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The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) has temporarily suspended a 21-year old member of staff, following an alleged act of voyeurism which took place in a Beaver Valley Arena change room on Wednesday, 16 November 2022.  The incident, which is the first of its kind for the RDKB, is currently in the hands of Trail RCMP.  Victim Services is providing support to any members of the public or staff affected and the suspected employee will not be permitted further access to the arena, pending the outcome of the investigation.

“Public welfare and safety is at the heart of everything we do here at the RDKB and we are taking these disturbing allegations extremely seriously,” says RDKB’s Chief Administrative Officer Mark Andison.  “RDKB management and staff are working very closely with the RCMP as they carry out their investigation and as a precaution, will be checking all arena restrooms and locker rooms to ensure the ongoing safety of patrons and facility users.  We’re shocked, angry and saddened that this troubling incident has taken place in our community and that trust has been breached but we will do everything in our power to support the investigation, help bring it to a swift conclusion and act on any lessons learnt,” he adds.

The RDKB has a rigorous criminal check policy: All RDKB employees who work with children and vulnerable individuals, or who have access to RDKB financial resources, undergo a criminal records check before being hired.

Trail and Greater District RCMP Incident Link File # 2022-5304   

 

November 16, 2022
For immediate release

Trail, BC—The possible closure of the emergency room at Boundary Regional Hospital in Grand Forks has local elected officials calling for urgent action from the Provincial government.

“The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary’s Boundary Services Committee met today to discuss the possible closure of the emergency room at the Boundary Hospital,” said Grace McGregor, Chair of the Committee and Director for Electoral Area C/Christina Lake. “We are extremely concerned over the possibility of patients being forced to travel over the Paulson Pass to Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail or the 2 ½ hours to Kelowna to receive urgent care. We are putting immediate pressure on the Province of BC to address this threat to our facility and the impacts it could have on residents.”

The Boundary Hospital serves over 9,000+ residents in its catchment area. Since March 2022, the facility’s inpatient beds have been closed due to a lack of nursing staff.

“The Committee thanks Everett Baker, Mayor of Grand Forks, for his tremendous ongoing efforts to advocate for his community’s health care needs,” added McGregor. “The whole Boundary region joins him in this fight to keep our ER [open].”

Media inquiries:

Grace McGregor
Chair, Boundary Services Committee
250.442.7118

 

Brian Champlin and the EVs at the RDKBs Trail HeadquartersThe decals are on, charging stations are at the ready, and the shift to ‘clean’ is fully underway as staff at the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) welcome the fifth electric vehicle to their fleet.

Following the arrival of RDKB’s latest Hyundai Kona, four out of its five building inspectors now drive electric vehicles as the organization charts new territory in its drive to reach net zero emissions, create environmental efficiencies and decarbonize its transportation. 

Brian Champlin, RDKB’s Manager of Building Inspection has been credited as the driving force behind his department’s swift transition. “He has championed the EV cause, spearheaded EV adoption, fast-tracked his team’s acceptance of the technology and as a result, it would be hard to find an organization as committed to low carbon technology as we are here in the Kootenay Boundary.  We’re pioneering the way forward,” says Goran Denkovski, RDKB’s Manager of Infrastructure and Sustainability. 

“Breaking through barriers to EV adoption and preparing for an all-electric future is far harder in rural and small communities.  Mountainous highways often present adverse driving conditions and range anxiety among drivers is high so, what we’re achieving here is even more remarkable. At the forefront of local rural government, we’re really leading by example, and showing that EVs make sense outside of urban areas,” says Freya Phillips, RDKB’s Senior Energy Specialist.

The RDKB ordered its first Hyundai Kona electric vehicle (EV) and installed its first EV charging station in 2019 following the Board of Directors’ declaration of a climate action imperative.  With the aim of reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over the short to long term it now has 10 charging stations at its RDKB offices with plans and capacity for a further 12.

“Electric Vehicles make economic sense and are the perfect commuting companion.  They are the ultimate solution for us and with a full charge are great at negotiating the mountain pass on either side of our Trail and Grand Forks offices,” says Brian Champlin, RDKB’s Manager of Building Inspection, whose department, typified by its regular, short-haul trips, is the most suited to electrification. “Staff have completely embraced the change.  As a department, we haven’t looked back and would all like to bring the technology into our lives and homes,” he adds.

