EDITORIAL: Water vote is over, move on

Anxiety and downright hostility towards Greater Vernon’s failed $70 million water referendum overshadowing GVAC

Anxiety and downright hostility towards Greater Vernon’s failed $70 million water referendum still exists. However, those emotions can’t overshadow everything the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee does.

On Thursday, director Gyula Kiss unsuccessfully attempted to have a moratorium placed on any master water plan expenditures and for those items to be pulled out of GVAC’s 2015 budget because the plan does not have electoral assent.

“If the master water plan has no funding, there is no master water plan,” he said.

However, one can make the argument that the master water plan is simply a blueprint for future  works. Yes there is a need to reconsider the scope of the plan given the failed referendum but keep in mind that the works are mandated by the provincial government’s water quality guidelines, and they will proceed if funding is available.

“Everything we do to make things (water utility) more efficient came out of the master water plan. The referendum was defeated but the master water plan is still there,” said director Mike Macnabb.

And while there are some controversial items in the master water plan, such as filtration on Duteau Creek, others are relatively basic, such as promoting increased water conservation.

Kiss’ motion, had it been successful, would have reopened GVAC’s 2015 budget, which has already received the green light from the Regional District of North Okanagan board. That would have possibly delayed the setting of water rates and proceeding with critical system upgrades this year.

In the end, the outcome of the November referendum is known far and wide and the battle doesn’t need to be fought again. It’s time to move on.


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