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November 10, 2020 - 9:11am
The annual election of RDEK Chair and Vice Chair was held at the Regional District of East Kootenay Friday and Rob Gay has officially become the longest serving Chair in the RDEK’s history.
“It is an honour to have received the support of my fellow directors for 2021, in what will be my tenth year as Chair,” says Gay. The Electoral Area C Director has served on the Board since 2005. Former Kimberley Mayor Jim Ogilvie was previously the longest serving Chair having served nine years in the role.
“We have accomplished a great deal over the past year, and have adopted our strategic...
October 05, 2020 - 11:33am
A debris flood expert has completed an updated hazard assessment on Cold Spring Creek in Fairmont Hot Springs and has presented his findings to the RDEK Board.
Dr. Mattias Jakob of BGC Engineering assessed the watershed this summer as part of the RDEK’s Cold Spring Creek Debris Flow Mitigation Project. The study details the historical evidence of debris flood and debris flow activity going back hundreds of years and provides updated modeling on the potential size of future events. “The report highlights that previous studies underestimated the potential for risk,” says Electoral Area F...
October 05, 2020 - 11:29am
As properties in the Baynes Lake area continue to struggle with decreasing water supply issues, the RDEK is looking at taking steps to move forward with a solution that would return water to the sinkholes that feed the aquifer and restore the community watershed.
“One of the solutions that has been identified by the geologists who have spent considerable time studying the watershed, including the use of geological evidence and chemical water testing, is to sculpt out a back channel upstream of the decommissioned Elko Dam, which would permanently wet the sinkholes that are critical to the...
October 02, 2020 - 8:18am
A new piece of specialized equipment has just been added to the Fairmont and Windermere Fire Departments’ firefighting arsenal.
The 75-foot ladder truck has just arrived in Windermere and Columbia Valley Rural Fire & Rescue Service Chief Jim Miller says it will be a tremendous benefit to the area. “We will now able to properly reach two, three and four story buildings, which we have a number of. Plus, there will be a huge benefit on regular structure fires as having an elevated water stream will minimize the risk to our firefighters by giving them the ability to stay off of roofs while...
September 25, 2020 - 2:13pm
This Monday is the deadline for residents and business owners to apply for Provincial Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) as a result of damages from the flood and debris flow events around the region earlier this year.
“We are encouraging eligible applicants who sustained uninsurable losses due to damage as a result of flooding or debris flows between May 18 and June 1 to submit an application to Emergency Management BC,” says Information Officer Loree Duczek.
Application forms can be downloaded from the Emergency Info page on http://www.rdek.bc.ca and are available through the RDEK on...
September 25, 2020 - 2:10pm
Farmers and producers in the Columbia Basin will continue to be supported by the Kootenay Boundary Farm Advisors (KBFA) program for another year after the program’s contract was extended through July 2021.
“We are proud of what KBFA has accomplished over the past three years and are looking forward to seeing them continue to support producers and promote agriculture throughout the Basin in the year ahead,” says RDEK Board Chair, Rob Gay.
Since June 2018, KBFA has engaged with 850 producers from 563 farms. Over 40 events have been held with approximately 900 producers attending. KBFA...
September 23, 2020 - 10:44am
Approximately 50 people participated in a series of Open Houses to get their first look at the draft Steamboat Jubilee Mountain Official Community Plan (OCP).
“Public input is a critical piece in any OCP planning process, so it was wonderful to have the community’s participation at the Open Houses,” says Planner Michele Bates. “Having said that, we recognize a number of people within the plan area were not able to attend in person, and have made all of the materials and documentation available on the OCP project page so everyone, no matter their circumstance, has access to the same...
September 16, 2020 - 1:10pm
A new Jaws of Life apparatus will soon be arriving in the South Country thanks to the generous support of TC Energy.
“We can’t thank TC Energy enough for their grant,” says Elk Valley and South Country Rural Fire and Rescue Service Chief Dave Boreen. “In small, rural communities having access to life-saving equipment is critical, but raising funds can be challenging due to our sparse population. Receiving this grant allows us to upgrade our equipment and add a vital tool to our arsenal.”
In total, TC Energy has provided $10,500 in funding through its Build Strong program for the new...
September 16, 2020 - 12:31pm
The Recycle BC Depot at the Columbia Valley Landfill is on the move later this month to help improve public access to the expanded recycling services this program offers.
“We have had support from the public on the opening of the Recycle BC Depot in the Columbia Valley; however, we have had feedback from users and through our recent Solid Waste & Recycling Services Survey that people would like to see a more accessible location closer to Invermere,” explains Environmental Services Manager Kevin Paterson. “As a result, we have been working with the District of Invemere to incorporate the...
September 15, 2020 - 10:48am
The Regional Districts of East Kootenay, Kootenay Boundary and Central Kootenay have been selected as a winner of a 2020 Sustainable Communities Award for exceptional work in the Visionary Award category for their Accelerate Kootenays project. The awards honour and celebrate the most innovative environmental initiatives in cities and communities across Canada.
Accelerate Kootenays is Canada's first community-driven, collaborative strategy to build a clean transportation network. It was a 2-year, $1.5 million initiative of the Regional Districts of East Kootenay, Central Kootenay and...
September 14, 2020 - 2:08pm
The East Kootenay Foundation for Health’s (EKFH) “Beneath the Surface” campaign just got a significant boost with a $20,000 grant from the RDEK Electoral Area A Discretionary Grant in Aid account.
