Demystifying water rates in UEL - within 5% of Vancouver rates

Recently, there has been a lot of chatter west of Blanca on the subject of water rates, markups and general confusion surrounding water rates.

Below you will find a comparison of water rates between the City of Vancouver (CoV) and the UEL.

UEL has two water rates:  one is a peak rate for Jun-Sep period -  $1.3185 per cubic meter, the other is an off-peak rate for the rest of year -  $1.0544   per cubic meter (CM). (source: UEL Admin, 2010 rates)
This translates to a "blended" rate of $1.14 per 1 CM of water in UEL.

A four person household living in a bungalow in UEL uses 555.5 cubic meters of water per year according to UEL water bills. 
Therefore, such household pays $374.21 per year for the water, or $1.03 per day.

Compare that against the CoV.

CoV charges $2.01 per 100 cubic feet of water (2010 figures).  1 cu.ft. = 0.028317 CM so the CoV charges $0.71 per 1 CM of water.
At a first glance it looks like UEL residents pay 61% more for their water - $1.14 vs. $0.71 per cubic meter.

BUT, do not despair ...

.... CoV is also charging a "meter charge" per quarter.  Meter charges depend on the diameter of the water pipe and were set as follows in 2010 (they are higher now):
17mm = $26
20mm = $26 
25mm = $31

Typical household is connected to a 25mm pipe.

Thus a compareable household in CoV would pay $232.51 for water and $124 for "meter charge".
A grand total of $356.51 in CoV vs. $374.21 in UEL, a 5% difference.

PEDESTRIAN CROSSING ON BLANCA AND 8th - $250,000 to install traffic lights

Following their traffic study, the City of Vancouver declined our request for installations of a marked pedestrian crossing at the intersection of Blanca St. and 8th Ave.


In two months UEL residents will be electing their representatives for the Community Advisory Council (CAC) to advise the UEL Manager on issues related to the quality of life and tax impacts on UEL residents.

The last three years highlighted a number of areas that could be improved going forward.  The following three stand out: 
- communication with UEL residents,
- UEL governance and administration, and
- our taxes and UEL finances.

Laneway housing and increased density - observations from our neighbours at Dunbar

In early March, our neighbours to the East at the Dunbar Residents Association held a presentation on laneway housing.  A subject relevant to UEL residents as the UEL Administration is attempting to introduce unrestricted, rental suites in UEL.

part 1


UBC line - translink update - public consultation

From March 30 to April 6, Translink will be holding public consultation on the preliminary designs and
evaluation of the rapid transit alternatives for the future UBC Line

Join Translink at one of the following consultation sessions or online to learn more about the potential
alignment, station locations, the costs, benefits and impacts of each alternative, and have your say.

Confusion - "survey" in our mailboxes

The anonymous letter placed in our mailboxes illustrates the confusion created among UEL residents due to the lack of communication between the UEL Administration, the Community Advisory Council and UEL Residents.

I believe that residents DO need to bring themselves up to speed with proposed changes in order to make an informed decision.  With that in mind, I provide more background and where needed, set the record straight as per the issues raised in the anonymous letter.

Best Bus

It appears that Translink heard our local concerns that expensive, new train infrastructure may not be the best at serving our transportation needs and it is worth to examine how our existing bus lines can be utilized more efficiently.

Among the obvious solutions to help transit buses negotiate city traffic is to ban bicycles from bus routes.
At the same time the City should expand the network of bicycle routes on residential streets.

Currently a single cyclist moving slower than 15 km/h is slowing down more than 50 commuters on a bus capable of traveling three times faster.

West Point Grey - community vision

Last Fall, the City of Vancouver published a document called "West Point Grey Community Vision".  It may be of interest to the residents of Little Australia as it has a number of points that are likely to impact our neighbourhood.

Some interesting points include:
• reduce lanes on 10th Avenue to one each way between Alma and Blanca (with left turning lanes)

CAUTION - Burrard and Pacific intersection is more dangerous

As Vancouverites woke up to the cheerful rumble of planters being placed on Hornby street to fulfill the dream of a segregated bike lane in the name of safety, ICBC data shows a chilling reality - that the number of accidents on the north end of the Burrard Street Bridge actually skyrocketed after the separated bike lane was installed on the bridge.

Last summer, right after the lanes were installed, was horrific. There was one accident per day, compared to one a week in the summer of 2008. The rest of the year continued to be bleak. Ahead of the holiday season, there were 33 per cent more accidents as families went shopping, attended holiday events and had to navigate their way through crowded bus and car lanes as the separated bike lanes stood largely empty. The second half of last year saw 130 accidents -- nearly twice the rate as in previous years. 

In the first half of this year we still had a 38-per-cent increase in accidents, with the winter months being the worst. Bus, car commuters and commercial-vehicle drivers, who are 95 per cent of the Burrard Bridge users, face more accidents on its north end while the number of cyclists crossing the bridge remains at five per cent. The dream of safety for a few has turned into a nightmare for many.