West Bench

Transit review: Open House on 20 June, 2011

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The RDOS is hosting a Transit Review open house:

Westbench Elementary School Library
Monday 20 June 2011
drop in anytime between 5:00 to 7:00 p.m

See the full ad here and please pass it along to anyone who you might think is interested.

 

Selby Park

Selby Park is located on West Bench drive north of West Bench Elementary School.  The park was named for Eric Selby, a veteran and driving force in the establishment of the West Bench Veterans' Land Act (VLA) project.

The park is currently popular with mountain bikers, who use the park to access Penticton Indian Band lands to the west and north.

 

Amenities

  • Grassy area
  • Shade trees
  • Some playground equipment
  • Riding ring
  • Parking along West Bench Drive

Projects

RDOS applied for and received $18,000 in Federal matching grants in 2010 for park upgrades in Area F. The matching grants permitted the RDOS to undertake several projects for which the cost to Area F taxpayers was only 50% of the total.

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RDOS may be taking over responsibility for water on the West Bench

As you may have seen in the newspaper (story in the Penticton Herald and Oliver Daily News), the WBID and RDOS are working together to resolve the water issue on the West Bench.  A proposal is going before the provincial cabinet to disolve the WBID and pass responsiblity for water on the West Bench to the RDOS.  The RDOS would then create a service area corresponding to the boundaries of the WBID.

Right now we are waiting for an Order-In-Council from the province to execute the transfer.  Until then, the WBID remains responsible for water on the West Bench.

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Water board‘s days numbered

The West Bench Irrigation District could be formally dissolved as early as next month, paving the way for a referendum on a possible upgrade of its aging water system.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen has agreed to take over the West Bench water system, following the irrigation district‘s recent decision to apply for dissolution. The final step calls for the transfer to be approved by the province through an order-in-council, expected sometime in June.

BC wants to see action on West Bench water

The following article appeared in the on-line "Oliver Daily News" . Jack Bennest, who did the story and who has spent much time at the RDOS board table, asked me for some comments.  He included these at the end of the story. The story stems from a letter to the RDOS from the Province asking whether the RDOS would be willing to takeover the West Bench water system if the WBID decided to dissolve.

Horse update: January 2011

I received the following update from RDOS staff on January 5th regarding the horse feeding stations.

To date [the hay provider] has delivered 4 bales.  He noted approximately 25 horses on site after the first visit.  His counts indicate approximately 40 horses in the area.  His last delivery was two bales.  One was eaten down in a couple of days, the other is about half consumed. The exposed grass in the area will slow feeding on the hay.  Once we have more snow cover, the hay will go more quickly.

My unscientific conclusion based on my own observation at this point is that the feeding stations are working but not as well as in 2009-10.  I see more horses roaming on the West Bench and there is certainly evidence of their presence along West Bench roads.  Perhaps there are more horses this winter.

I am interested in hearing whether you think the feeding stations are working.

Issues: 

Grant money goes down the drain

[I have not had much occasion in the past to agree with Mr. Walker (global warming, diagnosis of the SOEC's woes) but I do agree with the basic thesis of this editorial: The recent West Bench water referendum was a significant economic setback for the City of Penticton.]

The residents of West Bench threw another monkey wrench into Penticton council’s plans.

Horse update: December 2010

The horse feeding stations above the Westhills Aggregates pits are up and running as of mid-December.  I see horses around my neighborhood so we are still waiting for the horses to find the hay.  Hopefully they will and we will see less of them.

Recall from the fall 2010 Area 'F' newsletter that our current plan with the horses is to develop some alternatives for residents during 2011 and add a specific proposal to the ballot during the 2011 local government elections (a cheap way to have a referendum on a taxation issue).  As preparation, I asked residents for their opinions regarding possible RDOS-initiated horse control actions in the Fall 2010 Residents' Survey.  As you can see below, none of the alternatives considered received support from a majority of residents.  Interestingly, the fence, which was the clear winner in our more detailed Delphi analysis of the problem received the least support.

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