“The EVs are very easy to charge, very efficient cost wise and once you appreciate how they differ from a regular vehicle you realise just how amazing they are.  They provide a very smooth, relaxing, quiet and clean drive,” explains RDKB Building & Plumbing Official Brian Zanussi. 

RDKB Building & Plumbing Official Dan Siminoff is the main user of the newest EV to join the fleet and says: “The transition to electric has been pretty good so far.  You have to pay attention to distance and understand how the charge changes over our region’s terrain but it’s perfect for city driving and all its stops and starts.”

“Not having to go to the gas station is a huge plus, the EV warms up instantly which is great in winter and in downhill rejuvenation mode it slows down, recharges the battery and hardly uses the brakes which helps keep maintenance costs low too,” says RDKB Building & Plumbing Official Kevin Santori.

“We are always looking for ways to improve our sustainability and this vehicle is another example of the achievements of our hardworking staff who are ever striving toward the goal of becoming a carbon neutral Local Government,” said RDKB Board Chair Linda Worley. “Over the last three years, staff have fully shifted to the benefits of electric vehicles as a practical, low-carbon way to get around the Kootenay Boundary.  As charging infrastructures are included in all new facility plans, the upgrade to the Columbia Pollution Control Centre in Trail will include EV charging stations,” she adds.

The total combined number of kilometers traveled in the RDKB electric vehicles is over 75,000 km. Using the Province’s Fleet Procurement Analysis Tool, the organization saved 5,850 litres of gasoline and around 14 tC02 in greenhouse gas emissions compared to the 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid AWD previously purchased.

Editor’s Notes:  The RDKB’s Climate Action journey

  • The RDKB’s climate action journey began when it signed on to the BC Climate Action Charter in 2008.
  • Just under 30 per cent of the RDKB’s greenhouse gas emissions come from its fleet vehicles.
  • Reducing emissions from fleet vehicles is a straightforward way we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lead by example so more people switch to electric vehicles.
  • Our first step in 2014 was to join our neighbouring regional districts in the Kootenays to build a network of EV charging stations across southeastern B.C.
  • That project, Accelerate Kootenays, continues today and the network of charging stations along the Highway 3 corridor continues to grow.
  • Then came 2016, 2017 and 2018 when our region experienced wildfire and flood emergencies tied to climate change.
  • In 2019, the RDKB declared a Climate Action Imperative.
  • In 2019, The RDKB launched a pilot project to demystify EVs for its own board and staff. It bought its first electric vehicle and installed its first EV charging station at its Trail headquarters.
  • For the next year everyone at the RDKB was encouraged to drive the electric vehicle and find out if it met their needs.
  • The pilot project showed that electric vehicles are up to the task of transporting RDKB staff in all seasons to wherever they need to go.
  • In 2020, the RDKB bought two more EVs for its fleet and a fourth EV followed in 2021.
  • The RDKB has completed an EV infrastructure study and a low carbon fleet plan. These provide a clear roadmap to full electrification of its light duty vehicle fleet and installation of the infrastructure and equipment to support it.
  • Charging infrastructure will be included in all new facility plans. The RDKB’s upgrade to the Columbia Pollution Control Centre will include EV charging stations.
  • In 2021 the RDKB pledged to commit that at least 10% of all new light duty fleet vehicles procured by 2025 will be zero emissions vehicles (ZEV).
  • The RDKB has taken advance of the CleanBC’s Go Electric Fleets Program to support implementation of RDKB fleet infrastructure.
  • The Government of British Columbia continues to support the RDKB in its journey to address climate change. 
Mike Parsons with Carbon Monoxide detector
KBRFR Firefighter Mike Parsons with the smoke & carbon monoxide detectors available at Station 374 in Trail

Local residents living in the areas served by the Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue (KBRFR) can pick up a FREE replacement carbon monoxide detector at the Trail Fire Station on Rossland Avenue, while supplies last.

The initiative, which coincides with Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week in BC (Nov 1 – 7) extends to smoke alarms and provides the option for the public to drop off their broken or expired detectors at the fire department during the replacement process too.

