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2024/2025 Resident Directed Grants Funding Approved

June 21, 2024 - 1:38pm

The Regional District of East Kootenay Board of Directors has approved funding for 138 projects around the region over the coming year. The funding comes from Columbia Basin Trust’s ReDi (Resident Directed) Grants, which are administered by the RDEK.  “The approved 2024/2025 projects represent over $1.2 million in funding that will support a wide range of unique, valuable and impactful projects across our region,” says RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay. “These funds truly shape the vibrancy of our communities and we are incredibly grateful to the Trust for their continued support of the ReDi...
Incredible Legacy Left by Electoral Area G Volunteer of the Year

June 19, 2024 - 2:25pm

The Electoral Area G Town Hall Meeting was held in Wilmer last night, and the evening kicked off with a tribute the 2024 Electoral Area G Volunteer of the Year Penny Powers.  “Penny was a truly remarkable woman who gave so much of her time and heart to so many people, organizations and causes. We are honoured to pay tribute to her and to her incredible legacy of giving in our Valley,” says RDEK Electoral Area G Director Roberta Schnider.   Powers was a passionate volunteer for a multitude of organizations including the Toby Creek Nordic Ski Club, Banff Film Fest, ‘Babes on Blades’...
Elk Valley and South Country Firefighters Practice Rural Water Shuttling

June 12, 2024 - 2:39pm

Members of our Elk Valley and South Country Fire Departments will be participating in their annual “moving big water” training exercise Thursday evening.  “This exercise tests our ability to shuttle water with our water tenders and gives our team an excellent opportunity to work together to practice this unique aspect of rural firefighting ,” says Elk Valley and South Country Rural Fire & Rescue Service Deputy Chief, Ben Goertzen. “Living in the rural areas we do, we don’t always have the ability to hook up to a fire hydrant and the process to fill our tenders with water from an alternate...
Self-Fill Sandbag Station Set Up in Fairmont as Freshet Continues

June 12, 2024 - 2:30pm

With the warmer temperatures, the potential for thunderstorms in the forecast, and the ongoing spring freshet, the RDEK has set up two self-fill sandbag stations. The RDEK is encouraging residents who live in flood-prone areas to take steps to be prepared in the event the region does experience localized flooding. Self-fill sandbag stations have been set up in Fairmont behind the old barn at Mountainside Golf Course on Hot Springs Road and at the Hoodoo Mountain Resort on Highway 93/95 near the Centex Gas Station. The sandbag stations have sand and bags; however, residents need to bring...
2024 Electoral Area Volunteers of the Year Announced

June 12, 2024 - 10:52am

The RDEK has announced its 2024 Electoral Area Volunteers of the Year. “We recognize the profound impact volunteers have. They are the heart of our communities and it is an honour for us to pay special tribute to them through the annual Electoral Area Volunteer of the Year Awards Program,” says RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay.   This year’s award recipients are: Area A – Terry Horton Area B – Corlyn Haarstad Area C – Allan Watson Area E – Marilyn Bowen Area F – Doug Sinclair Area G – Penny Powers** (**posthumous award) The volunteers will be recognized individually in conjunction with...
New Planning Process Gets Underway for Electoral Area A in the Elk Valley

June 12, 2024 - 8:25am

The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) has initiated a new planning process that will review and update the Elk Valley Official Community Plan (OCP). “It has been 10 years since the Elk Valley OCP was adopted and it is time for it to be reviewed and updated so that it reflects the community’s current vision for the future,” explains RDEK Planning Supervisor, Karen Macleod. “The planning process will include extensive public engagement and consultation and will focus on developing policies that are reflective of current community perspectives.” The Elk Valley OCP planning process...
One Person Recovering After Being Rescued from Steep Embankment

