Community Barbeque- Saturday, October 7th
Once again, the Silver Star Fire Department is hosting their annual community event…this year, instead of the traditional Pig Roast they are inviting everyone to a Community Barbeque at the Fire Hall.
The event will be held on Saturday, October 7th, starting at 5:00 pm with dinner starting at 6:00 pm. The members of the Fire Department will be serving Burgers, Hot Dogs, Salads, non-alcoholic beverages, PLUS complimentary drink tickets for Beer or Wine. This is the department’s way of saying “thank you” to the community for the support throughout the year.
Silver Star Task Force and the SSPOA
The SSPOA is committed to helping property owners be as well informed as possible regarding the proposed Silver Star Resort Association (SSRA). The SSPOA recognizes that property owners have valid and varying opinions on supporting or opposing this proposal, based on their own situation or views; it is not our role to argue for or against the SSRA. The SSPOA 's role is to provide access to accurate information about the proposal, and to encourage property owners to make an educated choice to sign, or not sign, the petition for the SSRA. T
There are concerns that some property owners have unanswered questions about the SSRA; either they did not ask them at the Open Houses, or were unable to attend these events. A number of questions have been provided to the SSRA Task Force to consider, with the intention of publishing the questions and answers on the SSPOA website. Many of these questions have not been addressed in the Task Force newsletters. The committee responsible for these questions will be meeting with the Task Force the first week of October, so watch for the Q&A on the website mid-October!
Stargas applies to have installation fees reduced to $25
Stargas Utilities Ltd. is in the final stages of proceedings before the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) to have their Tariff changed to allow for the amortization of installation costs so that the only cost to the new rate-payer will only be a $25 application fee. This proposal is primarily targeted at those properties that are using propane at Silver Star to encourage conversion to natural gas. If this is of interest to home owners for this year, we suggest you immediately contact Stargas directly at (250) 808-0391 as the construction window following the BCUC decision will be limited.
The SSPOA is an intervenor in these proceedings and the final argument from the association can be found at http://www.bcuc.com/Documents/Arguments/2017/DOC_50001_09-19-2017_SSPOA-Final-Argument.pdf
The entire proceedings are on the BCUC website
Other Stargas developments
Stargas Utilities Ltd. applied to the BC Utilities Commission to amend their Delivery Rate in November 2016. The Delivery Rate is the amount Stargas can charge to deliver the natural gas above what is referred to as the Commodity Charge, the actual price of the gas. The SSPOA was the only intervenor and over the 4 months of proceedings the Association challenged the Stargas application on a number of issues including the high installation costs. In the Delivery Rate proceeding Stargas, who was offering a $0.45 /GJ reduction to the ratepayers in the initial application, after the 4 months of proceedings revised the reduction it was offering to only $0.30. The BCUC in its Order G-59-17 increased reduction the Delivery Rate to $1.61 setting the Delivery Rate to $5.77 /GJ which resulted in the rate-payers receiving a refund in May on last winter’s gas consumption. A detailed summary of the results was published in our May newsletter.
2016 Delivery Rate Application Regulatory Account
In the May Stargas statement there was a notice to customers outlining the particulars of a “Rate Rider” for the 2016 Delivery Rate Application Regulatory Account (DRARA). This Rate Rider is the method which the Utility (and their legal counsel) and the BCUC recover the costs for the application process. Also included in these costs are the funding that the SSPOA applied for under the”Participant Assistance Cost Award” (PACA) which provides limited financial assistance for the SSPOA to retain legal counsel to help the Association through what was a complicated process.
In the May customer notice, Stargas incorrectly portrayed the amount of this Rate Rider as $1.45 /GJ. Stargas failed to amortize this over the 3 years as the BCUC Order specified. The correct amount should have been $0.48 /GJ which is what will be added to the $5.77 /GJ Delivery Rate over the next 3 years.
Stargas files an Application for Reconsideration of part of the BC Utilities Commission Order G-59-17
In the BCUC Order G-59-17 the Commission required Stargas to refund $6000 that Stargas had overpaid their shareholders. Stargas appealed this and after extensive arguments by both Stargas and the SSPOA (through our counsel, Norton Rose Fulbright) the Commission did reverse their decision. In short, this matter became a legal issue over the right of “retroactive ratemaking” by the Commission. You can read the full argument made by the SSPOA at:
Stargas files an Application to include Additional Costs in the 2016 delivery Rate Application Account
Stargas Utilities Ltd. also applied to the BC Utilities Commission to add additional expenses to the DRARA mentioned above. Stargas requested:
$10,000 in additional legal expenses
$5,500 in expenses to file its appeal of the $6,000 overpayment to the shareholders
$1,000 in management expenses to post 1200 credit entries as a result of the BCUC Order G-59-17
The commission asked the SSPOA for our comments on the Stargas application which can be viewed at:
The result was the $10,000 in legal fees was rejected by the BCUC and the Commission ordered an additional proceeding for the other expenses. The SSPOA submitted our argument and we await the BCUC decision, however it appears as the BCUC is considering the option of the Commission covering all of these costs (including the SSPOA PACA funding) which is good news for the Silver Star rate-payers. The SSPOA submission can be viewed at:
And a Big Thank You to: The Board of Directors wishes to express their thanks to the members of the Utility Services Committee, Sandy Cook, Cathy Clark, Ross Foden and Mike Waberski. Thanks also to Denys Lawrence, Rob Tupper and Graham Moir for their assistance on the initial BCUC proceeding.
