Action reduces water rates

Vernon and Coldstream politicians earn praise from colleague

While water users are being tapped for more money, one local politician points out that it is a lot less than originally planned.

Greater Vernon water fees are being hiked three per cent across the board in order to cover the cost of maintaining water systems.

“This year the flat fee will not include any usage,” said Greater Vernon Advisory Committee director Gyula Kiss, as currently those who only use up to 20 cubic metres pay no consumption fee.

But initially, the rate increase was suggested to be 17 per cent.

“It was Coun. Kiss and Vernon Coun. (Bob) Spiers that were really on the ball and got the rate reduced,” points out Coldstream Coun. Maria Besso.

Taking approximately $2 million from reserves, GVAC managed to get the increase reduced.

“It diverted a huge water rate increase,” said Besso.

Slow start to construction

There are significantly fewer housing projects underway in Coldstream.

Total construction values were down by more than half for February. Eight permits were issued (permits can range from a sign to a renovation to a demolition and a new home) with a value of $558,800 compared to February 2012, where nine permits were issued with a value of $1.3 million.

The number of housing units in 2013 to date is one, compared to four for the first two months in 2012.

While 2013 has started slow, application activity is strong.

“Things have picked up, spring has sprung,” said Bob Bibby, Coldstream’s building inspector.