News

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Regional District of East Kootenay Local Conservation Program Awarded

March 08, 2017 - 9:35pm

The Regional District of East Kootenay’s Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund has been named as a recipient of a 2017 peer nominated award from the Species and Ecosystems at Risk (SEAR) Local Government Working Group. The award went to local governments who have demonstrated exemplary work on a species and ecosystems at risk related initiative and the RDEK was one of six BC local governments to receive the recognition. “The Columbia Valley Conservation Fund has provided funding to a number of important on-the-ground programs…
Swift Response by Fire Crews Keeps Blaze Contained

March 08, 2017 - 2:10pm

Members of the Fairmont Fire and Windermere Fire Departments responded to a fire in Fairmont overnight. Twelve firefighters and a tender truck from Windermere responded to the blaze on Wills Road. “When we arrived, we found one area of the home engulfed,” explains Columbia Valley Rural Fire & Rescue Service Chief, Jim Miller. “Our efforts focused on keeping the fire isolated in that area to protect the rest of the home and prevent further loss.” The fire was contained to the north side of the home in the…
Warming Centres Close as Highway Reopens

February 07, 2017 - 11:46am

As the sun makes an appearance in the East Kootenay, the warming centres in the Elk Valley have closed and traffic is getting back to normal. Highway 3 has reopened at the BC/Alberta border and the warming centres in Sparwood and Fernie have shut down. While the Emergency Program Coordinators will continue to monitor conditions closely, the RDEK’s Emergency Operations Centre is also closed following this week’s massive snowfall across the East Kootenay. All area highways are now open and there are no longer any weather warnings in effect.  As residents continue to dig themselves out,…
RDEK Hunts for Outstanding Volunteers

February 07, 2017 - 11:45am

If you know an outstanding volunteer in one of the rural areas in the region, the RDEK wants to hear from you! Nomination forms are now available for the 2017 Electoral Area Volunteer of the Year and, as it has in past years, the Regional District will once again be honouring one outstanding volunteer from each of its six Electoral Areas. “Our Volunteer of the Year program recognizes an individual or couple from each of our Electoral Areas and gives us the opportunity to pay tribute to them and to all the volunteers who give selflessly to…
Warming Centres Open as Snow Blankets East Kootenay

February 06, 2017 - 3:29pm

The RDEK’s Emergency Operations Centre has been activated in the Elk Valley to help coordinate support efforts in the wake of this week’s heavy snowfall. Emergency Social Services (ESS) volunteers have opened warming centres in Sparwood and Elko and have a third warming centre opening this afternoon in Fernie to help provide a warm shelter for stranded travellers as Highway 3 remains closed in two areas. “Currently, 38 people have registered at the warming centre in Sparwood and Elko has 11,” says RDEK Information Officer Loree Duczek. “Drivers are asked to postpone any non-essential travel. If it’s not…
Wood Grinding to Start at Columbia Valley Landfill this Week

January 03, 2017 - 10:42am

The Regional District of East Kootenay will be grinding the wood waste and green waste at the Columbia Valley Landfill site over the next few weeks. The contractor is expected to be on site as early as this Thursday, January 5th and grinding will take place during regular landfill hours.  The public is asked to stay well back from the equipment and machinery. For more information, please contact Jim Penson at 250-489-2791 or 1-888-478-7335.  
2016: A Year in Review by RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay

December 22, 2016 - 8:25am

2016 was another dynamic year at the Regional District of East Kootenay and looking back, there are several highlights.  In May, we celebrated the retirement of our long-time and very successful Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Lee-Ann Crane.  Shawn Tomlin was named the new CAO by the Board and has transitioned into his new role.  In other staffing news, the Board approved a six- year collective agreement with CUPE staff (Jan 1, 2016 – Dec 31, 2022), which includes an average wage increase of 1.7% per year. Other key features within the agreement include a commitment to a job…
Windermere Fire Department Responds to Residential House Fire

December 06, 2016 - 12:15pm

Members of the Windermere Fire Department, with assistance from the Invermere Fire Department, responded to a residential house fire in Windermere yesterday afternoon. Approximately 14 firefighters arrived on scene and spent four hours fighting the fire. “The house itself will be a total loss, but thanks to the quick action of the firefighters we were able to isolate the fire and the residents will be able to save many of their belongings,” explains Columbia Valley Rural Fire and Rescue Service Fire Chief, Jim…
Latest Draft of the Kimberley Rural OCP Unveiled to the Public

December 01, 2016 - 9:48am

After months of consultation, the draft of the updated Kimberley Rural Official Community Plan (OCP) is now available for review and comment. “For the past year we have been working with residents and other stakeholders to review the OCP and get input about their future vision for their community,” says RDEK Planner Michele Bates.  “It is always exciting to be able to present the draft and I am now looking forward to receiving comments on it.” The draft OCP was unveiled at an Open House Tuesday evening, which was attended by 35 people.  It will be posted…
Jaffray Fire Department - Recruits from Wardner Area Welcome

November 30, 2016 - 4:04pm

The Jaffray Fire Department is in need of some new recruits.  You don’t have to live in Jaffray or within the Fire Protection Area to be a part of the department and we are taking new recruits from as far away as Wardner.   No experience is required and all the training is provided (for free).  There is a weekly training night in Jaffray along with some online training.  If you live in the Wardner area and are interested in becoming a paid-on-call firefighter with the Jaffray Department, we’d love to hear from you! Click Here to…
RDEK Seeks Help Identifying Illegal Dumper

