West Bench

Bud Butler Equistrian Arena

Rules for West Bench Riding Ring Users

The West Bench riding ring is a community facility owned by the RDOS, but maintained primarily by those who use it.  The following is for the guidance of the latter group in particular to spread the responsibility for keeping the ring in good condition and to avoid irritation and unpleasantness among users.

While the ring is a community facility, it was not built for all possible horse activities.  The surface is not suitable for activities such as barrel racing or ones involving moves such as sliding stops, and using it in these ways will do serious damage to the surface, especially the quite expensive material along the boards and out for about six feet (see below ** for description of this material).

Please do not ride or walk your horse across the park grass.  Go up the road at the south end and either enter their or take the path through the trees to the north entrance. 

West Bench water meters

I have been asked several times about the rationale for "mock water bills".  The simple answer is that the RDOS needs to collect some baseline data on water usage on the West Bench before it rolls out a meter-based billing system.  Development of a metered pricing scheme is more complicated than many people seem to appreciate (more on this below).  A secondary reason is to give our Public Works Department time to debug the system.  There may be leaks in the new pipes; the water meters might not be working properly.  A phased implementation allows RDOS staff to fix these problems before sending out completely off-the-wall water bills.

A metered pricing scheme

Some West Bench residents support a fully metered scheme. For this we would take the total operating cost of the West Bench Water System (approximately $350K/year), divide it by total water usage (say 500 m3) and charge all West Bench residents $0.70 per m3 of water.

Neighborhoods: 

More on the economics of commutation: Three models

I got some questions last week from members of the Area F Parks Commission about the commutation option for the West Bench water system.  I appreciate that not everyone spends a lot of time doing discounted cash flow calculations so I have provided a simplified spreadsheet model (see the link below).  We identified three options:

Issues: 
Neighborhoods: 

The commutation option

I have received some questions recently about the two letters that went out to ratepayers on the new West Bench water system last week.  The first letter contained information about the option to commute payments for the capital costs of the West Bench water system upgrade.  The second letter was a mock water bill, giving people some preliminary information about their water usage relative to other West Bench properties.

Commutation letter (template)

Neighborhoods: 

Council restores firefighter positions

Funding for the two firefighter positions cut in the 2014 budget will be restored in the 2015 budget, Penticton city council announced Monday.

According to Mayor Garry Litke, the city has been in talks with the Penticton Indian Band since the spring, developing an agreement to provide fire protection, first responder and fire safety inspection services to the band’s new development and residential areas (non-native leasehold improvements) east of the Penticton Channel: Skaha Hills, Riva Ridge, Barefoot Beach Resort, Wright’s Beach Campground and Red Wing.

2015 Selby Park upgrades

The Area 'F' Parks Commission has prioritized some kind of bathroom and a water station (for drinking, filling water bottles, etc.) for Selby Park.  This could be an outhouse (pictured) or something more elaborate with its own flush toilets.  Of course, flush toilets require a septic fields and a septic field is more money.

This is early stage. More information about costs and alternatives will be posted as it becomes available. At this point we are looking for thoughts or ideas on this. 

Issues: 
Neighborhoods: 

Resident urges audit of West Bench water bills

A property owner on the West Bench is calling for an audit of the community’s water billing practices to determine how many ratepayers are receiving special discounts.

Ronald Johnson said he discovered three years ago that some West Bench residents have  exemptions to avoid paying the per-acre water charge on non-irrigable parts of their properties, like gullies.

In one case, he discovered a landowner was being billed for just two of 28 acres, and based on his inquiries believes up to 10 such exemptions have been granted since 1996.

September 2014 update on the horse problem: Root Cause Analysis

I have received many calls lately about the number of roaming horses on the West Bench.  In addition, many people have noticed that some herds have taken up residence on the West Bench full-time.  A few years ago it was rare to see a horse on the bench in the summer.

I have to start by saying the following:

Issues: 

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