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Grass Fire in Baynes Lake a Reminder of the Dry Conditions

April 23, 2018 - 12:54am

UPDATED: The BC Wildfire Service is on site and will continue with mop up following yesterday's grass fire in the Baynes Lake area. There are still a number of hot spots in some of the driftwood, which is generating some smoke. A big thank you to all of the responders who answered the call - and to our fire watch team who spent the night on scene. We are so lucky to have such dedicated members of our community serving as firefighters. ORIGINAL RELEASE: Crews remain on fire watch tonight after a grass fire burned 30 acres of grassland in the Baynes Lake area this afternoon. “The...
Home Involved in Jaffray Area House Fire a Total Loss

April 12, 2018 - 3:14pm

The flames have cooled and the focus will now turn to investigating the cause of an overnight house fire in Jaffray. The fire broke out just before 11:00 pm Wednesday night in the Rosen Lake area and Elk Valley & South Country Rural Fire and Rescue Chief, Dave Boreen says crews focused on keeping the blaze contained. “When we arrived on scene, the home was fully engulfed and our efforts throughout the night were on controlling the fire and keeping it from spreading beyond the structure. Our crews did an excellent job.” A total of 19 firefighters from the Jaffray, Baynes Lake and Elko...
RDEK Staff Don Jerseys in Support of #HumboldtStong

April 12, 2018 - 2:00pm

The sticks are out front. The jerseys are on. The RDEK's employees joined thousands of Canadians in showing our support today. #HumboldtStrong #JerseysForHumboldt
Crews on Scene of House Fire in Jaffray Area

April 12, 2018 - 1:31am

Crews are on the scene of an overnight house fire in Jaffray. Members from the Jaffray, Baynes Lake and Elko Fire Departments responded to the call just before 11:00 pm Wednesday night. “The house was fully engulfed when we arrived on scene and is a total loss,” says Elk Valley & South Country Rural Fire and Rescue Service Chief, Dave Boreen. “Fortunately, there were no occupants in the home and there are no injuries.” The original call came in at 10:48 pm and a total of 19 firefighters from the three departments answered the call.  “The crew has done a great job of keeping the fire...
RDEK Board Gives Green Light to Negotiation with Recycle BC

April 09, 2018 - 12:53pm

The RDEK Board of Directors has asked staff to begin negotiations on an agreement with Recycle BC to establish and operate Recycle BC depots at six of its staffed locations. “Recycle BC has reached out to see if the RDEK would be interested in becoming a contracted collection partner. As a Board we are looking at options to create value for our taxpayers and increase the access to additional recycling opportunities,” explains RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay.  Currently, the only Recycle BC depot in the East Kootenay is at the Cranbrook Bottle Depot.  RDEK Environmental Services Manager...
New Alert System Does Not Include Local Governments At This Time A new wireless alert system announ

April 05, 2018 - 1:18pm

A new wireless alert system announced by the Provincial government this week does not apply to local governments at this time and the RDEK wants to get the word out so people are aware of the system’s current limitations. “Emergency Management BC will be utilizing the national Alert Ready program to send messages to wireless phones; however, it’s important for people to understand that these alerts currently only apply to tsunami warnings and are not available for any other local emergency at this time,” explains RDEK Communications Manager, Loree Duczek.  “We have long been...
Clean-Up Underway at Cranbrook Transfer Station

March 28, 2018 - 3:48pm

Contractors are on site undertaking clean-up this afternoon after someone deposited 10 bags of asbestos-containing vermiculite insulation on the floor of the main building at the Cranbrook Transfer Station. Upon discovering the bags, staff implemented our standard asbestos procedure which included closing the main building as a precaution, contacting the contractor to assess the bags and determine steps for clean up. That clean up work is currently underway and is expected to be complete later today. Temporary garbage bins for the public have been set up outside the building;...
RDEK Adjusts Plans in Light of ALC Decision

March 27, 2018 - 9:59pm

The Agricultural Land Commission’s (ALC) decision to deny the Regional District of East Kootenay’s subdivision application for land containing the Parr Utilities Water Treatment Plant has prompted the RDEK to adjust its plans, but the project remains on track. “We had submitted an application to the ALC to subdivide the land so that the RDEK could own both the water treatment plant and the land it sits on. The ALC has denied our application, but has conditionally approved a long-term lease for the land,” explains RDEK Electoral Area F Director and Vice Chair Wendy Booth. “Our focus...
Good Turnout To Wasa & Area OCP Open House

March 23, 2018 - 1:51pm

Over 75 people attended an open house Wednesday night regarding proposed Environmentally Sensitive Area Development Permits. The RDEK hosted the evening and the Planner leading the project says the night was both about sharing information and receiving wider feedback from the community. “There have been questions about how the mapping was done for the proposed development permit areas. We felt it was important to share the process that was used by the professional environmental consultants,” explains RDEK Planner Michele Bates. Another important part of the evening was gathering...
2018 RDEK Electoral Area Volunteers of the Year Named

March 17, 2018 - 2:50pm

The Regional District of East Kootenay has named its 2018 Electoral Area Volunteers of the Year. “Today, more than ever, volunteers are the heart of our communities,” says RDEK Vice Chair Wendy Booth. “The Electoral Area Volunteer of the Year Awards is a long-standing program here at the RDEK and it is an honour to be able to formally celebrate six individuals this year.” The 2018 Electoral Area Volunteers of the Year are: Electoral Area A Jeri Mitchell Electoral Area B Norma Sommerville Electoral Area C Mike Matejka Electoral Area E Pat Walkey Electoral Area F...
Windermere Water Project Receives $6 million in Federal Gas Tax Funding

