Archives for February 1, 2018
RDOS decides to leave the compost idea alone for the rest of the year – Election in October you see.
So is the idea trashed?
Thrown in the garbage pail?
All the ideas might be re-cycled?
RDOS staff flushed after grilling
Only for the creative and sometimes warped minds if ODN readers.
RDOS Committee meetings Thursday
Two votes today. a) revisit the Marron Valley for a regional compost site. Defeated. b) revisit Summerland for a compost site. Defeated
Despite an impassioned plea from locatee owners from the Penticton Indian Band – the arguments were not enough to sway directors to change their minds from previous board decisions.
Elizabeth Bent (above) represented locatee owners who had offered their land (for a price) for a regional sewer-sludge and food waste composting facility just off Road 3a heading towards Twin Lakes.
Best one liners during the long discussion and debate. A letter from a 6 year old “If you create garbage look after it yourself”. Many directors now thinking – this whole situation is going to cost money one way or the other – “We can continue to do what we are doing and just pay more” – said one.
Headline quote : No No lets not read this book again – Frank Armitage, Mayor of Princeton
Fact: Planning began 12 years ago – a lot of studies completed – but so far no action. Message to staff – find a better site with some buy in from neighbours and board members. Apparently it’s commercial food waste that is smelly most landfills could handle yard waste and home based compost in “windrows”.
“windrow” composting is the production of compost by piling organic matter or biodegradable waste, such as animal manure and crop residues, in long rows (windrows). This method is suited to producing large volumes of compost. These rows are generally turned to improve porosity and oxygen content, mix in or remove moisture, and redistribute cooler and hotter portions of the pile. Windrow composting is a commonly used farm scale composting method.
Campbell Mtn. Landfill in Penticton acts as a regional garbage and compost hub. It is 48 years old and is near the end of its life. Another site must be found relatively soon – so that a major cleanup can occur.
Over the weekend the Art Department at South Okanagan Secondary School got quite a boost! In memory of her late husband (celebrated local wildlife artist John Salsnek) Stephanie Salsnek contacted the school and gave the art department a sizable collection of paints, brushes, markers, matt board and art magazines that had belonged to John. One of John’s last wishes was that his art supplies not go to waste.
Stephanie knows that John would be really happy that his art supplies are going to be used by the next generation of emerging artists.
As part of the art departments “Visiting Artist” series, Stephanie plans on visiting the school in the next couple of months to show the students some of John’s artwork and talk to them about what it takes to own and operate your own gallery.
On behalf of Lindsey McVicar, art teacher at South Okanagan Secondary School, and all of her students, we would like to thank Stephanie for her contribution.
Clean Water and Wastewater Grant Fund: Water System Alarming and Communication Upgrades
In November 2016 applications were accepted for the Canada/British Colombia Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF) grant program. The purpose of the funding is to support infrastructure projects in communities across the province that are started and completed in 2017/2018. The Regional District submitted an application for the Willowbrook Water System to add communication and alarming hardware to the pump house on Carr Crescent and the reservoir above Johnson Crescent. This program funds up to a maximum of eighty-three percent (83%) of the total eligible project costs with fifty percent (50%) contributed by the Government of Canada and thirty-three percent (33%) by the Province of British Columbia. The remaining costs would be recovered from users of the Willowbrook Water System. The RDOS received the great news in April 2017 that the grant funding was approved! The total budget for the alarming and communication upgrades is $39,100 and the work will be getting underway in Spring 2018.
Federal Gas Tax Funding: Water System Upgrades
In October 2017 the Interior Health Authority (IHA) completed a risk assessment on the Willowbrook water system and its source water. The risk assessment investigated the protection of the well, risk of ground water contamination, and an analysis of water quality. The assessment determined that the system’s Ground Water is At Risk of containing Pathogens (GARP).
