Support is surfacing for the region to use taxation to upgrade the water system, rather than user fees.
Coldstream is recommending that the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee consider taxation to pay for master water plan projects.
“With a lot of new members (at GVAC) it’s an opportunity for everybody to become educated on why it would work and wouldn’t work,” said Mayor Jim Garlick.
A chance to create a stronger connection with fellow politicians is being offered to newly elected officials.
The Local Government Leadership Academy seminars gets underway in Kelowna Jan. 18 to 20.
“It would be a nice time to get acquainted with the new council of Vernon,” said Coldstream Coun. Gyula Kiss.
Vernon has actually offered its neighbouring jurisdictions to join them, and share the costs, of attending the seminar.
“I believe that it would be a good exercise to go through and it would be good for bridge building,” said Coldstream Coun. Maria Besso.
Coun. Peter McClean opposed further investigating the potential of attending the seminar.
Agricultural water restrictions
Concerns are coming down the pipeline over water restrictions on tap for 2012.
Customers will be receiving a mock bill to introduce new agricultural water rates that will be applied to any use over a customer’s allocation. If users exceed their allocation enforcement will ensue, which may include early turn-off of your irrigation water supply plus over-allocation fees.
“The tone of this letter is quite alarming,” said Coldstream Coun. Maria Besso, who is concerned about agricultural land owner rights.
“We’re going to probably be hearing from the public on this,” said Coldstream Mayor Jim Garlick. “If the original allocation did not cover their entire property they might not have as much water as they thought.”
There are concerns that some residents may not actually have sufficient water allocations, and will therefore be over watering and be subject to the penalties.
Coldstream is asking the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee to notify the area jurisdictions of which properties are affected by the restrictions.