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The 2 sewer referendum questions in the election

Confused about the sewer referendum questions? You're not alone. Here's the deal: 6 years ago when we cut the regional sewer deal with Trail and Warfield we all agreed to take over those parts of the line that serviced only our own communities. So Rossland took over the line up to Warfield. It was a good deal for us. But the Regional District figured out that selling that infrastructure to us could only be done by a RDKB referendum. So we have these two questions. People should vote yes. It's boring housekeeping stuff approving the status quo, with no tax implications.

Photos: 

Okay, so what happens if residents vote no! Will this nullify or void the cost sharing agreement?

So the sale of RDKB or crown property has to go to referendum. I don't recall seeing any referendum regarding the cost sharing agreement.

I've read the cost sharing agreement. Very difficult to find information on the RDKB website. Broken links to reports, etc. Something doesn't feel good about this housekeeping stuff. John

Some more information.

https://rdkb.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=ky-Z9xkzWq8%3d&tabid=660

There is an image in this brochure that illustrates what is defined as the intercpetor. It doesn't extend all the way up to the ski hill as I heard last night. The majority of the sewer line illustraetd was constructed in 1970. I've seen examples of what happens when 'assets' nearing the end of their useful life get given away.

I don't support the approach to a user pay system. It's not a long term solution.

@Howser: not sure what happens in the event of a no vote.  Pretty sure it doesn't nullify the cost sharing agreement - there must be a severability clause in that contract.

Not sure why you don't see it as a long-term solution to manage our own infrastructure.  RDKB was doing it before and we were paying for it through assessments.  If you think RDKB is a model of efficiency and responsible financial stewardship compared to the City of Rossland, by all means vote no.


The off-loading of responsibilities from a federal level to provincial to regional to a municipal and ultimately on to the residents might look good when it's all working as designed. Look out when some thing goes wrong. This isn't about management. This is about the cost of replacement when the infrastructure fails. Especially essential infrastructure.  Shifting the responsibilities doesn't eliminate the risk. Strata properties are prime example.

Maybe we should attempt to reduce the assessed monetary value of the homes in town. The livable value won't decline. Make the local credit union be the mandatory financier for all borrowing combined with a minimum 10 year no sales clause. The city would also have the first option to purchase the property for it's fair market value. These properties could then be added to the affordable housing pool.


I'll be interested to see the referendum results and the steps that follow. Start saving now if the vote is YES or NO.

Aaron..Youre telling people to vote Yes?? Thats insane and irresonsible to request people to vote one way or the other. Especially with a 5 sentence paragraph on Bhubble. 

 

I'm with Howser on this. I question the decisions made by council sometimes. Especially when they approve 20km an hour zones in residential areas where the school zones are 30. The greater good dies not apply to counci a lot of timesl its all about catering to groups that complain. Making a few happy at the expense of the mass and not really accomplishing anything in the process. Short sided solutions without looking at the big picture. 

The better solution would have been to eliminate parking on the north side of the road and make people use their driveways. That would have opened up the road and made it safer. Making it 20 km does nothing. So listen to Howser...He's right. Big picture Aaron. 

Voting on this is dumb. Voting doesnt necessarily get the correct outcome. It just takes the resonsibilty off of the people that should be making the decision based on data not opinion.

Aaron..Youre telling people to vote Yes?? Thats insane and irresonsible to request people to vote one way or the other. Especially with a 5 sentence paragraph on Bhubble. 

 

I'm with Howser on this. I question the decisions made by council sometimes. Especially when they approve 20km an hour zones in residential areas where the school zones are 30. The greater good dies not apply to counci a lot of timesl its all about catering to groups that complain. Making a few happy at the expense of the mass and not really accomplishing anything in the process. Short sided solutions without looking at the big picture. 

The better solution would have been to eliminate parking on the north side of the road and make people use their driveways. That would have opened up the road and made it safer. Making it 20 km does nothing. So listen to Howser...He's right. Big picture Aaron. 

Voting on this is dumb. Voting doesnt necessarily get the correct outcome. It just takes the resonsibilty off of the people that should be making the decision based on data not opinion.

So here is some background on the sewer interceptor mixed with a bit of opinion.

The original cost sharing agreement, beginning in 1968, was based upon a projected relative population apportionment of the municipalities of Rossland, Warfield and Trail, including Oasis and Rivervale (RDKB) who use the CPCC. Around 2012, representatives tried to revise the agreement to determine who pays what a few years ago, . Unfortunately, representatives were extremely busy pointing fingers at who is responsible while ignoring what is the cause of the problem, the financial austerity measures used to transfer the costs of services to others and not share responsibilites. Understanding the problem is 90% of the solution.

This stalemate resulted in a 3rd party analysis and arbitrator to try settle the lack of local negotiating abilities. As such, an updated cost sharing agreement was agreed to in 2014. The current agreement is based upon the measured flow in the pipe, updated every 12 months. In order to avoid further disputes, the RDKB replaced all volume measuring devices with the same measuring device.

The cost sharing was finally resolved after 2 years of volume measuring as per the arbitrator's direction. The cost apportionment changed, but not much. Primarily because most areas were still using the same sewer infrastructure the original sewer interceptor was collecting. But still embedded in the political system are the personal desires to stand on a soap box and say what a good deal it is.

Today, the the Cost of the Service are apportioned between the Participants on the following principles:

Firstly, the Cost of the Service relating to capital upgrades, replacements, operation and maintenance of portions of the infrastructure for the Service that convey sewage generated by only one of the Participants be apportioned wholly to that Participant;

Secondly, the Cost of the Service generated by two but not the third of the Participants be apportioned between the two benefiting Participants on the basis of the relative volume of sewage that each of the two benefiting Participants puts into the Service; and,

Finally, the remaining Cost of the Service be apportioned between the Participants on the basis of the relative volume of sewage that each of the Participants puts into the Service.

Sounds pretty simple. The sole user, Rossland, is responsible for the Rossland interceptor pipe regardless who owns it.

This all leads to today, where the estimated remaining useful life and replacement cost of the pipe is still not known or hasn't been publicly disclosed. This is vital information that should have been used for the latest agreement including this referendum to dispose of the crown ownership of the pipe. Which, as directed by the community charter, would require a referendum. 

Looks like the transparently opaque political and economic systems are working just as they were designed. Build up the virtual borders around your cities even though people and money cross them every minute of every day for the greater area to function.   Continuing on this same path of individuality, I envision a user pay app being implemented in each loo that will determine the cost of the flush depending where you live. Oh wait, these new wireless water meter transmitters should be able to that. 

Flip a coin to vote YES or NO on the referendum. The only known result is that the risk of replacement is still there. Now that borrowing has replaced savings, we just transfer the risk on to future generations who have no vote.

If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.

Please ask a question, comment or make a correction so we can make informed decisions.