Blogs

Sign for the West Bench

The idea arose a couple of years ago to install a sign at the bottom of West Bench Hill Road.  As I see it, the sign could serve three purposes:

  1. Commemorate the establishment of the West Bench as a Veterans' Land Act project.  In this sense, it is Part B of the Selby Park tribute.
  2. Mark the starting point of the walking path.
  3. Better establish the idea of the West Bench (broadly defined to include Sage Mesa, Husula Highlands, etc.) as a place distinct from Penticton.

 

Given these objectives, we have been toying with a few potential designs.  Below is a photo of the West Bench Hill Road as now seen by traffic heading to Kelowna on Highway 97 (see note 1):

West Bench Water: Where does the money go?

There have been some massive changes in the West Bench water system over the last few years:

  1. The West Bench Irrigation District (WBID) disbanded after two generations of managing water on the West Bench.
  2. The RDOS entered into an agreement with the City of Penticton to buy treated water instead of pulling water directly from the lake,
  3. The RDOS has taken over billing, instituted a parcel tax for capital improvements (the new supply and distribution system) and added water meters.

To help make some sense of this, I have included below an analysis of revenues and expenditures for the West Bench water system under the RDOS.  Revenues are shown as positive numbers and expenses are shown as negative numbers.  The two do not match (revenues do not equal expenditures) because I have suppressed several types of financial transactions: 

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What is going on beside the Westhills pit?

Short answer: I don't know.

The PIB has been clearing/leveling some land across the road from its Westhills Aggregates operation for several weeks now.  RDOS staff have made some inquires to Westhills and the Band but so far we have not been told anything definitive.

Update 18 Mar 2015: According to the website for the Penticton Indian Band Development Corporation, the site is being cleared for a mobile home manufacturing plant:

PIBDC and the Lands Department are hosting the Information Meeting on a proposed manufactured home company on Wednesday March 18, 2015 at the Penticton Indian Band Hall....

 

West Bench pump house & path ribbon cutting

Thanks to all of you who attended the ribbon cutting for the West Bench pump house today. A couple of people have asked me about the numbers in my remarks, so I have posted my script (which I mostly followed) below:

This water project can be summarized with two numbers: 6 and 18 million.

Six different governments had to work together to get this job done.  That’s 7 if you count Interior Health as its own level of government. 8 if you count Fortis**.

Obviously, the RDOS and the City of Penticton are heavily invested in an ongoing partnership.  However, this partnership is laid on a foundation created by the West Bench Irrigation District.  Building the project required a continuous give and take between various provincial ministries and the PIB.

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Flooding in Faulder

Image

In an ironic twist, Faulder now has too much water! Darke Creek, which is typically just a dry culvert has overflowed with the higher-than-normal volume of snow melt.

The critical issues for Faulder residents (apart from personal property damage) are the status of the the main road and upstream dam on Darke/Fish Lake.  Rural roads and dams are the responsibility of the province, not the RDOS.   However, we checked with the relevant provincial ministries on May 17, 2011.  The Ministry of the Environment is aware of the situation and is monitoring the dam; the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is monitoring Fish Lake Road.

 

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The new equipment at the Peter Brothers pit

Update 15 Nov 2015:

This seems to be a recurring problem. From time to time Peter Bros. needs additional capacity for paving and brings in a second mobile asphalt plant.  Last year when Peter Bros. was paving the airport runways in the middle of the night they struck a deal with the PIB to locate the second plant in the south west corner of the Westhills Aggregates pit.  This was a slightly improved situation for Area F residents because the smoke and noise were farther away from houses. 

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