Water concerns

Resident concerned about high water rates in Greater Vernon

Janet Green came close in her letter to pulling the trigger on local water delivery but fell short on pointing the finger.

Let’s face it, our elected officials are nothing short of a pack of stooges when it comes to buying what staff recommend as our best route forward.

The historical background between Duteau and Okanagan Lake is now almost a mystery.

I am again going to argue that the unbelievable voter system Vernon uses to bring forward capital expenditures is untenable.

Everyone votes but property owners pay.

Accordingly to city staff, non-property owners vote because they contribute indirect taxes, an argument that should be cancelled because property owners also pay the same indirect taxes.

This leaves the ratepayers holding the bag for the track and its overrun and pretty much every other large capital expenditure that a referendum can push through, such as the pending art gallery and museum.

Personally, I am a property owner that is fed up with paying our egregious and escalating tax base, both property and utility. We farm and there are seven agricultural spouts the water authority refuses to turn off. They simply irrigate an expansive clay base and turn our pastures into mush.

The rest is canal overflow that cannot be farmed. All are permanently turned off at an annual cost that exceeds $3,200.

I have tried to get the spouts removed to save money but get the argument that losing the water development permits would be prohibitive when we come to develop the land.

Small change, when it’s zoned Agricultural Land Reserve and virtually undevelopable!

In the last 12 years, the council (small c) has not moved one inch on the need to come to grips with the shortage of light industrial or affordable housing property despite the fact that it’s Vernon’s number one and two official community plan priorities.

Exactly when can we expect our elected officials to make the changes recommended in our OCP?

Water delivery and developable land to reduce property tax load are our top priorities. When can we expect some action?

Alan D. Wilson

Vernon

 

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