Be Heard! Register for the online version of the West Bench Water Upgrade Survey

The RDOS is currently fleshing out 1+3 alternatives for the West Bench water system upgrade (the status quo is not reallly an option since it does not meet IHA's standards; it is included only to provide a baseline against which to evaluate the cost of the other alternatives).  The fourth option (not included in the July 22nd newsletter to residents) is the extraterritorial arrangement with the City of Penticton that failed to attract sufficient support in the 2010 referendum.  I have asked RDOS staff to include it for completeness.

Update 29 July, 2011: When will you receive the survey?  Please see the comment below

We will be asking West Bench residents to evaluate the alternatives by completing a short survey following the July 28th open house.  The paper survey will be sent out to all West Bench residents via unaddressed bulk mail. However, we are giving all West Bench residents (plus non-West Bench residents who may have a stake in the evolution of the West Bench system) the opportunity to complete the survey online instead of on paper.  Given the mailing and talllying costs of a paper survey, we would naturally prefer that as many people as possible use the online version.

To add you to our online survey list we need:

  1. A verified email address
  2. Indication of your "status" as a West Bench ratepayer
  3. The correct answer to an easy local knowledge trivia question.  This is to help insure you are a legitimate particpant, not a Russian teenage hacker or a robot or whatever.

To register for the survey, please click the button:

You will be asked to supply your name, a valid email address, and answer a simple math question (again, to discourage spammers).  You will then receive a link in your email to complete the registration process.
Note: Your email system may think the automatic invitation you receive is spam and may place it in a special email folder called SPAM or JUNK.  Please check these folders on your email system if you do not receive a response email within a minute or two. Alternatively, add to your "safe senders" or "contacts" list.




I was recently involved with the Official Community Plan (OCP) survey for Area H (rural Princeton, Tulameen, Eastgate, Allison Lake, and so on—a massive physical area with relatively few people). Our approach was much like what is being proposed here: paper surveys were mailed out to everyone but residents were given the opportunity to submit online if they so desired.  Two other wrinkles in Area H are (a) spotty Internet service in outlying areas, which favors paper-based participation and (b) a large proportion of part-time/seasonal residents, which your might think favors online participation.

I have summarized the results below according to part-time/full-time status ("N" refers to the number of residents; "RowPctN" is the percent of participants in that age group that chose the online/paper-based option).

Predictably, the very young (few in this sample) opted for online participation whereas no one in the 75+ group completed the survey online.  However, age generally is a poor predictor of whether residents chose online or paper-based participation. Based on this, I conclude that the oft-voiced concern that "seniors do not use the Internet" is a myth.  Senior seem to be willing to participate online about as much people in other age groups—about 30% based on our Area H experience.


Status Part-time / seasonal resident
  Opted for survey online
No Yes
N RowPctN N RowPctN
Age 1 33.33 2 66.67
25-34 years
35-49 years 40 72.73 15 27.27
50-64 years 84 71.79 33 28.21
65-74 years 33 89.19 4 10.81
over 75 19 100.00 . .


Status Permanent resident
  Opted for survey online
No Yes
N RowPctN N RowPctN
Age . . 2 100.00
25-34 years
35-49 years 9 60.00 6 40.00
50-64 years 50 81.97 11 18.03
65-74 years 27 65.85 14 34.15
over 75 8 100.00 . .

I heard two things at last night's open house that need to be resolved before we send out the survey.

  1. The first is whether the City of Penticton is willing to reduce its annual operating charges for the two Penticton options.  I have posted a discussion of this issue here. The idea is to given Penticton ample opportunity to be the lowest bidder.  Recently, the City of Penticton bid on fire dispatch for the regional district and they came in with the highest bid.  Following the RDOS board's decision to go in a different direction, there was (and still is) much agitating for giving the City another chance to "sharpen its pencil". Well, the time for pencil-sharpening around the West Bench water proposal is now, before we survey residents.
  2. The second issue is the possibility of a West Bench water filtration plant.  Normally, this would not compare well economically with a UV plant.  However, remember that the second larger grant ($3.38M) is for filtered water from Penticton only.  Perhaps we can convince the Provincial Government that the "filtered" part of this restriction is more important than the "Penticton" part.  This is a good suggestion that deserves some analysis. RDOS staff is therefore working on an Option 5: New Filtration Plant.  The numbers may work or they may not.  We will see and get back to you.
So please stand-by on the survey and keep your eye on this website for breaking news.  We appreciate your patience in this important matter.


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