I would like to put forward some thoughts regarding the proposed Claremont Sewer Extension involving Longacre Drive and Apollo Road in Okanagan Landing.
The first point I would like to make is the City of Vernon’s timing and the method of voting.
I have always considered mid-July to mid-August to be the prime vacation slot in the Okanagan.
It is when a number of people leave on vacations and are otherwise more distracted than normal.
Yet this is when the city decides to start sending out the various letters and schedule the only public meeting.
The city also chose the counter-petition method of voting where an un-submitted vote is considered an approval of the project, or a yes vote.
These are both common tactics used when a governing body is hoping to slide something through with minimal resistance.
Next, the city’s letters state that local area residents had asked that the city install sewer service to avoid failing systems.
The fact is, the city has received two formal submissions in the past two years. Two.
Also, I would like to bring this to light. Last year, a federal grant in the amount of $2.6 million paid for the sewer trunk extension up Apollo Road.
It turns out that as a result of this, five properties along that trunk line do not have to pay the $14,3000 (or $980 per year for 20 years) that everyone else has to pay toward the cost of the project.
In fact, if they choose not to hook-up, they will also not have to pay the $5,000 to $10,000 that will be added to the cost.
The last time I checked, I (and I’m sure all property owners in the Claremont district) also paid their fair share of federal income tax from which this grant came.
The clock is ticking. Remember, if you are not in agreement with this project as presented, you must fill out your counter-petition and preferably deliver it in person or send by mail.
If you do not send your counter-petition in, the city will consider this a signal of your approval, or a Yes vote. You have until Sept. 2 to do this.
In conclusion, the Claremont District is not the only district that should be concerned with these sewer extension issues.
The rest of Longacre Drive and Klinger Road, you’re probably next.
Other pockets along Bella Vista Road, you’re in the ‘shaded’ areas, too.
It’s only a matter of time. Get your wallets read if our push-back against the city is not successful.
Thank you for your time.