A very special thanks is also due to Mr. Matt Keen and the law firm Norton Rose Fulbright who assisted the Association throughout the last 10 months, ensuring the SSPOA‘s representation to the BCUC was to the highest standards. Mr. Keen’s normal fee was only partially covered through PACA funding, the majority of his assistance was pro-bono for which the SSPOA is truly appreciative.
Silver Hawk Utilities File
Again this year as the Silver Hawk invoices are sent out the SSPOA receives inquiries as to the actions of the Utility. Starting in 2016 Silver Hawk was beginning to assess dwellings with suites or a “lock off” a second and sometimes a third “Annual Residential Fixed Fee”. When complaints came to the Association a letter was sent to Silver Hawk in October 2016 which in part asked:
“This seems to be a new policy and we cannot find any reference to the matter in your Sewer Tariff (revised Jan1st, 2016) document. In particular, how is Silverhawk Utilities determining that this charge is appropriate?
We have concerns that this charge may be subjective and ask you to describe the criteria that Silverhawk Utilities is using to determine if a residence has a suite requiring this additional charge.”
No response has been received to date in spite of repeated requests by email and phone calls.
This year fees were raised by 3%. The Fixed Fee was raised from $773.20 to $796.01 and the Usage Fee from $7.21 to $7.42 and in the accompanying newsletter with the 2017 invoice, Silver Hawk noted:
“Regardless of whether or not there is physically a second meter installed on the property, a second fixed fee will be charged for all properties that are a duplex, or a single family dwelling and a suite.”
The SSPOA is presently examining the charges imposed at Silver Star for sewer services. To illustrate our concern, a comparison to Sun Peaks (which also has an unregulated utility like Silver Hawk) and the rates from Vernon and Coldstream we see:
Sun Peaks Silver Star Vernon Coldstream
Basic Charge (main) $225.48 $796.01 ($676.61*) $200.80 $225.80
Basic Charge (secondary) $112.80 $796.01 ($676.61*) $200.80 $225.80
Metered Usage $3.10/CM $7.42/CM ($6.31*) $2.45/CM $2.51/CM
*Denotes discount if paid before July 30
The SSPOA Utility Services Committee is continuing to work on this file.
Mailbox Shelter Artwork
Ginny Hall has produced a wonderful painting depicting the four seasons at Silver Star, and has very generously donated the art to our local museum to be raffled off. She has also donated the reproduction rights to the art work to the SSPOA and we are having the image printed on a panel to be installed at the Mailbox Shelter. You will be able to enjoy this wonderful piece of art very soon. Thank you, Ginny for this very generous donation!
Call for Volunteers
The SSPOA Board consist of 9 Volunteers and in order to better serve the association more help is always welcome. If you have a particular talent that you are willing use to assist the Silver Star Property Association please consider contacting any of the Board Members. In Particular we are presently looking help on the Member Engagement Committee as well as the composting initiative that the SSPOA is examining.
There will also be several vacancies come up during the election at the AGM in December. Please contact any board member if you are interested in putting your name forward.
Creekside Renews their 2017 Membership
The Strata Council at Creekside decided not to renew their 2017 membership early in the year. At the Strata AGM the membership voted in favour of their membership in the SSPOA and made the commitment for the 2018 budget as well. The Board of Directors is pleased that the members of Creekside are once again part of our growing membership. It is an important factor when addressing concerns of the community that the SSPOA can state that we represent more than 550 homeowners when dealing with entities such as the BC Utilities Commission and the various levels of government.
SSPOA Newsletter Access NEW PROCESS
To access the September Newsletter members must log in to the SSPOA Website. For all members who have paid their 2017 memberships go to http://www.sspoa.ca/login/ and you can find the newsletters in the member’s area at the lower left of the home page.
If you are a member of the following Strata’s and have not registered you must register to gain access to the website member’s area and the posted Newsletter. There is no fee, just the requirement to register.
For all the homeowners who live in the following Strata’s and have not registered:
- The Silver Views
- The Snowbird
- The Firelight
- The Pinnacles
- The Alpine Meadows
- The Silver Creek
- KAS 1703
Please go to http://www.sspoa.ca/registration/ and register on the SSPOA website. You will not be required to pay, but we do need your full contact information.
For homeowners who have not yet paid your 2017 dues – please go to http://www.sspoa.ca/
and register. You will be asked for your full contact information, and be given an option to pay via PayPal or with a credit card.