June 11, 2024 - 10:43am

A young adult and his dog have been rescued following a harrowing fall overnight in the Elko area. “The teen and his dog fell over an extremely steep embankment. When we assessed the scene, it was determined he’d fallen several hundred feet down the slope and was beyond our rope rescue capability,” explains Elk Valley & South Country Rural Fire and Rescue Chief Michael Hockley. “Search and Rescue was dispatched out of Fernie and worked through the night until around 4am to get the patient and his dog up safely up the bank.” In total, 12 firefighters and 7 SAR members responded to the...
Firefighters Respond to Multiple Grass Fires Along Highway

May 31, 2024 - 10:20pm

Emergency responders immediately took action tonight after multiple small fires broke out along the highway just north of Windermere. “When we arrived, we found 14 separate grass fires burning alongside the highway spread across about two kilometres,” explains  Columbia Valley Rural Fire & Rescue Deputy Chief Jon Tames.  “We are extremely grateful to the members of the Shuswap Band, public and other response agencies for their quick actions to help.” Nine members and four pieces of apparatus from the Windermere Fire Department responded to the call just after 8:30pm and remained on site...
Rural Property Tax Notices to be Mailed Soon by Province

May 24, 2024 - 11:33am

Property tax notices will soon be arriving in mailboxes for rural property owners in the RDEK. “The RDEK is not a taxing authority, so for all rural properties in the East Kootenay, your tax notices are sent from the Surveyor of Taxes in Victoria,” explains RDEK Chief Financial Officer Holly Ronnquist. “The Province collects the provincial-rural, school and regional district taxes and then sends the regional district its portion on behalf of the rural residents.”  The RDEK’s portion of the tax notice for rural property owners is found in the local services section of the notice and...
Jaffray Fire Responds to RV Fire  

May 20, 2024 - 6:40pm

Members of the Jaffray Fire Department responded to a recreational vehicle fire near Tie Lake Monday afternoon. “We were alerted to the fire by recreationalists who happened across the burning structure while they were out on their ATVs,” explains Elk Valley and South Country Rural Fire & Rescue Chief Michael Hockley. “Upon arrival, it appears as though the fire may have started sometime overnight and the trailer is a full loss.  There was no sign of occupants in or around the trailer and, at this time, it appears that no one was home at the time the fire broke out.” A total of six...
Water Quality Advisory Issued for Edgewater Water System

May 17, 2024 - 1:12pm

Effective today, Friday, May 17, 2024 a Water Quality Advisory has been issued for the Edgewater Water System.  “The onset of the warmer weather this week has kicked off the annual spring freshet and the melting of some of the higher elevation snow. This melt causes water levels in area waterways to rise and the water often becomes cloudier as increased sediment and debris get picked up. These particles in the water are referred to as turbidity and can have an impact on water disinfection and treatment,” says RDEK General Manager of Engineering and Environmental Services, Kevin Paterson....
RDEK Urges Edgewater Residents to Keep Fats, Oils, and Grease Out of Drains

May 15, 2024 - 8:54am

The Regional District of East Kootenay is asking residents in Edgewater to be mindful of the materials being rinsed down drains and flushed down toilets. “We have had several blockages in the Edgewater sewer system caused by the build-up of fats, oils, and greases. It is essential that cooking leftovers go in the garbage and never in the sink or toilet,” says RDEK Utilities Superintendent, Tom Altmann. “The cost to vacuum all the sewer lines in Edgewater is between $5000 and $7000 and could have to be done twice a year. If we can’t prevent these blockages caused by fats, oils, greases,...
New Campground Development Aims to Create Additional Local Camping Opportunities

May 10, 2024 - 1:35pm

As part of its efforts to increase recreational opportunities and enhance amenities within its regional parks system, the Regional District of East Kootenay is in the process of developing a limited number of new campsites at Wycliffe Regional Park.  The 164-hectare park currently offers a host of amenities including everything from hiking and biking trails to horseshoe pits, disc golf, ball diamonds, and picnic areas. “We are proposing to develop 20 non-serviced seasonal campsites including 10 tenting/small trailer sites in an un-developed treed area and 10 pull-through sites along the...
Bin Fire Quickly Extinguished at Columbia Valley Landfill