Designed to educate the public on what carbon monoxide is, the symptoms and sources as well as how to avoid becoming ill, the awareness week provides the KBRFR with the opportunity to share their top tips to keep safe.

So far this year, the KBRFR has responded to a dozen calls related to carbon monoxide alarms.  As the mercury drops and winter approaches, local Firefighters want to keep the public safe and prevent those statistics from rising needlessly.

“The effects of Carbon Monoxide poisoning can be devasting but they’re totally preventable,” says Deputy Fire Chief Glen Gallamore.  His number one tip is to install a carbon monoxide alarm that signals an alert when the gas is present and if you already have one, to make sure it works. The recommendation is to have at least one carbon monoxide detector for every floor in the home and to regularly test them.  If you have fuel-burning appliances, to also have them inspected by a licensed contractor every year.

“If your alarm is going off and you are unsure why, get to a safe location and call the fire department. If in doubt, call us. We have gas detectors on all our fire engines, and we'd be happy to come and check it out for you. Just please, never ignore the alarm, it is going off for a reason,” adds Gallamore.

Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that is odorless, tasteless, and invisible and can be deadly following exposure. Symptoms of CO poisoning can be similar to the flu including headaches, nausea, and dizziness.   

“As part of your annual winterizing process, make sure heating appliances are inspected and cleaned, furnaces are serviced, the filters are clean, and that all vents are clear and not blocked by any obstructions. 

Don’t leave electric space heaters on unattended and NEVER use portable propane and gas heaters inside the home.  Check CO alarms and smoke detectors as part of a monthly routine and remember that they don’t last forever. They should be replaced every 10 years, and the batteries every year, or according to the manufacturers' recommendations,” adds Glen.

The Province has increased the drought levels for all regions in the RDKB: Lower Columbia (level 3), Kettle River (level 5) and Okanagan (level 2). For more information please see the BC Drought Information Portal. The areas that appear to be of highest concern are located in the northern half of the Boundary and portions of the West Boundary. Thank you everyone for sending in your comments, observations and/or concerns in your region. Having this on-the-ground information has been helpful as we move forward. If you have any concerns regarding groundwater levels or if you know of any shallow groundwater well issues, please contact Kristina Anderson via email.

With this changing climate, it is best to be prepared to start seeing these types of anomalies more often. The RDKB is encouraging people to think about how they can reduce their water needs and strengthen their private distribution system to minimize water waste. If you have any ideas on education or tools that the RDKB Watershed Program should explore or consider incorporating to help support efficient water use, please contact the RDKB’s Watershed planner Kristina Anderson on the email address above.

Forecasts for the upcoming week

GRAND FORKS WEATHER

ROCK CREEK WEATHER

BEAVERDELL WEATHER

Click here for more information on the drought

Technical Advisory Group LtoR
The Technical Advisory Group

Following its approval at Board level, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) has published its Climate Action Plan.  It outlines the low carbon, bold and streamlined approach that it will take to secure a resilient and net-zero future in the RDKB by 2050.

It includes six guiding principles, six climate action goals, 19 pathways for corporate action, and 53 pathways for community action that spell out the framework needed to realise the transformative change required and accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy. 

RDKB’s Climate Action Plan was developed through a combination of research and engagement with RDKB staff, stakeholders and the public that began last Fall.  The RDKB will play a mix of direct, partnership and advocacy roles within it to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from RDKB’s corporate operations and community activities across the RDKB electoral areas.  It will also help prepare local people for climate change, increase their resiliency towards it and boost their ability to adapt.

“Read the plan and help us achieve our climate vision!  Whether you’re an RDKB resident or a business operating in the region, you’ll have felt the impact of climate change.  It’s all around us in the form of record-setting wildfires, flooding and extreme heat waves, drought and storm events but there are areas we can collectively focus our efforts on, for maximum benefit,” says Freya Phillips, RDKB’s Senior Energy Specialist who led the plan development.  “Our plan maps the way forward and incorporates all the valuable, insightful feedback we received from the public who took the time to share their concerns about the changing climate.  There were many inspiring stories describing what local people are doing to positively manage climate change in their lives too.  It is possible and there are so many ways that the RDKB can help them to reduce emissions and increase resiliency even further,” she adds.  

