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RDEK Draft 5-Year Financial Plan Open for Review

February 12, 2021 - 5:24pm

The Regional District of East Kootenay Board of Directors is seeking public comment on its draft five-year financial plan. “The RDEK Board has completed its first review of the Financial Plan and it has now been posted for the public to look over and comment on,” explains RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay. “In addition to the public comment period, RDEK staff will continue to meet with Directors, other municipalities, and various commissions over the coming weeks to gather additional input on the draft plan.” The Financial Plan lays out how tax dollars are being spent on the more than 100...
RDEK to Provide Grant to City of Kimberley for Purchase of Curbside Recycling Carts

February 08, 2021 - 4:51pm

The RDEK has approved a grant to the City of Kimberley for the purchase of recycling carts to support the implementation of a Recycle BC curbside recycling program in the city. “We salute the City for implementing a curbside program and are pleased to support these efforts by providing a grant to help offset some of the initial infrastructure costs associated with getting the service up and running,” explains RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay. “The introduction of curbside recycling will not only increase convenience for residents, but will also move a significant volume of material from the...
Electoral Area A Grant to Support Fernie Historical Society Organizational Renewal Project

February 08, 2021 - 10:48am

In recognition of the important role the Fernie Museum plays in preserving and sharing the history of the Elk Valley, RDEK Electoral Area A Director Mike Sosnowski recently presented the Fernie Historical Society with a $10,000 grant from the Electoral Area A Discretionary Grant in Aid account to help support its Organizational Renewal Project.   Included in the project are plans to improve the Museum’s elevator accessibility, complete renovations to the building, recruit new staff and support high-quality programming.   Pictured Left to Right: RDEK Electoral Area A Director Mike...
Application Deadline Approaching for CBT CIP / AA Programs Funding

January 07, 2021 - 9:50am

There are less than two weeks left for interested non-profit organizations to apply for the 2021/2022 Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs. “These programs make a critical difference in our communities and we want to ensure eligible applicants are aware of the program guidelines and upcoming application deadline, as late applications cannot be accepted,” says RDEK Acting Corporate Officer Tina Hlushak. Applications must be submitted using an online application system located on https://engage.rdek.bc.ca/cbt. The application deadline is Monday, January...
2020 Electoral Area Volunteers of the Year Celebrated

December 21, 2020 - 3:21pm

The RDEK is celebrating its 2020 Electoral Area Volunteer of the Year award recipients. “We have always said that volunteers are the heart of our communities. This year, more than any other in recent memory, we have seen that ring true,” says RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay.  “This year’s award recipients have enriched our region in so many ways. It is an honour to celebrate them and to publicly thank them for their tireless efforts, their generous hearts and their profound impact in our rural communities.”  This year’s award recipients are: Area A – Brent Bidston Area B – Bonnie...
RDEK Prohibits Sale of Fireworks April to November

December 17, 2020 - 10:06am

Starting this spring, the sale of Fireworks will be prohibited in the East Kootenay between April and November of each year. “For many years now, we’ve had a bylaw that prohibits the sale of fireworks when the Province issues Category 2 open fire bans in our region,” explains RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay.  “On the heels of another hot, dry summer we felt that it was important to be proactive in reducing this potential wildfire risk and to hopefully provide clarity to those businesses who sell fireworks well ahead of when they would be ordering stock for 2021.” As a regional district, the...
Changes to Glass Recycling on the Horizon

November 27, 2020 - 4:07pm

Effective January 2021, East Kootenay residents will notice some changes in where container glass can be taken for recycling in the East Kootenay. For the past three years, the glass recycling market has undergone significant changes and the RDEK has struggled to find markets for the glass it collects through the yellow bin system. “While we have been using it at our landfill sites for secondary purposes such as road base material hoping new markets will open up, it is clear that the way glass is recycled in BC has changed,” says RDEK Environmental Services Manager Kevin Paterson. “The...
Provincial Alert System Does Not Include All Local Emergencies

November 25, 2020 - 4:57pm

As the Provincial government conducts a test of its wireless Alert Ready system today, the RDEK is reminding residents that the provincial system cannot be used for local emergencies such as flood and fire at this time and residents are urged to sign up for the regional Evacuation Notification System to ensure they receive local emergency notifications. “We want people to be aware of the limitations of the Alert Ready program in BC, which currently is only used for tsunami warnings, Amber Alerts and specific civil police emergencies,” explains RDEK Communications Manager, Loree Duczek....
Gay Becomes RDEK’s Longest Serving Board Chair, Clovechok Elected Vice Chair

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...
Cold Spring Creek Project Scope Expands Following New Hazard Assessment

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...
RDEK Seeking In-Stream Works Permit to Help Address South Country Water Issues

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...
Fairmont and Windermere Fire Add New Truck to Firefighting Arsenal

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...
Deadline to Apply for Provincial Disaster Financial Assistance Quickly Approaching

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...
Kootenay and Boundary Farm Advisors Services Extended Through July 2021

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...
Comment Period Opens on Draft Steamboat Jubilee Mountain OCP

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...
Generous Donation Provides Life Saving Equipment for South Country Fire

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...
Recycle BC Depot Moving to More Accessible Location in Columbia Valley

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...
Kootenay Regional Districts Win 2020 Sustainable Communities Award

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...
RDEK Electoral Area A Contributes Thousands to Effort to Bring Ultrasound Technology to the Elk Valley

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...
Evacuation Alert Lifted on Doctor Creek Wildfire

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...

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