The Silver Star Property Owners Association have launched a fundraising campaign as they continue to battle high sewage rates, and have also announced a committee to guide direction and oversee funds raised. (Morning Star file photo)

Vernon mountain property owners launch fundraising campaign

Silver Star Association fighting high sewage rates; names committee to oversee campaign, funds

Experienced business leaders with property in the community have committed their time to help guide strategic direction and provide oversight of funds as the Silver Star Property Owners Association (SSPOA) launches a fundraising campaign, and announce formation of a sewage action fund governance committee.

The SSPOA recently held three community meetings to gauge the level of support of Silver Star business owners, residents, and vacant lot owners to engage in a fight against what they say are the highest sewage utility rates in B.C.

READ ALSO: ‘Mountain-high’ sewer rates frustrate Silver Star property owners

It was explained to those who attended the meetings that the intent would be to set up a fundraising campaign whereby property owners could contribute to the cause. The community has been advised how to make contributions, how the funds will be used, who will make the decisions on expenditure, and who will represent the defined interest groups on the sewage action fund committee.

“We are very fortunate as a community to have such a capable group of people who are prepared to give up their time to ensure that we have a pragmatic strategy,” said Mike Waberski, SSPOA chairperson. “The governance committee will also ensure that any funds are spent prudently. I am grateful for the support from these individuals.”

The committee is made up of members of the Strata, Hotel and Business Ratepayers, the Vacant Lot Owners and the Residential Ratepayers along with the President of the SSPOA and the Chair of the Utility Services Committee.

Named to the committee are:

* Waberski;

* Ross Foden, SSPOA board director and chairperson of the utility services committee;

* Nick Arkle, CEO, Gorman Bros. Lumber, West Kelowna;

* Robert Foord, president of Kal Tire;

* Craig Leverman, president of the strata council for Silver Creek Lodge;

* Al Thorlakson, executive chairperson of Tolko Industries Ltd.;

* Rob Tupper, president, Monashee Land Surveying and Geomatics Ltd.

“The Sewage Action Fund will be the community’s opportunity to demonstrate to both government and Silverhawk Utilities that Silver Star will no longer tolerate an unregulated monopoly,” said Waberski. “With the community leadership involved in the oversight of this effort, together with strong support from the rate payers by contributing sufficient funds, the community will be able to address the issues effectively.”

Silverhawk Utilities has served the Silver Star community for about two decades. They have said they are working on answering the SSPOA’s concerns.

READ ALSO: Silver Star dispute heats up

The SSPOA will be seeking expert advice to assist in determining the best course of action to question Silverhawk’s rate structure and capacity charges. Experts on accounting (specifically in the utilities field), wastewater experts and legal counsel will be retained as required.

The terms of reference for the committee can be found at: https://www.sspoa.ca/terms-reference-sewage-action-fund/



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