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New Official Community Plan Process Set to Begin for Windermere Area

March 21, 2017 - 4:16pm

Work will soon begin on a new planning process for the Windermere area. “The Board has authorized staff to proceed with a review and update of the Lake Windermere Official Community Plan (OCP),” explains RDEK Electoral Area F Director Wendy Booth.  “Land uses change over time and the current Lake Windermere OCP was adopted in 2008.  This new planning process will ensure we have an OCP that is based on current information and reflects the community’s vision for the future.” As part of the planning process, the RDEK is hoping to appoint a public advisory group. “The Advisory Group will...
RDEK Asking for Community Input on Expanded Fire Service for Wardner and portions of Bull River and

March 13, 2017 - 10:22pm

The RDEK is urging residents of Wardner, Bull River and Mayook to attend an important Open House and community dinner April 5 to provide feedback on whether they would like to see a fire service expanded into their area. “We have had many inquiries from residents asking for some kind of fire protection service in that area but we need to hear from the wider community about whether this is something they would be interested in the RDEK pursuing,” explains Building & Protective Services Manager, Sanford Brown. “This meeting is the first step and we would really like to see a strong...
Regional District of East Kootenay Approves 5-Year Financial Plan

March 09, 2017 - 9:38pm

The Regional District of East Kootenay has adopted its Financial Plan for the years 2017 - 2021. The 2017 operating budget is $28.1 million, which represents an overall decrease of $1,383 from last year. This includes a number of grant-funded items and items that are specific to certain service areas. When those items are set aside, the 2017 operating budget for services shared by most municipalities and electoral areas in the region, represents a 1.8% decrease from 2016. “Our Board and staff recognize the importance of balancing the provision of services with keeping taxes in line. We...
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 over the years,” says RDEK Columbia Valley Services...
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 roof area and although it sustained major damage, the house was saved.  Just...
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...
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 contribute to the spirit, culture and people...
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...
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 Miller. There was no one home when the fire broke out and there were no...
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 on the RDEK’s website by the...
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 containing materials were watered down to prevent dust, double...
Emergency Exercise Hailed a Success

October 21, 2016 - 10:19am

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...
Regional RDEK Firefighter Recruitment Drive Underway

October 18, 2016 - 11:22am

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...
RDEK to Provide Update on Windermere Water

August 12, 2016 - 3:31pm

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.” The Open Houses...
Road Construction May Lead to Delays for Elk Valley Transit

August 09, 2016 - 9:46am

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 - 3:22pm

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...
Public a Key Part of Identifying 9-1-1 Service Concerns

July 20, 2016 - 11:34am

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...
Quick Action by Fire Department and Neighbours in Suzanne Lake Area

July 18, 2016 - 9:40pm

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:  a member of the Jaffray Department this evening on the scene of a lightning caused fire in the...

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