Water, sewer fees increase
Council has given the nod to minor user fee increases in both the water and sewer budgets.
There will be a 1.5 per cnt increase in sewer user fees and parcel taxes. This hike equates to a $5 increase to a single family home (from 2012 rates).
In the water fund, a 2.2 per cent increase in fees and parcel taxes has been approved. Because the Town is on water meters and everyone’s usage is not the same, it is difficult to predict how much more the average homeowner will pay.
The per cubic meter rate has gone up $0.01 (from $0.56 to $0.57), and the annual base rate has gone up $2.50.
UBCM costs taxpayers $11K
Sending four members of council to the Union of BC Municipalities convention recently cost local taxpayers more than $11,000.
Mayor Ron Hovanes and Councillors Linda Larson, Maureen Doerr, and Dave Mattes attended the convention at a cost of $11,153.35.
This total included registration fees, travel, hotels and food.
Mattes recently suggested sending fewer councillors to the convention in order to be more fiscally responsible.
Town awards culvert contract
Council has awarded a $1.7 million contract to Dawson Construction to replace a section of canal with box culverts to accommodate the proposed McIntyre passing lane project.
The Ministry of Transportation plans to build passing lanes north of Gallagher Lake, resulting in the canal being torn up and the culverts installed.
The ministry is paying 100 per cent of the costs.
Dawson construction was one of 10 tenders, and the cheapest one of the bunch.
The project will be complete before the start of irrigation season next year.
Bandai group big spenders
Councillor Linda Larson reported that Bandai, Japan visitors spent $15,000 to $20,000 in Oliver recently.
The “sister city” group spent that amount at 15 different businesses in the community in less than two days.
“They shopped until they dropped,” said Mayor Ron Hovanes, who noted the group stocked up on numerous items at 7-Eleven and left Tim Hortons with lots of coffee.
Flume 3 tenders rejected
Council has rejected both tenders for flume 3 rehabilitation because they are way over budget.
The construction budget is $160,000, but the two tenders received were more than $400,000.
The project will be reassessed for the fall of 2013.
From discord to action
Council was invited to attend the seasonal farm labour forum, “From Discord to Action” at the Elks hall on November 20.
The goal of the forum was to have all communities share their good and bad experiences with seasonal farm labour and come up with an action plan for change.
Mayor Ron Hovanes said Oliver has had its share of issues, adding the community has also done its share of mitigating the problems. He cited the establishment of Loose Bay campground, which has its own problems (being out of the way and having no wireless service for electronic devices).
Councillor Jack Bennest said the issue of transients and migrant workers belongs to everyone; it’s not just the Town of Oliver that is responsible to take care of the problem.