Rutland Residents Association hosts discussion on ‘Amalgamation of Water Districts’ information meeting.

Highlights from the information meetingIMG_3292 held, Apr 21, 2016.  To view the minutes from the meeting please click here Rutland RA, April 21 meeting minutes from Water Amalgamation Meeting

Guests Mr. Gordon Ivans, trustee Black Mountain Irrigation District

Mr. Garry Zarr, trustee  Rutland Waterworks

Mr. Ivans and Mr. Zarr referred to the Kelowna Joint Water Committee (KJWC). This is a coordinating organization for the five water utilities that operate within the City of Kelowna. It was formed in 1991 to promote standardization of methods and materials, improve communication and to provide an integrated approach to water supply within City Boundaries. The five utilities include: the City of Kelowna Water Utility (City), the Black Mountain Irrigation District (BMID), the Glenmore-Ellison Improvement District (GEID), Rutland Waterworks District (RWD), and the South East Kelowna Irrigation District (SEKID).

Comments amalgamation of the water districts with the City of Kelowna.

  • A 300 page report outlining the Kelowna Integrated Water Supply-Plan (KIWS Plan) is a City-wide water improvement plan for all of Kelowna that provides overall water quality solutions regardless of utility boundaries or available resources.  The plan was prepared in 2012 by a technical committee representing the five largest Kelowna water utilities. The plan was agreed to by the City of Kelowna ( Mayor Walter Gray) and the major water providers (BMID, RWW, GEID, SEKID). The City would be the vehicle for grant applications by individual districts.
  • The City now no longer supports the KIWS Plan and has prepared its own separate hypothesis plan. As a result of this turn around by the City there are now mediation discussions to set terms of reference for a value planning process overseen by Hon. Peter Fassbender representing the Province and two consultants Mr. George Abbott and Mr. Chris Trumpy hired by the Province. Mr. Trumpy is working with the City and Mr. Abbott is working with the four other major water providers.
  • The water districts and the City are meeting with provincial government mediators to work out terms of reference and a process for value planning, which is a third party review of planning for proposed new water projects.
  • The governance structure for an amalgamated water body is a contentious issue and is not part of the discussions, and is not supported by the four major water providers.
  • .BMID, RWW and GEID water districts have completed many millions of dollars of infrastructure work on behalf of their ratepayers to meet health standards. The districts are not allowed to apply for grants for projects that are in progress. Infrastructure grants for water projects may be available to the City The City wants control of those funds and wants control of the allocation of those funds to various projects.
  • BMID, RWW, GEID have compliance water systems and meet health standards and would not benefit from an amalgamated water body.  They are not eligible for grants for projects that have already started. The SEKID system is the one that the most needs help.  SEKID has a large agriculture component and needs a dual system for domestic and agriculture use. SEKID lacks the population base to upgrade their system using their own funds and would need help to raise the estimated 24 million or more  through grants and from other water districts.
  • The Ellison area is part of the GEID but this area is outside the City. At the present time the City would not support funding any projects in that area.
  • Value planning needs to be done.
  • Treasury Board in Ottawa has not figured out how grant money will flow.
  • RWW and BMID are interconnected and support each other.
  • The BMID and RWW reservoirs are full to capacity as a result of a large snow pack.  Water resources for BMID and RRW are secure and adequate.
  • The governance structure of an amalgamated water authority is not presently under discussion.   The City wants to take over control all water supplies in the districts. At the moment the trustees do not know where a discussion dealing with governance is going; how it would work, etc. Should the Regional District be involved?
  • Residents are also concerned that the City would, if it had control or our water, sell water rights and water to outside sources.
  • The City does not have legal powers to force amalgamation of the water districts with the City. That power lies with the province. The premier has stated that the Province will not force amalgamation.
  • The meeting did not vote on the issue of amalgamation as this was an information meeting, but residents in attendance expressed their satisfaction with the current water supplies provided by RWW and BMID and actions of the trustees. Those in attendance did not support amalgamation with the City.
  • It was suggested that the RRA write a letter to Hon. Fassbender indicating support for RWW and BMID and their efforts on behalf of their ratepayers as well as a lack of support for amalgamation of water districts with the City.

This part of the meeting adorned at 7:40 PM for 10 minutes to permit guests who did not want to stay for the continuation of the regular meeting to leave.


John Huston



‘What’s Going On’ regarding the Proposed Amalgamation of the Water Districts in the City of Kelowna. Presentation and Discussion Apr 21 for Rutland Residents.

IMG_5580Photo: The Black Mountain Water Irrigation Yard, Apr 11 2016.

This upcoming April 21, 2016, at 7:oo pm at the Rutland Centennial Hall, the Rutland Residents Association will be hosting a meeting that purposes to assist with the understanding and implications of The  City of Kelowna’s proposed Amalgamation of the Five Water Purveyors in the City.

The meeting will begin with a presentation by a representative of the Rutland Water Works District, Garry Zarr (Chairman), and Gordy Evans Representing the Black Mountain Irrigation District . They will present their views on the City of Kelowna’s proposed amalgamation of the five water purveyors in the city.

  • What does it mean for residents of Rutland/Black Mountain?
  • Come with your questions and concerns.
  • A short business meeting will follow the presentations.
  • All Rutland residents are welcome to attend.

For further information email John Huston at, or John Vielvoye at

AG Superstore: 43 Years in Rutland

AG Superstore (160 Dougal Road North), in Business for 43 years in Rutland. Serving Kelowna from 1977 to 2015, will be closing its doors this fall.

