The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen is looking for water options for the West Bench.
You will remember the West Bench turned down Penticton’s water proposal as too expensive and subsequently passed their water problems over to the RDOS to resolve.
According to the RDOS, Penticton wants too much for their water, but is unable to back down as Pentictonites might not understand why West Bench residents should get water cheaper than they do.
The more water you use the cheaper the filtration, within capacity limits. So the investment of millions of tax dollars for a treatment centre is wasteful unless increasing water usage to outlying areas. The West Bench should get the bonus of cheap water because they would be doing us a favour by increasing volume going through the system and this would enable Penticton to lower water rates for its residents.
In private business if you have a product that other people want you charge a fair price to cover your costs and expect to make a profit.
While it would be nice for the West Bench to use our water at cheaper rates than we can, Pentictonites should consider whether the symbiotic relationship with the RDOS is serving our needs.
A study by city staff at Abbotsford came to the conclusion they could save $1.4 million a year by opting out of the regional district and they have made an application to the B.C. government to withdraw.
I recently talked to a person from the West Bench and suggested they amalgamate with the city. I received a hoot of laughter and the comment: Why would I want to join you tax slaves down there? Well said, and to the point.
Penticton has faced increased water taxes over the past term of council as a way of raising needed revenue but also to decrease water usage. Using RDOS reasoning we should throw out water rationing as we under use our system; we should decrease our costs by fulfilling the needs of rural residents. The more we use the cheaper it is.
We all like something for nothing. Benefits of having lower taxes by riding free on the taxpayers of Penticton sometimes has its down side when you have to start providing some of those services yourself, as West Bench has found to its cost.