November 28, 2016 - 2:43pm

The RDEK is hoping someone may have seen an act of illegal dumping at the Canal Flats Transfer Station last week. “We believe between late afternoon Monday and sometime Tuesday morning someone with a dump trailer disposed of 40 black plastic bags in the wood pile at the Transfer Station,” explains RDEK Solid Waste Superintendent Jim Penson. “The bags were filled with insulation, brown cellulose and vermiculite, which likely contains asbestos.” What makes this incident of illegal dumping so perplexing is that the asbestos…
Emergency Exercise Hailed a Success

October 21, 2016 - 9:19am

A large-scale fuel leak in the Elk River, motor vehicles incidents involving hazardous materials and multiple injuries were all part of the mock-scenarios yesterday as part of the RDEK’s full-scale emergency exercise in the Elk Valley and South Country. “Between emergency responders, participating agencies, volunteers and emergency program personnel, we had over one hundred people participating in the exercise,” says Elk Valley and South Country Emergency Program Coordinator Marianne Stone.  “It presented so many learning opportunities for everyone who took part.” The exercise was designed to test inter-agency cooperation and response, procedures, information systems, communications and coordination. …
Regional RDEK Firefighter Recruitment Drive Underway

October 18, 2016 - 10:22am

A region wide firefighter recruitment drive is underway in the Regional District of East Kootenay. “Our fire departments play a pivotal role in our rural communities,” explains Elk Valley & South Country Fire Chief Dave Boreen. “To keep these departments running and able to answer the call, we need to have a dedicated core of firefighters and are looking to bolster our numbers in every department.” The RDEK has fire departments in Jaffray, Baynes Lake, Elko, Hosmer, Fairmont, Windermere, Edgewater and Panorama and the goal of the campaign is to recruit 10 new members to each department…
RDEK to Provide Update on Windermere Water

August 12, 2016 - 2:31pm

The RDEK is encouraging residents and property owners in Windermere to attend one of the two upcoming Open Houses they have scheduled regarding the status of the Windermere Treated Water Project. "The goal of the Open Houses is to provide residents with an update on where things are at, including the current options for treated water,” says RDEK Project Supervisor Elizabeth Ahlgren. “Another important aspect for us is the feedback. We are looking for input from residents as we move closer to bringing an option out to the community through a formal assent process.”
Road Construction May Lead to Delays for Elk Valley Transit

August 09, 2016 - 8:46am

The current road construction between Sparwood and Fernie may add an additional 1/2 hour to your trip in both directions. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. For up to date information on issues that may effect the Elk Valley Transit System, please visit https://bctransit.com/elk-valley/home
New Composting Pilot Project Underway

July 22, 2016 - 2:22pm

Residents of the Columbia Valley and Elk Valley are being encouraged to take part in a new pilot composting project being coordinated by the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) this summer.  “Residents are now able to drop off their household kitchen waste at the Columbia Valley Landfill, and Sparwood and Fernie Transfer Stations,” explains RDEK Environmental Services Manager Kevin Paterson. “The composting bins for the public are specially marked and will be available through the end of October.” The program accepts nearly all kitchen scraps. While many residents in the East Kootenay already compost fruits and…
Public a Key Part of Identifying 9-1-1 Service Concerns

July 20, 2016 - 10:34am

Recent follow-up by a Kimberley resident with concerns about a 9-1-1 call he placed has helped the RDEK identify and correct an issue with dispatch terminology. “We had a resident contact one of our South Country Rural Fire Departments recently after he called to report a vehicle fire on a rural road and the local fire department didn’t respond,” explains RDEK Emergency Services Coordinator Travis Abbey. “We have a system in place to follow up on questions or concerns regarding both 9-1-1 and fire dispatch, and during the investigation into this complaint, it was discovered that there was…
Quick Action by Fire Department and Neighbours in Suzanne Lake Area

July 18, 2016 - 8:40pm

Jaffray firefighters are currently on the scene of a small lightning caused fire in the Suzanne Lake area.  The fire was first reported at approximately 7:00pm and was initially actioned by local residents until fire crews arrived.  We have six Jaffray firefighters on scene and a BC Wildfire Service crew is en route. The fire is not threatening any structures and is guarded and under control. A big thanks to the residents and firefighters for their quick action this evening!  Pictured: …
Idle Wild Dam Rehabilitation Project Made Possible Thanks to Federal Gas Tax Fund

July 05, 2016 - 4:37pm

Reposted from the City of Cranbrook Enjoying Canada’s vast green spaces and parks is a favourite pastime for Canadian families as a way to meet with relatives and neighbours, appreciate nature and share some quiet time. Residents and visitors to the City of Cranbrook area will soon be able to enjoy the restored and enhanced Idlewild Lake and park areas thanks to a project that will rehabilitate the Idlewild Dam. The work is being completed thanks to $2.8 million provided through the federal Gas…
Cherry Creek Falls Regional Park Officially Opened

June 15, 2016 - 9:09am

Cherry Creek Falls Regional Park Officially Opened Over 100 people attended the official opening of the Cherry Creek Falls Regional Park over the weekend. “It was wonderful to see so many people come out to celebrate. The number of people who came out to mark the grand opening speaks to how much this landmark is treasured,” says Electoral Area E Director Jane Walter. The evolution of the park from a landmark known and used by locals to a protected regional park occurred over a five year period and involved the community and all levels of government. In April 2011, an application was submitted to…

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