March 09, 2018 - 11:17am

The Province of BC has just announced the projects approved for funding through the Federal Gas Tax Fund and the Windermere Water Project has received $6 million in funding. Today’s announcement will have a huge impact on the Windermere Water Upgrade project. RDEK Chair Rob Gay and Vice Chair Wendy Booth will now begin working with staff to determine how the funds will be used to complete critical infrastructure upgrades and reduce the overall tax impact for property owners on the Windermere Water Upgrade project. To see all projects funded through this intake, visit: ...
RDEK Approves Five-Year Financial Plan

March 04, 2018 - 9:51am

The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) Board of Directors has adopted its 2018-2022 Financial Plan. The 2018 operating budget totals $30,543,324, which represents a 7% increase over last year. With many projects already funded, this results in a 1.3% increase in taxation.  “Our Board and staff recognize the importance of balancing the provision of services with keeping taxes in line and I believe we are once again striking a good balance in this year’s budget,” says RDEK Chair Rob Gay. It is important to understand that there is a difference between the numbers in the budget...
Speculation Tax Causes Concern

March 02, 2018 - 11:15am

Although the Province’s recently announced Speculation Tax does not apply in the East Kootenay, the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) Board of Directors believes the region is already being impacted by the announcement and wants assurances the Tax will not be implemented in the region. The tax, which was announced in the provincial budget, will apply a tax of $5 per $1000 of assessed value for properties owned by out-of-Province homeowners who do not occupy their residence. In 2019, the rate will increase to $20 per $1,000. “The new tax uses a broad-brush to paint all...
Water Pressure Restored on Elko Water System

February 09, 2018 - 11:13am

RDEK operators restored the Elko community water system to normal operating pressures this afternoon after yesterday’s power outage and subsequent equipment failure.  More repair work is needed to restore the system to full functionality, and that work will be undertaken throughout the coming week.  As part of these repairs, another interruption in water service is expected later next week for Elko, and the community will be advised in advance once a firm schedule is determined.   The RDEK will continue monitoring the system and has operators on stand-by should another failure occur  in...
Improperly Disposed Needles Cause Concern

February 02, 2018 - 10:13am

The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) is appealing to the public to properly and safely dispose of needles and other bio-medical waste. “Over the past few months, we have noticed a marked increase in the number of needles being dumped in our yellow recycling bins,” says RDEK Solid Waste Superintendent Jim Penson. “These needles are not from one source – they are single needles, needles used for medical purposes, insulin needles in jars, you name it.  No matter where they come from, the message is the same: they do not belong in the yellow bins.” Most concerning to the...
Funding Application Deadline Nears: CBT Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs

January 12, 2018 - 8:20am

Applications are now available for the 2018/2019 Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs. The Programs are funded by CBT and administered by the RDEK. “The Programs are open to registered non-profit organizations.  Any private sector proposals must be sponsored by a registered non-profit organization and must clearly demonstrate community benefits”, says RDEK Deputy Corporate Officer Tina Hlushak. “These Programs are intended to be flexible and provide funding to local projects that benefit the communities of the RDEK.” The funding application...
City Restructure Approved for Phase 2 of West Fernie Project

December 20, 2017 - 11:03am

The City of Fernie and Regional District of East Kootenay have received notification from the Province that the City’s boundary restructure has been approved for Phase 2 of the West Fernie Servicing & Restructure project. “This is an exciting day,” says City of Fernie Mayor Mary Giuliano. “We are pleased to welcome the Phase 2 residents into the City of Fernie and look forward to officially celebrating the conclusion of the project in 2018.” With the approval, approximately 115 properties on the north side of Highway 3 in West Fernie are officially part of the City of Fernie. This...
Area G Volunteer of the Year Celebrated

December 20, 2017 - 9:33am

Hermann Mauthner has been officially recognized as the 2017 Electoral Area G Volunteer of the Year. Miller has been a dedicated volunteer in the Columbia Valley for many years. “Hermann is truly remarkable,” says Area G Director Gerry Wilkie. “His volunteer contributions have had a tremendous impact on the Columbia Valley for over 50 years. Beyond that, he and his wife Ursel have also instilled this love of community service in their children and grandchildren.” Mauthner started and continues to run the Judo club, is a member of the Columbia Valley Hut Society and Conrad Kain Society...
Area A Volunteer of the Year Formally Recognized

December 20, 2017 - 9:18am

Johnny Shaw has been officially recognized as the 2017 Electoral Area A Volunteer of the Year. “Johnny is well known for his work on local trails, where he has devoted years to improving access for children and families as well as experienced bikers, hikers and skiers,” says RDEK Electoral Area A Director Mike Sosnowski. “He has contributed countless hours as a Board Member of both the Fernie Trails Alliance and Fernie Nordic Society and is a member of the Fernie Mountain Bike Club.” In addition, Shaw was the liaison with community groups, Ministry of Transportation and...
Jaffray Area OCP and South Country Zoning Bylaw Will Not Proceed

December 01, 2017 - 4:12pm

Following the public hearing on the Jaffray Area Official Community Plan (OCP) and the amended South Country Zoning Bylaw, the RDEK Board of Directors has voted not to proceed with the adoption of the Bylaws. “The public hearing is the final opportunity for the public to share its opinions on the OCP and Zoning Bylaw. We have said all along that we are here to listen; and, while I believe the plan presented was a good one, it is clear from the feedback we received leading up to, and during the hearing, the proposed bylaws were not supported,” explains Electoral Area B Director...

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