The RDKB is highlighting decisions made over the last two months of 2020. In Trail, the regional district runs from an office on Rossland Avenue. Photo: Jim Bailey

The RDKB is highlighting decisions made over the last two months of 2020. In Trail, the regional district runs from an office on Rossland Avenue. Photo: Jim Bailey

Year-end highlights at the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary

The next board meeting is Jan. 13 at 1:00 p.m. via Zoom.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) is rounding up the year with a summary of happenings over the past few months.

The next board meeting is Jan. 13 at 1:00 p.m. via Zoom.

December

Red Earth Medicine for Snowy Medicine Trails program

• The RDKB granted $1,825 to Red Earth Medicine near Westbridge for a program that combines an outdoor snowshoe activity with weekly two-hour snowshoe treks, an invitation for each participant to trek in their own neighbourhood, or a video of exercises that can often be done outside

Snowy Medicine Trails is a Zoom-based program that provides various medicine teachings and a platform for participants to share their experiences, learn about plants, and to gather their own medicines from their own land. Both programs encourage physical activity and sharing their experience of being on the land or in movement.

The purpose of the West Boundary Recreation Grant is to facilitate and foster recreation programs, with a focus on physical activity, for the residents of the West Boundary.

Bridesville Community

• The board approved an application by the Bridesville Community Club for $25,000 from Electoral Area E/West Boundary Gas Tax to pay for upgrades to the roof at the community hall. The board also approved a separate application by the Beaverdell Community Club and Recreation Commission for $12,860 to help fund construction of a water-less toilet for the ball park and river beach area, as part of an overall park upgrade project.

The club uses the land under agreement with Teck Resources and Teck has donated $10,000 to the club for construction of a new gravel road to the beach area.

New RDKB website

The RDKB has launched a new website. Adjustments and changes will continue as feedback comes in from regional staff, the board, stakeholders and the public about how it is working for everyone over the coming months.

New faces

• The Board and staff welcome Kecia Kemp to the RDKB team. Kecia was hired to fill the position of Payroll and Accounts Payable Coordinator on Dec. 1.

Kecia moved from the Lower Mainland to the West Kootenay in 2006 and raised two children in Trail. She holds a Payroll Compliance Practitioner designation and has worked in administration and finance for a variety of companies throughout her career, with experience in the education, mining, forestry and food sectors.

GIS staff changes

• Congratulations to Heather Potter who has moved from GIS Technician to Senior Planning Technician to lead the GIS mapping team. Congratulations in turn to Katie Erickson who is now GIS Technician after working for the RDKB as a Selkirk College co-op student for the last year.

Beaver Valley, Greater Trail facilities

• Greg Partridge is now temporary full-time Operator in Training at the Beaver Valley Arena and Jodi Stredulinsky who is temporary full-time Custodian at the Greater Trail Community Centre.

Join the Conversation

• Since its official launch in 2019, the RDKB’s online engagement site jointheconversation.rdkb.com has received nearly 10,000 unique visits from residents across the region, and the RDKB expects that number to double in 2021. With the arrival of the pandemic in March 2020, the site has proven invaluable to allow the regional district to continue to incorporate public feedback and ideas into projects ranging from official community plans to transit to trail use.

Everyone is welcome to view projects and register to participate or receive project updates at jointheconversation.rdkb.com.

Grants-in-Aid:

• Electoral Area E/West Boundary: $500 to King of Kings New Testament Church to pay for meals at The Bridge Drop-In Centre; $500 to King of Kings New Testament Church for the Greenwood Food Bank; $4,000 to Midway Public Library to pay for its extension of library its membership to all Area E/West Boundary residents in 2020.

November

Byelection for Area D director

• Residents of Electoral Area D/Rural Grand Forks can vote for a new director in the upcoming by-election on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Advance voting will take place Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021.

Location and hours of all voting is from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Grand Forks Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Eligible Electoral Area D/Rural Grand Forks electors may also vote by mail ballot.

