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Vernon  

Rate payers fight back

The Silver Star Property Owners Association is launching a fundraising campaign as it continues to battle what it calls unreasonably high sewer rates.

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, the SSPOS said in a press release.

“It has become clear over the years that there is a high level of frustration with Silverhawk felt by the community at large here at Silver Star. We have also been speaking with the Provincial government as sewage would appear to be the only utility without any regulatory oversight from a rate setting and business practice perspective,” said Mike Waberski, association president, earlier this year.

“We would like to see Silverhawk voluntarily engage with the community and for government to ensure that an unregulated monopoly controlling a utility as critical as sewage, rapidly becomes a thing of the past.”

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 the highest sewage utility rates in BC.

According to the SSPOA, it was explained to those who attended the meetings 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.

The Silver Star Property Owners Association 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.

“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. The Governance Committee will also ensure that any funds are spent prudently I am grateful for the support from these individuals,” said Waberski.

The committee is made up of members of the various groups including the strata, hotel and business ratepayers, vacant lot owners and the residential ratepayers along with the president of the SSPOA and the chairperson of the utility services committee.



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