Sage Mesa

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.


Sage Mesa/Husula pilot survey invitation

Update 29 February, 2016:  So far the pilot survey has seen very little participation.  My conclusion is Sage Mesa and Husula residents do not have much interest in this project one way or the other.

The following email invitation was sent out to a handful of Sage Mesa and Husula residents regarding the proposed natural gas extension for those neighborhoods.  I relied on word of mouth for the survey invitation because I did not want to attract non-resident participation.  But the "snowball sample" methodology only works if people forward the invitation.  A such I am posting the invitation here as well in an attempt to attract some more participation from residents of those two neighborhoods.  Please spread the word.

I will close the pilot survey by mid-Febuary so please participate before then


RDOS says no to lakeside trail from Penticton to Summerland

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen has politely declined participation in a four-party master plan for a bike link between Penticton and Summerland along Highway 97.

The B.C. government proposed a study on a multi-use trail linking Trout Creek to Penticton with the cost being shared by the province, City of Penticton, RDOS and District of Summerland.

The master plan would cost $110,000, with each partner's share being $27,500. If approved, the trail would cost around $7.8 million.

Gas line extension survey: How this should work

The Problem

Deciding whether to go ahead with a project like the Sage Mesa (or Husula Highlands) gas line extension is difficult under the "opt-in model" because:

  • residents don't know whether they support or oppose the project until they know the project's cost, but
  • the project's cost depends on the number of people who opt-in.


So a simple "Are you in or out?" question will not work.

Instead, the RDOS can ask a willingness-to-pay (WTP) question: "What is the maximum amount you are willing to pay for a gas line extension on your street?".  We can then use the WTP information to determine whether the project should go ahead.

Development potential on the greater West Bench

I sent the following to the Board of Education Trustee for rural Penticton, Ginny Manning.  The email is a follow-on to my previous comments on this issue:

Subject: Re: West Bench school closure and growth
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2016 23:01:02 -0800
From: Michael Brydon 
To: Ginny Manning
CC: Bill Newell, Andrew Jakubeit

Hi Ginny,

Other signs on West Bench Hill Road

Just a heads-up: crews will be working to install the West Bench sign at the bottom on West Bench Hill Road.  To work freely, they will have to remove all the signs that are currently spread across the highways right-of-way.  Once the West Bench sign is constructed and the area around it is landscaped with natural vegetation we will likely take it upon ourselves to keep the area clear of signs (they are not supposed to be in the highways right-of-way in any case).

Letter from resident to residents concerning natural gas

The attached letter was distributed to many residents of the Husula Highlands neighborhood.  Lorne McDonald ask that I make it available on this site:

Letter from Lorne McDonald to fellow residents

The main thread on the natural gas issue can be found here.



West Bench parents want their school taken off list of facilities being considered for closure

Noting the potential for serious health and cultural impacts, parents of West Bench Elementary students are asking their community’s school be removed from the list of those identified for possible closure.

“Our whole community is dependent on that school. It’s how we stay connected, it’s how our friends know their neighbours, and we think that’s pretty important,” said Riley Gettens on behalf of the West Bench Parent Advisory Council.

Blasting for West Bench reservoir

Note from RDOS staff regarding the West Bench reservoir:

We wanted to let people know about some small blasts we are going to be executing today and possibly over the next several days in the West Bench & Sage Mesa area, west of Penticton. We are installing a new reservoir and have encountered rock that we need to blast out. The charges are expected to be relatively small but some people may get worried and call wondering what it is.

The blasting should be finished in a couple days depending on if more is found as the excavation continues.

Please don’t hesitate to provide people with my contact info if they have questions.

Liisa Bloomfield, P.Eng. ● Engineer/Engineering Supervisor
p. 250.490.4229 ● tf. 1.877.610.3737 ● f. 250.492.0063 ●