May 08, 2024 - 10:17pm

Residents are reminded about the importance of ensuring garbage is safe to dispose of following a bin fire at the Columbia Valley Landfill Wednesday evening. “We were dispatched at approximately 9:30pm and found the fire to be confined to one of the 50-yard garbage collection bins on site,” explains Columbia Valley Rural Fire & Rescue Service Chief Drew Sinclair. “This is a good reminder for residents about the importance of ensuring everything they are throwing away is safe and fully cooled prior to disposal.” Six firefighters and two pieces of apparatus responded to the fire, which was...
Equipment Fire Actioned by South Country Firefighters

May 08, 2024 - 8:03pm

Members of the Elko and Baynes Lake Fire Departments responded to a call at the Canfor mill yard in Elko Wednesday evening after a piece of equipment caught fire. “When we arrived, we found a loader engulfed in flames. We were able to quickly isolate the fire to prevent it from spreading into nearby fuels in the yard,” says Elk Valley & South Country Fire & Rescue Service Chief Michael Hockley. “Once the flames were knocked back, our priority was ensuring the fire was fully extinguished and there were no hot spots remaining.” In total, there were nine firefighters and three pieces of...
RDEK to Test Regional Evacuation Notification System Friday

May 08, 2024 - 12:17pm

The RDEK will be testing its Regional Evacuation Notification System (ENS) this Friday and is encouraging residents who have not already done so, to sign up.   “The notification system is only used for evacuation alerts or orders and has been implemented as an additional tool to help us get the word out as quickly as possible to affected areas when time is of the essence,” explains RDEK Communications Manager Loree Duczek.   The RDEK has been doing a registration drive for the system and is encouraging anyone who hasn’t yet signed up to do so ahead of the region-wide test this Friday,...
Dry Conditions Persist in Spite of Recent Rain and Cooler Temperatures

May 03, 2024 - 6:19pm

The Columbia Valley Rural Fire & Rescue Service is once again urging residents to use extreme caution when undertaking any outdoor burning and to consider other options given the current dry conditions.  The warning comes after another grass fire escaped, this time in the community of Columere Park on Thursday.  "When we arrived on scene, we found a resident had been burning brush when the fire quickly escaped its initial perimeter, igniting the fine grassy fuels surrounding it," explains Assistant Chief Joss Advocaat. "The fire came dangerously close to a heavy timber stand, and had it...
RDEK Vehicle Up For Auction

May 03, 2024 - 4:27pm

The Regional District of East Kootenay currently has a 2017 Ford F-150 4WD extended cab pickup up for auction. This auction closes May 21, 2024. For details visit GovDeals
Seasonal Prohibition on Sale of Fireworks in Rural RDEK Now in Effect

May 03, 2024 - 3:03pm

The sale of fireworks is currently prohibited in the rural parts of the RDEK. The seasonal prohibition on the sale of Fireworks runs between May and October each year, and we want to remind both business owners and the general public that the sale of fireworks in the rural parts of the RDEK is now prohibited.  As a regional district, the RDEK is not able to regulate the use of fireworks as a municipality might. The use of fireworks in rural areas is governed by Provincial restrictions, which prohibit the use of fireworks anytime there is a Category 2 Open Burning Ban in place. The...
RDEK Encourages Readiness Ahead of Emergency Preparedness Week

April 30, 2024 - 8:35am

Emergency Preparedness Week is May 5 – 11 this year and the RDEK is encouraging residents to ready themselves and their families.  The theme of Emergency Preparedness Week this year is "Using technology before, during and after emergencies," and making sure that you are signed up for the Regional Evacuation Notification System (ENS) is a large part of that preparation.  “The notification system is only used for evacuation alerts or orders and has been implemented as an additional tool to help us get the word out as quickly as possible to affected areas when time is of the essence,”...

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