Former RDKB director Roly Russell elected MLA for Boundary Similkameen

• Former Area D director Roly Russell was elected as MLA for Boundary Similkameen in the provincial general election on Oct. 24.

Russell served as RDKB director for rural Grand Forks for six years, two of those as chair. He served on many committees, the Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Governments and the executive of the Union of BC Municipalities. On behalf of the RDKB board, chair Diane Langman thanked Russell for his service to the region, congratulated him in his new role as MLA and Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development and looks forward to working with him.

BC Energy Step Code

• Through its BUILTbetter program, FortisBC has provided the RDKB with $18,690 to launch the BC Energy Step Code – Build Energy Smart project. This online initiative helps builders prepare for the BC Energy Step Code that will become mandatory in 2022. The project is hosted at jointheconversation.rdkb.com.

Tipping fee increases

• The board adopted Solid Waste Management Facilities Regulatory Bylaw No. 1744 to allow an increase in tipping fees. Starting Jan. 1, rates for household garbage will increase from $110/tonne to $120/tonne and source separated organics rates will increase from $40/tonne to $55/tonne.

Increases are needed to cover projected costs for regional composting programs and landfill upgrades at the Grand Forks and McKelvey Creek regional landfills and improvements to the West Boundary Landfill required to meet provincial regulations.

If tipping fees are not increased, taxation will have to be increased to provide required project revenue.

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, an increase in tipping fees approved by the board in February 2020 and slated to start in May 1, 2020 was deferred by the board at the March 31, 2020 board meeting. The need for future increases to tipping fees will be reviewed in fall 2022.

Grants-in-Aid:

Electoral Area C/Christina Lake: $2,500 to the Kootenay Robusters Society to pay for a ten-year License of Occupation for a portion of La Valley Road in Christina Lake as part of a Provincial Public Highway Agreement. This license allows the dragonboat team to take the next steps toward building a boathouse.

Electoral Area E/West Boundary: $6,000 to the Kettle River Food Share Society to pay for a Food Share Exchange Coordinator to run the food share and exchange program and coordinate volunteers; $375 to the West Boundary Community Services Co-op to pay for mandatory employment related costs for Canada Summer Job 2020

Board chair acclaimed,

• Warfield Director Diane Langman was acclaimed chair of the RDKB board of directors and Electoral Area C/Christina Lake Director Grace McGregor was re-elected as vice-chair at the Nov. 10 board meeting.

This is Director Langman’s second term as chair. She served for the past four years both as Warfield director at the RDKB and mayor of the Village of Warfield.

Director Grace McGregor was re-elected as board vice-chair for a fourth consecutive term. Rossland Director Andy Morel also ran for the position.

Both the board chair and vice-chair serve a one-year term.

Warfield Fire Station

• Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue (KBRFR) Station 372 in Warfield is getting a new fire engine. The new truck will replace its 2009 truck, which will be transferred to Station 373 in Genelle and the Genelle fire engine will become a reserve truck.

The truck will cost $510,962 which is $60,960 above what was budgeted in 2019, as prices increased more in the past year than could be anticipated. The board of directors voted to amend the 2020-2024 Five Year Financial Plan budget to allow the increase and approved the award of a contract to Fort Gary Fire Trucks to supply the truck. This was the lowest price of all proposals submitted to KBRFR.

Fire trucks and other frontline apparatus are required to be replaced at 20 years old to maintain fire insurance gradings.

2020 RDKB housing needs

• House and Home – RDKB Housing Needs Report is available for review at jointheconversation.rdkb.com, the RDKB’s online engagement site. The report looks at current and projected housing needs across the housing continuum, from emergency shelter to home ownership. It serves as a baseline report to inform policy for the RDKB’s eight municipalities and five electoral areas with respect to housing planning and development, land use planning, and regional planning.

Kootenay Boundary Regional District