Regional District of North Okanagan board adopts water rate increase

Increased water rates are flowing in Greater Vernon.

On Wednesday, the Regional District of North Okanagan board adopted the Greater Vernon water utility rates, including a 17 per cent hike in 2012 and 2013.

“It’s necessary because of the Interior Health regulations being imposed on us,” said director Juliette Cunningham.

Most of the increased revenue will go towards separating Duteau Creek agricultural customers from the domestic system because treated water isn’t needed for farm uses. Separation will increase treatment plant capacity for domestic needs.

Commercial water rates will jump 18 per cent in 2012 while those for agricultural users will go up five per cent.

Lumby and Cherryvile Arts Supported

Arts and cultural activities in the Lumby area will be getting a boost from taxpayers.

The Regional District of North Okanagan board has approved a grant of $29,050 to the Monashee Arts Council and $6,450 to the Cherryville Artisans Society.

“We’ve been behind on funding for arts and culture so this is a good opportunity for them,” said director Kevin Acton.

Both the arts council and the artisans society will be responsible for distributing funds to cultural-based non-profit groups. Individuals will not be eligible for funds.

Film Commission Receives Funding

It’s lights, camera, action.

The Okanagan Film Commission will receive $24,000 in 2012 from the Regional District of North Okanagan.

“This reaffirms our support for the film commission,” said Patrick Nicol, RDNO chairperson.

The operating grant is funded by Armstrong, Coldstream and Vernon.

Internet A Priority for Cherryville

Efforts continue to get high-speed Internet for Cherryville and parts of rural Lumby.

The Regional District of North Okanagan is considering ways to bring the service to the rural areas.

“We’re looking at every possible funding source,” said Leah Mellot, electoral area services general manager, of lobbying outside agencies.

Many residents say the lack of high-speed Internet creates challenges for home-based businesses and education. Internet is only available in a few high-altitude locations.

“Moms will take their kids up to a point (hill) so they can get an Internet connection so they can do their homework,” said Mellot.


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