West Bench

Preliminary water meter data as of August 2015

Notwithstanding the parent post, a number of residents have asked me about using our water meter data.  Although we are collecting the data there are two issues:

  1. We still do not have the full year
  2. We are still debugging some of the meters (software errors, leaks, and so on).

 

Neighborhoods: 

What does the West Bench reservoir look like from your house?

Attention Westwood Properties residents: Please do the following if you can see the West Bench reservoir:

  1. stand on your deck
  2. take a picture of the reservoir as you see it
  3. email the picture to me at mbrydon@rdos.bc.ca.

 

Why? We want to know how an expansion of the reservoir might impact your view.

Here is the reservoir from my deck.  I can see it, but it does not dominate the scene.  We want to know what you see so we are asking you to show us.

West Bench pump House decomissioning

Board date: 
Thursday, July 16, 2015
Neighborhood: 

The West Bench water system used to draw water from the lake, inject a bit of chlorine, and pump the water to residents.  Much of this occurred at the West Bench pump house along the Penticton River Channel close to Red Wing.

Map here: WBIDPumphouse.png

Now the West Bench system is supplied by a water main from the City of Penticton's filtered water system.  The new pump house is half way up West Bench Hill (yes, it was meant to be more dug into the ground and less visible; hopefully the natural vegetation that we have planted around it will do a better job of hiding it over time).

In any case, the old pump house is no longer needed and is on disputed PIB land in any case.  It will be removed and the site will be remediated under the terms of the contract in this board motion.  Naturally, this is part of the overall project and is being paid for by the West Bench water system capital upgrade project. 

Be wary of holes on the KVR Trail

Dear Editor:

Warning to users of the KVR Trail on the West Bench, Penticton.

There are several washouts on the trail. Users could fall into the holes and get injured.

One of the holes is partially covered by grasses and weeds, therefore hard to see.

Hikers, bikers, horse riders, please take extra care to watch for the holes and avoid them.

The holes in the trails are caused by water running down the track during rain storms, the water building up to a volume large enough to erode and wash away the trail bed.

Watering restrictions: Are they too restrictive?

I received the following question/complaint from a West Bench resident regarding watering restrictions:

[..] we have a manual system and sometimes on our watering day / evening we actually aren’t home to turn the system on.  So for us to have the same number of hours on a manual system that the automatics have just isn’t a level playing field – it would be nice to have extra time to account for our human inefficiency.   In the past, we had something like 5 pm to midnight or something and that was adequate, but only 3 hours of prescribed watering in the evening every other day means we’ll be slaves to that schedule, we’ll be outside the regulations,  or our yard goes down the tube [...]

Neighborhoods: 
Issues: 

Gate at south end of riding ring

I received the following update from Sue Gibbons:

Please find attached photo of the gate that we installed this weekend at the south end of the riding ring. Thank you so much to Stu Kulak who did most of the work, had all the right tools and made sure it was stronger than Fort Knox!!! The addition of the gate at the south end is to encourage riders to use the road up to the ring (not ride through the park), and they now have options of entering the ring from the south end or riding through the trees to the north gate. More raking and leveling at the south end gate is probably still required, so maybe someone else can pitch in to assist.

The Area F Parks Commission has helped in the past fund some of the upgrades to the riding ring.  It is gratifying when the users of the facility invest their own time and energy into this unique neighborhood asset.

Neighborhoods: 

West Bench pedestrian corridor

Background

The West Bench pedestrian corridor was a joint project of the RDOS and the Province of BC completed in 2013.  Half the costs were covered by a grant from the Province and the remainder was covered by Area F gas tax funds.  Much of the path was undertaken coincidentally with the West Bench water system upgrade.  This made sense since major repairs were required to the roads and right-of-way after the new water mains were installed.

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: 

Neighborhoods: 
Issues: 

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....

 

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