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Well this is pretty strange.

Our district has sent out a Request for Proposals for someone to upgrade Tofino’s website. (Here is a link to the job posting; since all traces of it will likely be removed within days, here is a saved pdf of the same posting. The same RFP appeared in the most recent issue of The Westerly).

First thing weird — It was published in the Westerly on Thursday, and online on the AV Employment Centre website on Friday — but proposals have to be in by 4pm Tuesday. Read the rest of this entry »

Well, it’s certainly getting a lot of media attention. Councillor Stephen Ashton is up to 10 live interviews and counting.

Not sure how many of you heard Stephen on the national CBC Radio show Q today. He did a really good job of answering questions, and explaining what our community has to gain by this: retaining our uniqueness, our spirit, our identity. It’s both for ourselves, and for our tourism “brand” (oh I hate that word, but you know what I mean).

Jian Ghomeshi has posed it as his question of the day:

Should a community be able to ban retail chains and fast-food franchises?

As of nearing midnight, he has got well over 100 responses from across the nation – almost all of them strongly in support of the motion to ban the chains. There is even a refrain echoing in numerous posts of “Go Tofino!”

Check out the comments (you can add one there, too – or here): http://www.cbc.ca/q/blog/2010/03/should_a_community_be_able_to.html#comments

You can also listen to Stephen’s March 19th Q interview online – as of Friday night it has not yet been posted, but I am sure they will have it up shortly: http://www.cbc.ca/q/pastepisodes.html Click the March 19th podcast to listen to it now; to save the mp3 and listen later, right click (PC) or option-click (Mac).

by Josie Osborne, Executive Director, Raincoast Education Society

Earlier this fall, the Raincoast Education Society undertook a survey in conjunction with the Tofino Consumers Co-op about customer opinions and attitudes on disposable plastic bags.

As was reported in the Westerly News, 41 per cent of members said they preferred the total removal of bags and 51 per cent of members preferred a fee of at least five cents being charged for Read the rest of this entry »

The sludge (see yesterday’s post, below) is now on Tonquin Beach – and I wonder where else.

Of course getting any of our governmental organizations to look into this is not easy.  Coast Guard says it’s not their department; DFO was reluctant to get involved (update: but apparently will now look into it); District of Tofino says it’s not within their jurisdiction either.

Hopefully someone will take it upon themselves to Read the rest of this entry »

So, how do Tofino’s bizarrely complex rates compare to other districts?  Do other municipalities also charge residents more? (And, if you still do not believe that residents are charged more, then I am sorry – I just do not know how else I can explain this any more clearly: you can go back to my August 2nd post, which outlines how our system works).

Then, let’s look around – at Port Alberni, Nanaimo, Victoria, and Vancouver (I’ll add Ukee, too, if I can – their rates are not posted on line) – and see how we compare.  

And, I know my posts are long – I’ll give you the summary now (keep reading if you want to see the supporting facts).
1.  None of these districts differentiates between residential and commercial rates.

2.  They especially do not distinguish between type of business, giving some more favourable rates than others.

3.  Some of them add a flat-fee monthly or quarterly charge that goes up according to the size of the water delivery pipe – this is a way to charge businesses proportionately more for their higher usage.

4.  Some have a few tiers, and some have no tiers.  Where they do have tiers, they are the same for everyone.

5.  All of them have simple rate-charging systems that anyone can understand.

Beside each place’s name, you can clink on the link to see where I got the information from.  There’s also a listing of water and sewage rates for towns Canada-wide here: http://www.ec.gc.ca/Water/en/manage/use/e_mun.htm#BC.  I have not had time to look through all of these – but if anyone else wants to, and post some info to share here, I’d sure welcome it!

PLEASE REMEMBER: meeting tonight to discuss all of this (plus the $1.50 surcharge they are proposing to go on top!) – at the Community Hall, 7pm.

Port Alberni: PDF file
They have the same rate for residents as businesses, with a total of 4 tiers – but customers with bigger delivery pipes (i.e. bigger commercial users) pay a higher monthly fee on top.
The first tier  is extremely high, kicking in at 1,133 m3 (per 4-months; in Tofino we are billed each 3 months) – which means all residents would always be at the first-tier rate of $0.37/m3.
Interestingly, they do two things about industrial users:
– the rates actually get lower as usage increases, but
– they add a monthly charge according to the size of the user’s delivery pipe (ranging from $10.48/month for 3/4” or less, to $166.68/month for a 10” delivery pipe)

Nanaimo: http://www.rdn.bc.ca/cms.asp?wpID=915
They have the same rate for residents as businesses with a total of 6 tiers.
They work their rate by average daily consumption – multiplying that out by 90 days (to compare to our quarterly billing) means that the lowest rate is $0.86/m3 for up to 63 m3 per quarter, and the next tier up is $1.00/m3 for up to 126 m3 per quarter.
– like Tofino, their rates go up with increased usage, but they go up much more rapidly, hitting the top rate of $3.00/m3 when quarterly usage exceeds 316 m3 – which means that higher consumers (i.e. businesses) pay more at pretty much all usages, not just at extremely high usages (unlike in Tofino – where a fish plant or large resort wouldn’t hit that rate until their consumption exceeds about 2000 m3)

Vancouver http://vancouver.ca/fs/treasury/utility/meterRates.htm
They have the same rate for residents as businesses, no tiers at all – but, like Port Alberni, businesses pay an additional charge that relates to the size of their delivery pipe.
What a simple system.  Their combined water+sewage rate (they calculate it in per 100 cubic feet) comes out to $1.08 per m3.
Like Port Alberni, they then add a quarterly charge that ranges from $25 to $536 per quarter, dependent upon the size of delivery pipe (i.e. big businesses with big delivery pipes would pay more).

Victoria http://www.victoria.ca/cityhall/departments_fincon_utilwaterrate.shtml
As far as I can tell it is the same rate for residential and business, with no tiers – but, like Port Alberni and Vancouver businesses pay an additional charge that relates to the size of their delivery pipe.  The volume charge fore everyone is $0.7o per m3 and the delivery charge ranges from $20 to $1000 per quarter.

Victoria’s Western Communities http://www.crd.bc.ca/water/waterbilling/residentialrates.htm
They have the same rate for residents as businesses, not no tiers at all.
Again, what a simple system – a flat rate of $1.37/m3 for all users.

Tofino  look at the graph
Residents pay more than businesses.
The complicated rate system means rates per m3 range from $0.90 to $3.70/m3, with certain classes of businesses getting much cheaper rates than others.  In addition to these rates, there is a proposal to add $1.50 per m3 in order to improve our water delivery system so it can deal with current and future usage requirements.

Hey look, this is the kind of thing that makes me feel really good about our town – a local business taking the initiative to contribute to our community:

Nomination Request

The Best Western Tin Wis Resort will offer a local’s discount of 20% in the Calm Waters Dining Room, beginning October 1st. On Saturday October 3rd, and every second Saturday thereafter, this 20% will be donated to a local charity/organization that provides invaluable services to the coastal communities.

We are in the process of searching for organizations that will receive this contribution, but we need some help compiling a list of charities and organizations in the towns of Tofino and Ucluelet.

We are asking for nominations from the communities for a list of organizations that you would like to see receive this donation.
Please forward the name of the charity/organization that you would like us to consider.
Email: media(at)tinwis.com

We are very excited about this program and would like the community’s help in determining the beneficiaries.
Thank you and if you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Warmest Regards,
Jenny Touchie
Director of Sales and Marketing
Best Western Tin Wis Resort
250.725.4445
media(at)tinwis.com
http://www.tinwis.com