Michael Brydon's blog

Reacquisition of the KVR by the Penticton Indian Band

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[Update 22 March, 2010: I have posted a more detailed summary of this issue here]

The Penticton Indian Band (PIB) has recently made a request to the federal government (Indian and Northern Affairs Canada—INAC) to reacquire the rail bed granted to the Kettle Valley Railroad (and subsequently the Canadian Pacific Railroad).  As you are no doubt aware, this land runs through Sage Mesa and the West Bench.

Neighborhoods: 
Issues: 

Fire hydrant on Verano Place

A number of residents on Sage Mesa's Verano Place are concerned that the fire hydrant on their street is not what it appears to be.  That is, the fire hydrant was installed by Sage Mesa Water Co. a few years back in order to take advantage of road work by the provincial Ministry of Transportation.  However, the large-capcity water line to service the fire hydrant is not yet in place (see the letter from the Sage Mesa Water Co. for more information).

The following is my response to inquiries from some very concerned residents:

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The risk of extraterritorial water service

The recent conflict between the City of Vernon, Coldstream, and two neighboring electoral areas of the North Okanagan Regional District should be of interest as ratepayers in the West Bench irrigation district consider an extraterritorial service provided by the City of Penticton.  The basic issue in Vernon is that the shared utility, Greater Vernon Water, is responsible for both supply and distribution of treated water to all four political entities.  However, the whole arrangement is on the verge of unraveling due to differences in opinion regarding distribution in the rural and non-rural areas.  Central supply seems to be okay with everyone.  See the news stories here and here.

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Two-tiered user fees

I sent the following email to Penticton Mayor Dan Ashton regarding two-tiered user fees for recreational assets owned by the City of Penticton:

-----Original Message-----
From: "Michael Brydon"
To: "Dan Ashton"
Subject: Two-tiered recreation fees

Hi Dan,

I was just catching up on my reading following a couple of weeks of vacation and was alarmed to read a story in the Herald (12 Mar, 2009) about the City of Penticton "scrambling" to implement a two-tiered recreation fee. I inherited a binder from Ron Perrie entitled "Sub-Regional Recreation" that discusses the current situation in which 23% of those who register for programs with the City of Penticton's Recreation Department are not residents of the City. Documents in the binder argues for "fairness" in shouldering the burden of subsidies for these programs.

The city of peaches and beaches?

The RDOS recently followed the lead of other regional districts in the Okanagan and awarded a grant to the Okanagan Film Commission.  I am against such grants/subsidies for many reasons.  But the most important is that the economic impact of film production in the Okanagan is negligible.  Indeed, the economic impact of the entire tourism sector is much smaller than most people realize.

I collected some census data and submitted a report to the RDOS board in order to back up these claims.  The full report can be found here, although the central argument is captured in the graphic below

Sources of income in the RDOS

 

The horse problem: A Delphi survey to determine goals and objectives

We recently completed a three-round Delphi survey to determine an appropriate set of goals and objectives for dealing with the horse problem in Area F.  I have posted

The next stage is to develop a set of alternatives that satisfy the most important goals and objectives. This second "Possible Solutions" Delphi survey is currently in progress.  Please contact me if you would like to know more or become involved.

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