Sage Mesa

May 2017 Sage Mesa system boil water notice

The Sage Mesa water system is on a boil water notice.  See here:

Why?  The Sage Mesa does not filter or otherwise treat its water beyond dosing it with chlorine.  Chlorine is less effective when the water is turbid.  Below is a photo of Okanagan Lake near the Sage Mesa water system intake:

Issues: 

West Bench Hill Road

Here we go again: Anyone who doubts the instability of West Bench soils should take a look at the new dip on West Bench Hill Road.  This dip is in a slightly different place than the previous large dip.  A few things to know about this problem:

Message from the West Bench Elementary Parents Advisory Committee (PAC)

Dear West Bench Community,

We have an important opportunity to let the BC gov’t know why our community school is important, and why it deserves long-term stable funding.

By the Jan. 9th deadline, the provincial gov’t has invited all community members to contribute their thoughts on the importance of our school to children and as a community asset. The responses go directly to a task force currently designing a new funding model for schools such as ours.

Please visit: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/ruraleducation/ to participate in the survey called “A Conversation about Rural Education”.

The survey contains 4 questions.

Does the West Bench Elementary Subsidy Proposal lead to Two Tiers?

School District 53 “flatly rejected" a proposal from the Town of Osoyoos to help subsidize Osoyoos Secondary School.  The Osoyoos proposal was similar to the West Bench proposal in that local government offered to use local tax dollars to keep a school open.  SD53 provided the following rationale in its letter to Mayor Sue McKortoff rejecting the town’s offer,

The proposal you have made is not consistent with the spirit and intent of the School Act funding provisions which are aimed at providing equal access to educational programs for all […] Students in communities with the ability and willingness to contribute monies in addition to assessed school taxes would gain significant advantages over students in communities which could not provide these funds.

The economic case for a West Bench Elementary subsidy

It sounds like the Board of Education will seriously consider the RDOS proposal for a local subsidy for West Bench Elementary.  The next question is: Will West Bench residents seriously consider it?  I have heard several residents say that they have absolutely no interest in paying a new tax.  I am certainly sympathetic to this view.  After all, my own kids are past the elementary age and the fate of the school is no longer my problem.  But I think this view misrepresents our true situation.  Our choice is not between business as usual and a new tax.  Rather, our choice is between one significant cost and another.  On March 30, 2016—the day the Board of Education voted to close West Bench Elementary—every house in the West Bench Elementary catchment lost

WBE Closure: Request for reconsideration

As noted in my update to the grant proposal, I was caught off-guard by the Board of Education's dismissal of the RDOS offer.  I assumed this was going to proceed in a very straightforward way:

  1. A rural school will not be considered for closure if it has a ~$150K grant
  2. The RDOS can raise such a grant for West Bench Elementary
  3. West Bench Elementary will not be considered for closure

 

West Bench Elementary School subsidy proposal

Update 30-31 March 2016:

I missed the SD67 meeting tonight because I help coach my daughters' volleyball on Wednesday nights.  All I know is that SD67 decided to close West Bench Elementary despite the subsidization proposal below (story in The Herald). Thanks to those who filled me in on the details at the meeting.

I have requested reconsideration as outlined in the follow-on post.


 

Owning horses: Open house on 10 March 2016

Just a heads-up that the RDOS is coming back to the issue of "keeping livestock".  This aroused some interest especially on the West Bench. The main thread on the issue is here.

 

You may recall that the fundamental problem with the existing bylaw is that it has been amended in dribs and drabs over the years and has become difficult to enforce.  Hence the need for a re-write.

Issues: 

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