Incorporating climate adaptation, preparedness and mitigation, RDKB’s Climate Action Plan is guided by six principles that recognize the importance of Leadership, Practical actions,  Affordability as well as Collaboration, Co-benefits, and Health. Together they serve to realise its Climate Vision:  “To create a region that provides opportunities and access for everyone to live, work and play in a low carbon manner. To work together to create a resilient and sustainable community that enables residents and businesses to adapt to our changing climate, while protecting and enhancing our natural environment.” 

“The more we reduce total GHG emissions in the short term, the less extreme the changes to our climate will be over time,” explains Phillips. “As a community we’ve started taking a proactive approach through our low carbon action for buildings, changing the way we heat and cool houses, how we transport ourselves around the region and how we dispose of organic waste in landfill.  Climate action is a shared responsibility that reduces the negative impact on property, insurance premiums, stress & anxiety, water availability, tourism, extreme weather and the emergency services,” she adds. 

Linda Worley, RDKB’s Board Chair and Director of Area B/Lower Columbia-Old Glory says:  “This plan is an example of collaboration and resourcefulness at its finest.  A real team effort.  Multiple departments have contributed their expertise and have built upon existing work to maintain momentum.  It shows what is already being actioned, the important role that rural and small communities can play in addressing climate change and how the RDKB can support them.”

RDKB’s Climate Action Plan can be accessed here

Picture Caption:  The Technical Advisory Group (LtoR) Mark Stephens (Manager of Emergency Management), Goran Denkovski (Manager of Infrastructure & Sustainability), Freya Phillips (Senior Energy Specialist), Donna Dean (Manager of Planning & Development).

Election campaign signs have been vanishing across Areas D and E according to candidates running for office in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB).

“It’s dangerous for democracy to tamper with election signs because of a political or personal disagreement, so these events are taken very seriously.  If you’re not happy about someone who is running for office, don’t take it out on the signs – go and vote,”  says RDKB’s Chief Election Officer Anitra Winje. “To steal or damage an election sign is an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada and the Canada Elections Act, and anyone caught doing so can face charges, including mischief to property or theft under $5000 – which has a maximum penalty of two years in prison.  We urge anyone who has information about these signs being swiped to come forward or notify the RCMP.  People need to know about all the candidates who are running in these general local elections and make their choice accordingly – that’s the democratic process,” adds Winje.

General voting day to elect RDKB Directors for a four-year term commencing November 2022 will take place in Electoral Areas C/Christina Lake, D/Rural Grand Forks and E/West Boundary on Saturday, 15 October from 8 am to 8pm. To view the persons nominated as candidates and to find out where your nearest polling station is, please visit RDKB Elections and Other Voting

Picture of Area E Adoption of the Rural Bridesville Official Community Plan (Bylaw 1800)

The Rural Bridesville Official Community plan (OCP) (Bylaw 1800) has been adopted by the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary’s Board of Directors.  Based on community input since 2015, it’s a visionary document that outlines how local people want to see their area evolve. 

“The OCP is a policy document, not regulatory (not enforceable), so its overarching goals and objectives paint a picture of what the community wants their area to look like in the future – based on what they want to protect, where they want to see development take place, and what they envision in terms of agriculture,” explains Donna Dean, Manager of Planning & Development.

Further public consultation for Draft Zoning Bylaw

Third reading of the Draft Zoning Bylaw has been delayed pending further public consultation. A zoning bylaw regulates uses, density, setback distances and height of structures.  The RDKB is expanding the steering committee to review the input from the public hearing and incorporate it into the bylaw before it goes back for more public consultation.  

“There has been a lot of misunderstanding around the planning process and we’ve faced some strong opposition from some people who live within the plan area.  They don’t want zoning but do want their land use concerns addressed,” says Director of Area E/West Boundary, Vicki Gee.

“The community came to us to do something about a number of land use concerns back in 2015, including general water availability. Unless there is a regulatory zoning bylaw in place to address worries such as these as they arise, the RDKB can’t do anything about them,” says Donna Dean, Manager of Planning and Development.