To address the issues found in the GARP assessment the RDOS Board of Directors chose to use Regionally Significant Project Gas Tax funds for upgrades to the Willowbrook water system. The RDOS is currently accepting proposals from qualified companies to design and construct the required system upgrades. There are several options which the IHA has suggested to address issues found in the GARP assessment including chlorination, UV disinfection and upgrades to the well and pump house. Work is expected to begin in the Summer of 2018 and wrap up in the Fall/Winter of 2018.
The total funding for the Regionally Significant Gas Tax is $360,000 dollars. These funds are being split between the community water systems of Willowbrook and Sun Valley with an estimated $240,000 going to the Willowbrook water system and $120,000 going to the Sun Valley water system.
The RDOS took over operations and ownership of the Willowbrook water system on July 1, 2016. Now that some time has passed the RDOS has a better understanding of the costs associated with full operation of the system. Rates will be increased from $437.50 per property connection in 2017 to $1,008.05 per property connection in 2018. The increase in rates is primarily required to cover costs associated with staff wages, basic system operation and the requirements for system upgrades to meet Interior Health Authority mandates on drinking water quality and source water protection. The RDOS looks forward to building a strong relationship with the Willowbrook community, and providing excellent service to its citizens.
To assist with the payment of your utility account you have the option of setting up your account on a Pre-Authorized Payment (PAP) schedule which allows payments to be made either monthly or on the due date. If you wish to do this, you must complete, and sign a Pre-Authorized Payment Form. This form authorizes us to process an automatic bank withdrawal from your account for amounts billed to you for your Water and Garbage/Recycling fees. Depending on which option you choose, PAP’s will either be processed on the invoice due date, or if monthly payments are chosen – the last business day of each month. These forms are also available from our office or on our website at www.rdos.bc.ca
Boil Water Reminder
The RDOS would like to remind all Willowbrook residents that the Boil Water Notice, issued September 30th, 2017 remains in effect until further notice. All water system users are advised to use a safe alternate source of water or to boil water for all drinking, infant formula preparation, brushing teeth, food preparation/cooking purposes and ice making. Water should be brought to a full boil and allowed to boil for at least 1 minute.
The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen hosted a budget meeting at the Willowbrook Volunteer Fire Hall Monday evening.
The RDOS proposal involves regional services, rural services and shared services, which would increase the cost to the average property. The RDOS wishes to increase fire training, some equipment purchases, upgrades to the arena, all of which will be funded by reserves.
The RDOS took over management of the Willowbrook water system on July 1, 2017 with concerns of water quality. It claim that the ground water is at risk of pathogen contamination, affecting the water quality in the community. The RDOS wishes to monitor the water quality and advises that to do so requires system upgrades.
The estimated cost of those upgrades per property will increase from $437.50 to $1008.00 per year. The RDOS has the option to apply for grants that are available to offset those costs as well as back up generators required to ensure water availability for residents.
The goal is to meet the Interior Health water quality standards and prevent the Willowbrook community from enduring another long term water advisory notice; as the community water is prone to contamination, therefore the system requires specialized treatment, increasing water costs.
The people attending the meeting were very concerned about the increased costs. * corrected
The attendees also questioned the costs proposed for consultants to investigate the water quality in the community. The regional district advised that they are still in the process of investigating this problem.
Maureen Hayter, the RDOS Finance Manager stated, “The public wants value for their money, and we are trying to rectify that for them”.
Further discussions on these requests awaits.
Source: Ali Lantz – SOSS reporter on assignment
Cost of taking over a private water utility ?
Flooding and the maintenance of road drainage ?
About 30 people assembled at the Willowbrook Fire Hall last night to hear information on the transition from a private water utility to a RDOS maintained system.
Alternate Director Rick Knodel, who lives in the area, told ODN – most in attendance not overly happy with the possibility of paying over $1000 a year for water when the first idea was about half that amount.
Knodel says residents – 80 lots with 180 residents also concerned that the provincially contracted Argo is not doing a good job in maintaining culverts to look after a flow of water from the hills when all the snow is melted in the spring.
In attendance from RDOS Mark Woods, Community Services Manager and Chief Financial Officer Maureen Hayter. with Director Terry Schafer.
Source: Alternate Director Rick Knodel