Director wants balance on water plan

Greater Vernon politician wants residents to hear all perspectives on the master water plan

A Greater Vernon politician wants residents to hear all perspectives on the master water plan.

Mike Macnabb, BX-Silver Star director, is concerned the Coldstream Ratepayers Association is holding a public meeting Tuesday entitled Why I’m Voting No to the Water Plan Referendum.

“I’m going to ask them for a more balanced approach other than Maria Besso and Gyula Kiss (Coldstream councillors opposed to borrowing $70 million),” he said.

“I hate having biased meetings especially when it’s presented as information.”

The Regional District of North Okanagan has held public meetings about the borrowing referendum Nov. 15, but Macnabb insists they haven’t been biased.

“We’ve been cautious not to say vote yes or not. We’ve tried to give out information,” he said.

The Coldstream Ratepayers Association could not be reached for comment.

About 55 people attended an RDNO information meeting Oct. 28.

“They came out because of negative press and they were mainly complimentary by the end,” said Zee Marcolin, Greater Vernon Water manager.

“Some people said it’s a lot of money but they will support it now that they understand what’s being proposed.”

All Vernon mayoralty and councillor candidates have recently come out against the referendum, including those who supported the process as members of RDNO and the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee.

“We spent $635,000 on the report over two years  and if the mayoralty candidates haven’t read the report, what’s that indicative of?” said Macnabb.

Some residents have suggested that the provincial government will provide funding for upgrades if the referendum is shot down, but Macnabb says there’s no guarantee of that. He also says the Interior Health Authority may demand the work proceed.

“We may have to pay more because it would be done in fits and starts that a logical rollout of borrowing,” he said.