no mirrors. If you use 45 cu m you pay $139. If you use 100 cu m you pay $309.00. No exception (except for dialysis). This, in my opinion, would be fair and equitable."

The 2015 budget for Greater Vernon Water is here.

"Thinking people will understand what the majority of bureaucrats and GVAC members do not," offers Kia.

Think, folks.

The New Guy

He has a lot to learn.

New Vernon Mayor, Akbal Mund, can be forgiven for his enthusiasm when he said "We're here to help our businesses grow," in his capacity as director of Greater Vernon Advisory Committee.

He was referring to the applicant's successful application for additional 2 hectares of water for an orchard that now encompasses 80,000 apple trees.  Staff had recommended rejection of the application.

Voting against the additional water allocation were directors Jim Garlick, Gyula Kiss and Bob Spiers.

Gyula Kiss was quoted in today's Morning Star: "If it wasn't treated water, I would have no problem with them having all of the water they need.  But when we have expensive (treated) water, someone has to subsidize it when it's sold at a lower cost," and the financial impact is on domestic customers whose horrendous residential water rates subsidize farm water costs.

"This is an area we've historically given (blog highlight) water to," said Agriculture rep and director Ted Osborn.
Given is the operative word.

Here's what GVW staff had to say about a separate application for a Tree Seedling Nursery property application for irrigation water:  "The water source proposed to provide irrigation water to these subject properties is treated potable water from Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant (DCWTP). The RDNO is endeavouring to minimize the impact on the DCWTP by encouraging treated potable water to be used for domestic purposes only. This property is not located within a proposed Separation Area and will not be provided with a separate non treated irrigation connection. The applicant has no option but to use the treated water source currently available.  The Master Water Plan identifies these properties as not being within the boundaries of a Separation Area and hence will not receive non treated irrigation water in the future."

Mr. Mund needs to learn how Greater Vernon Water is helping businesses grow.
Or not.
Just ask Hillview Golf, Highlands Golf, Swan Lake Fruit and Garden, Art Knapp Nurseryland (while it was still in operation), Atlantis Waterslides, Tekmar just how they're being helped by Greater Vernon Water and politicians.

Helped in the downhill slide towards closing permanently (which Art Knapp nursery has already done)!

Yup, we six businesses listed above hired a lawyer back in 2005? (or was it 2006?) to represent us in an appeal to the Regional District because bureaucrats, with the help of the advisory committee, were about to totally eliminate the Non Domestic, Non Potable Commercial Irrigation category!  Our appeal was successful because we proved that other communities were actually increasing the number of categories to more accurately reflect their customers' water usage!

That famous quote from Yogi Berra comes to mind:  "It's deja vu all over again."


Well, let's see how Mr. Mund's promise to help businesses grow is working so far.  This is from the Advisory Committee Agenda dated March 5, 2015.  That's also the agenda for the 2015 Water Rates.

"Non Domestic Non Potable rates in Section 5.e.i apply to the following properties:
-7921 Greenhow Road
-7961 Buchanan Road,
 -1101–14 Avenue
-7920 Highland Road,and
- 5100 Silver Star Road
 All these properties shall be phased in to be billed at 100% of the Non Domestic  and MixedUse Fee at the following:
2015     60% of Non Domestic and Mixed Use Fee
2016     70% of Non Domestic and Mixed Use Fee
2017     80% of Non Domestic and Mixed Use Fee
2018     90% of Non Domestic and Mixed Use Fee
2019    100% of Non Domestic and Mixed Use Fee"

"The water authority and uninformed politicians giveth and taketh away," offers Kia.

Must be in another community...certainly not the North Okanagan

Akbal Mund sure has a lot to learn.
The poor guy.