WHY IS RDEK PROPOSING TO BUY PARR UTILITIES INSTEAD OF WINDERMERE SIGNING ON FOR WATER SERVICE SIMILAR TO AKISKINOOK?
ANSWER: RDEK IS RESPONSIBLE FOR WATER SERVICE TO THE TOWN OF WINDERMERE.
LAST YEAR, THE RATEPAYERS IN WINDERMERE TURNED DOWN A PROPOSAL TO TIE IN TO THE PARR SYSTEM FOR SEVERAL REASONS INCLUDING THE COST BEING TOO HIGH, LACK OF TRUST WITH THE OWNER OF THE PRIVATE UTILITY AND RECEIVING AN ELEVENTH HOUR PROPOSAL FOR AN ALTERNATE PLAN. THE RDEK SAW AN OPPORTUNITY TO SOLVE WINDERMERE’S WATER TREATMENT ISSUES AND ALSO TO CONSOLIDATE MANY EXISTING USERS IN THE EAST SIDE AREA.
WHO WILL PAY FOR THE PURCHASE PRICE OF THE PARR SYSTEM? WILL EXISTING USERS OF THE PARR SYSTEM PAY ANY PART OF THE ACQUISITION COST?
ANSWER: EXISTING CUSTOMERS OF THE PARR SYSTEM WILL NOT PAY ANY PART OF THE PARR ACQUISITION COST. THE RATEPAYORS OF WINDERMERE WILL PAY THE ACQUISITION COST THROUGH THEIR PROPERTY TAXES (A SPECIAL LEVY SPREAD OVER FUTURE YEARS).
THE PROPOSED VOTE WITH THE REQUIREMENT OF BC RESIDENCY WILL DISENFRANCHISE THE VAST MAJORITY OF AKISKINOOK OWNERS. WHY WAS THIS METHOD OF VOTING CHOSEN?
ANSWER: RDEK DECIDED THAT THIS VOTING STRUCTURE WOULD HAVE THE BEST CHANCE OF SUCCESS. In simple terms, there are 1691 properties in the proposed east side service area. For a petition to pass (which includes Alberta 2nd home owners), 846 of them need to sign (all the names that are on the title of the property need to sign it) and return it (via mail over a 6 week period to the RDEK) in order for the proposal to proceed. If they are not returned, it is considered a “no” vote. Given the voter apathy, unengaged people, forgetting, not opening or understanding the letter, people on holidays, the chance of getting 846 properties to return the petition is not likely. The only difference for about ½ of the 1691 is a change in where their water bill comes from, currently Parr and if it successful it would be the RDEK.
WE CURRENTLY BUY BULK WATER FROM PARR AT $39 PER MONTH PER SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENT EQUIVALENT. AKISKINOOK AND ITS OUTSIDE USERS CURRENTLY ARE DESIGNATED AS 52 SFRE. WILL THIS ARRANGEMENT BE HONORED BY THE NEW ARRANGEMENT?
ANSWER: AKISKINOOK NEGOTIATED A VERY FAVORABLE DEAL. THIS WILL BE HONORED FOR AS LONG AS IT IS DEEMED FAIR IN THE OVERALL WATER SUPPLY FOR THE EAST SIDE. AKISKINOOK IS UNIQUE IN THAT IT HAS ITS OWN SYSTEM OF IRRIGATION PUMPINNG UNTREATED WATER FROM THE LAKE WHILE WITHIN ITS WATER LICENCED VOLUMES OF USAGE INCLUDING THE TREATED WATER FROM PARR.
WE HAVE A LATECOMER AGREEMENT TO PROVIDE FOR COMPENSATION IF ANY EAST SIDE USERS UTILIZE THE PARR PIPELINE THAT AKISKINOOK PAID FOR. WE ALSO HAVE AN AGREEMENT WITH PARR FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF A PORTION OF OUR PIPELINE COSTS WITH RESPECT TO THE OVERSIZING OF THE PIPELINE EXTENSION TO PROVIDE FOR ADDITIONAL USERS BEYOND THE END OF THE EXISTING SERVICE.
WILL THESE AGREEMENTS BE HONORED?
ANSWER: YES. Before, I say a definite yes, I would like to have RDEK staff see the agreements.
UNDER OUR EXISTING AGREEMENTS WITH PARR, ANY TARIFF INCREASES PROPOSED BY PARR HAVE TO BE APPROVED BY THE PROVINCIAL WATER COMPTROLLER’S OFFICE. WILL THEY ALSO HAVE TO APPPROVE ANY INCREASES POPOSED BY RDEK?
ANSWER: NO, RDEK DOES NOT NEED APPROVAL FROM THE WATER COMPTROLLER’S OFFICE. The RDEK has the ability to set our own rates. We set these rates with the aim of having enough money to run the system and have enough reserves in place for future maintenance. We do show a profit on the system, it is based on a breakeven basis.