The campaign’s goal is to raise $300,000 to bring a brand new ultrasound service to the Elk Valley Hospital, including a state of the art ultrasound machine, renovations to the room, and all of the accessories to run the service.
“Currently residents of the Elk Valley have to travel to Cranbrook or Alberta to get an ultrasound done, and it goes without saying that having an at-home option will...
September 14, 2020 - 12:39pm
With the Doctor Creek fire now classified as Being Held, and on the recommendation this morning of the BC Wildfire Service, the RDEK has lifted the Evacuation ALERT affecting 5 properties in the vicinity of the fire.
“We want to thank residents, recreationalists and visitors for their cooperation and understanding over the past few weeks and are happy to see things on the fire front at a point where we are able to lift the remaining Evacuation Alert,” says EK Emergency Management Program Information Officer Loree Duczek.
The Provincial Area Restriction that applies to all Crown land...
September 11, 2020 - 5:14pm
The Regional District of East Kootenay is encouraging residents and visitors in the Jaffray area to use caution in and around the Tie Lake Transfer Station after a bear sighting this afternoon.
“We have had a report of a bear on site and know there have been bears in the area, so are asking users of the transfer station to be aware of their surroundings and be diligent with the way they dispose of their garbage,” says Communications Manager Loree Duczek. “All garbage must go in the bins on site, and the bin doors should be securely closed and locked before leaving. There should never been...
September 10, 2020 - 11:02am
The RDEK is providing a total of $75,000 to the Cranbrook and Fernie Food Banks and local Salvation Army to help provide much needed resources and support in the region.
“The funding comes from a Provincial program aimed at providing support to areas impacted by recent downturns in the forestry sector,” explains Electoral Area B Director Stan Doehle. “In this region, Galloway Lumber Co. was impacted by layoffs in 2019 and as such, this funding will need to be used within Area B and the immediate surrounding communities of Cranbrook and Fernie.”
$45,000 will be provided to the Salvation...
September 10, 2020 - 9:54am
The Evacuation ORDER affecting 5 properties in the vicinity of the Doctor Creek wildfire has been rescinded and downgraded to an Evacuation ALERT as crews continue to make progress on the fire.
Although the Evacuation ALERT on the south side of the fire remains in effect, the Evacuation ALERT on the north side of the fire has been lifted.
“This is a great day and reflects the tireless efforts of the firefighters, pilots, contractors, equipment operators and personnel who’ve been working on the Doctor Creek Fire. We can’t thank them enough for their efforts,” says EK Emergency...
September 08, 2020 - 4:50pm
The RDEK will present the draft Steamboat Jubilee Mountain Official Community Plan (OCP) during Open Houses scheduled to be held over two days next week.
“Running an Official Community Plan process during a pandemic has pushed back our timelines a bit, but staff has been working hard on the plan for several months and we are excited to be at the point where we can share the draft OCP with residents,” says Electoral Area G Director Gerry Wilkie.
The Open Houses will be held at the Prestige Radium Hot Springs Resort in Radium September 16 and 17 from 1:00pm – 4:00pm and 7:00pm – 9:00pm...
September 06, 2020 - 6:22pm
With wind gusts of up to 80 kilometres per hour forecasted tonight and the potential for increased fire behaviour and growth, the RDEK has expanded the EVACUATION ALERT area on the Doctor Creek Fire to include an area of mostly Crown land on the south side of the fire.
A map of the alert area is available on the RDEK’s Evacuation Alerts & Orders page. The Alert area includes:
• Buhl Creek Recreation Site
• Doctor Creek Cabin Rec Site
• Skookumchuck Forest Service Road
Today’s expanded alert area does not include any residential properties and closely aligns with the Crown land...
September 02, 2020 - 10:55am
As crews continue to make progress on the Doctor Creek Fire southwest of Canal Flats, the Evacuation ORDER has been partially rescinded and downgraded to an Evacuation ALERT for 5 properties located on the northern and eastern sides of the fire.
The Evacuation ORDER remains in place for 5 properties closest to the fire.
“Today, a portion of the area, including Whitetail Lake and Blue Lake, has been downgraded to an Evacuation Alert; however, we want to stress to people within the Alert area that this is a large, active fire and they need to remain prepared and ready to leave again on a...
August 29, 2020 - 12:16pm
Construction is underway on new septage receiving ponds in the South Country.
“This project has been a long time in the making and I’m pleased to see it moving forward,” explains RDEK Electoral Area B Director Stan Doehle. “A great deal of work and thought has gone into the design of these ponds to ensure they meet modern standards and provide an environmentally responsible option for dealing with the large volume of material generated in our area.”
The previous South Country septage ponds were closed in 2014 after the site conditions were deemed unsuitable for continued operations by...
August 19, 2020 - 9:45pm
The Regional District of East Kootenay has issued an evacuation ORDER for 10 properties in Electoral Area F in the Findlay Creek Area. This is in result of the Doctor Creek Fire (N21257).
“An increase in fire behaviour has prompted the BC Wildfire Service to recommend the RDEK issue an Evacuation Order,” explains EOC Director Terry Balan. “Our first priority is public safety. These decisions are not made lightly and everyone within the evacuation order area needs to leave immediately.”
The evacuation ORDER includes:
Findlay Creek Area: North of Whitetail Lake up to Dutch Creek; West to...
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