After 43 years of doing business in Rutland, AG Superstore is closing its doors. For a number of years, AG Superstore was the only Outdoor Store in Kelowna.  Throughout its history the AG Superstore had adapted to change.  In the late 70’s and early 80’s the store was a place where you could find bargains, from damaged food cans to discontinued  goods, and also clothing products that came from container sales on the coast. AG Superstore was then located near the corner of Hwy 33 and Rutland Road, (near the area where the MCC Thrift Store is now located).  There were regular customers always checking in to see what the latest bargains were. The store later evolved  to became more of a Surplus Store, selling tents and Army Surplus goods.

Audry Gasser, who owns the store with her son Randy, adds ” that it was important to have space in your store to keep inventory, and we made sure we had space keep large purchases that we could sell.”  Audry’s eyes dance as she talks about the store during the 1970’s.  “Our clothing racks were  displaying the latest fashions on the sidewalk outside the store, Ohhh it was wonderful!  I would have music playing, and bell bottom jeans would be on the rack outside.  The breeze would blow the legs of the jeans like they were dancing, and I would be dancing too!”   Randy said that they had to adapt in the mid 1980’s, as the tents they were selling (Red 5’x7′ tents and other items), were being outsold by cheaper goods that were coming from Japan at larger department stores.  It was around then that Laurie Gasser came on board with her mom and brother.  Laurie (accountant and  an avid hiker) helped the family transition into focusing on the outdoor enthusiast, with more selection of hiking products and the addition of canoes and kayaks.

The Gasser's, from Left to Right: Laurie, Randy, and Audry - Standing at the checkout desk of AG Superstore.

The Gasser family, from Left to Right: Laurie, Randy, and Audry – Standing at the checkout desk of AG Superstore. Cooper, (front row) is the latest addition to the staff.


During the early 80’s, the Gassers bought land on Dougal Road, and built a new building to house AG Superstore, to where it now stands today.  An architect helped design the building which gives it a nice outdoor store ambiance.  Many shoppers will also remember Don Raesler (sales staff) who would assist with his knowledge of the gear.  Don has been with AG for 13 years.  “As a kid he was always coming into our store. He knew everything about our products, and when we were needing help we decided to hire him”.

Whether it is retirement or just wanting to make a change, don’t be surprised if Audry and family start another venture and AG Superstore reinvents itself in some other form.  Audry  is full of spunk and energy that rivals that of people a quarter her age.

I will miss AG Superstore. I would buy gear, shoes, camping odds and ends, sleeping bags, foam, flashlights, knifes, and clothing.  I enjoyed the the customer service and the friendly atmosphere.  AG Superstore is a perfect example of a locally owned family business that added value and diversity to our local economy.  I feel a  sadness with the knowing that AG Superstore is closing down as the Gassers turn the page to another chapter in their lives.  I wish we could have more businesses like theirs in our city.   I will remember well when I have to drive to other outdoor stores much further away ..that lovely locally owned Outdoor Store that was so close to home.  Blessings and best wishes to you.

John Huston

The Future of the Corner of Highway 33 and Rutland Road, discussion with Development CEO Gary Tebbutt, April 16 at the Rutland Centennial Hall, 7:00 pm.

What will be the future of the Empty Lot at the corner of hwy 33 and Rutland Road? Compass Real Estate Development CEO Gary Tebbutt will be at Thursdays Meeting to discuss future plans for the highly visible corner lot.

The Rutland Residents Association will have Compass Real Estate Development CEO Gary Tebbutt at our April 16 RRA General meeting at the Rutland Centennial Hall at 7:00 pm.  The NE corner of Rutland Road and Highway 33 has long been a subject of great interest many Rutland Residents.  What ever plans that will be put forward will have a very significant impact on the image and identity of Rutland.  Again due to work commitments I will not be able to chair Thursdays meeting and John V will stand in as Chair.

Our Revised Constitution and  Bylaws have been updated at the last few meetings.  We have filed the changes to the BC Registry for Society’s and the bylaws are now official..  You can view the latest Bylaws by clicking here 2015 Constitution and Bylaws of the RRA


The minutes of last months meeting can be viewed by clicking here 2015 March 19 RRA meeting minutes


John Huston

President RRA

Heritage Project Priorities to be discussed at next Residents Association Meeting, Mar 19, 2015

There are a number of Historical Projects that are underway in the City.  The Rutland Residents Association will meet to identify discuss and give their input to project priorities at the Mar 19th Regular Meeting of the Residents Association.  Meeting is at the Rutland Centennial Hall, Thursday Mar 19, 2014.   Peter Chataway will be our special guest to speak and assist the Association with the inventory and history of various heritage projects.   The minutes for the Feb 19th meeting are here RRA Minutes 2015 02 19     I will not be able to chair the meeting due to work commitments, standing in will be John Vielvoye.

st aidens

St Aiden’s Church, corner of Rutland Rd and Mugford Rd, One of the Historical Sites to be discussed.


The Rutland Residents Association was active recently in promoting our Heritage and History at  Heritage Week (Feb 16-22).  Our Association hosted a breakfast at the First United Church on Bernard Ave which was well attended.  Rutland was also represented by the Association (in conjunction with the Heritage Society),  with a display at the Royal Ann Hotel.  Rutland Volunteers were;  Ola Casan, Jill Siebert, John & Evelyn Vielvoye. Danita Lischka, Andrew Powell, Peter Pagliocchini, Shirley Schmidt, Ev & John Vielvoye.

John V, Andrew P- R.R.A.(1)

John Vielvoye and Andrew Powel

Danita, Ev, Shirley Schmidt

Danita (left), Evelyn Vielvoye (middle) and Shirley Schmidt (right)

Christina, Peter, Marguerite, John Heritage Week

Peter Pagliocchini, Christina, Marguerite,  John Vielvoye

Bernard. Shirley Schmidt,  Evelyn

Bernard. Shirley Schmidt, Evelyn