West Bench

West Bench family donates part of property for parkland

ImageJOHN MOORHOUSE 11/23/2009 (link to story)

[Click on picture for a larger version] For almost 50 years Walter Bonin has owned a scenic, natural piece of the West Bench next to the KVR right-of-way.

Now Bonin and his family want to preserve most of their four-hectare property as a park by donating it to the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

“I look at that piece of property and I see a beautiful park could be made out of that -- there‘s so many possibilities there,” he said. “As long as it‘s designated parkland, I‘m happy to donate it.”

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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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Survey reins in opinions on area’s feral horses problem

By Kristi Patton - Penticton Western News April 28, 2009 (link to story)

A long-term sustainable solution is what residents in West Bench want in solving the roaming horse issues.

“This is a complex problem and we want residents to know that we are making progress,” said Michael Brydon, director of RDOS electoral area F. “We want a long-term, sustainable solution and now we know from our survey that our citizens value that as their highest priority.”

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The relationship between water upgrades and sewer for the West Bench

I received the following question via email:

In regards to the West Bench water issue currently before us, a valid question has come up that I believe may be of importance. Will the purchase of water from the city of Penticton ultimately lead to sewer hook-up, thereby creating the opportunity for subdivision in the West Bench? Some residents believe that this is a possibility and it would be good to clarify this important question. As always, thank you for your quick response.

My response:

Short answer: I believe the issues are economically and politically independent and that one does not necessarily entail the other.  It would be different if new water treatment involved digging up West Bench drive.  But as far as I know it does not.

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Regional director wants to rein in wild horses

Joyce Langerak - Penticton Western News Published: February 24, 2009 (link to story)

It’s time for the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen to do something about local wild horses tromping on lawns and skittering around on roadways, says West Bench director Michael Brydon.

He will introduce a motion to the RDOS board during Thursday’s regular meeting.

“All livestock are regulated provincially under the Livestock Act, but I’d say residents on the West Bench are unhappy with the provisions of that act,” said Brydon.

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RDOS director looks to rein in West Bench horses

JOHN MOORHOUSE, The Penticton Herald 02/25/2009 (link to story)

Practically every unfenced yard is festooned with horse apples.

Now, the area‘s Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen director is looking for ways to rein in the free-ranging animals. Michael Brydon has issued a notice of motion to be debated at this Thursday‘s RDOS board meeting, suggesting a task force be created to search for a solution to the growing horse population.

Although conflicts between residential property owners and wild horses wandering between the West Bench and the adjacent Penticton Indian reserve have been ongoing for years, Brydon said Tuesday it seems to be getting worse.

“I don‘t know if there‘s a reliable count of how many horses there are,” he said. “I‘ve heard numbers of up to hundreds of horses.”

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