The OCP and Draft Zoning Bylaw ONLY applies to Rural Bridesville – there are no plans to extend the planning into other areas of Area E/West Boundary.

Residents outside the Rural Bridesville Official Community Plan area will not be affected by any of the planning documents. The plan area applies to an area that lies between the US border to the south; the boundary with the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen to the west; the Mt. Baldy land use area to the north and Canyon Bridge to the east.

There are no plans to expand to other portions of Electoral Area E/West Boundary as there are 10 other bylaw reviews in the work plan for the Planning and Development Department. Each bylaw review can take two or more years to complete.

For anyone who is interested in finding out more or wants to Join the Conversation online:  Rural Bridesville Land Use Plan | Regional District of Kootenay Boundary - Join the Conversation (rdkb.com)

To clarify, the Bridesville Townsite has had a zoning bylaw since 2012. Additionally, the RDKB’s building bylaw has been in effect since 1966 when the regional district was first incorporated. It has no direct correlation to the zoning bylaw.

Fire won't wait, practice fire safety at home!Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week (FPW), October 9-15, 2022. This year's campaign, "Fire won't wait. Plan your escape", works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe from home fires.

"Today's homes burn faster than ever. You may have as little as two minutes (or even less time) to safely escape a home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Your ability to get out during a fire depends on early warning from working smoke alarms and advanced planning," said Fire Chief Dan Derby.

Smoke alarms sense smoke well before you can, alerting you to danger. Smoke alarms need to be in every bedroom, outside of the sleeping areas (like a hallway), and on each level (including the basement) of your home. Do not put smoke alarms in your kitchen or bathrooms.

"It's important for everyone to plan and practice a home fire escape. Everyone needs to be prepared in advance, so that they know what to do when the smoke alarm sounds. Given that every home is different, every home fire escape plan will also be different. Have a plan for everyone in the home. Children, older adults, and people with disabilities may need assistance to wake up and get out. Make sure that someone will help them." said Fire Prevention Captain Jason Milne.

"It's important for everyone to plan and practice a home fire escape. Everyone needs to be prepared in
advance, so that they know what to do when the smoke alarm sounds. Given that every home is different,
every home fire escape plan will also be different. Have a plan for everyone in the home. Children, older
adults, and people with disabilities may need assistance to wake up and get out. Make sure that someone
will help them." said Fire Prevention Captain Jason Milne.

For the best protection, we recommend using combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that are
interconnected throughout the home. These can be installed by a qualified electrician, so that when one
sounds, they all sound. This ensures you can hear the alarm no matter where in your home the alarm
originates.

Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue wants to share these key home fire escape planning tips:

  • Make sure your home fire escape plan meets the needs of all your household members, including those with sensory or physical disabilities.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed inside every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of your home. Smoke alarms should be interconnected so when one sounds, they all sound.
  • Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible. Make sure all doors and windows open easily.
  • Have an outside meeting place a safe distance from your home where everyone should meet.
  • Practice your home fire drill at least twice a year with everyone in the household, including guests. Practice at least once during the day and at night.

When checking your smoke alarms, the fire department recommends also checking your Carbon Monoxide alarms if they are separate. Picking one day each month is a great way for getting into a routine.

Reminder: Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms don't last forever. They should be replaced every 10 years, and the batteries every year, or according to the manufacturers' recommendations. If you have a broken or expired smoke or carbon monoxide alarm, replace it, or drop your old one off at the Trail Fire Station and we can replace it for free.

Glen Gallamore
Deputy Fire Chief
Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue
201-843 Rossland Avenue
Trail, B.C. Canada V1R 4S8
tel:(250) 364-1737 fax:(250) 364-1760
email: ggallamore@rdkb.com

Fire Chief Josh Foster posing next to fire truckJosh Foster is the new Fire Chief at Big White Fire Department.  The internal promotion, which follows the retirement of Chris Cormack, is a step up for Josh who has been its Deputy Fire Chief (DFC), Operations & Training, for the last three years.

“Working with Chief Cormack has been a great experience. He has been a truly inspirational leader and his remarkable work ethic, integrity and compassion will have a lasting impact on all of us here,” says Josh.

After living and skiing on mountains round the world, the opportunity to join the fire department as a volunteer and combine it with his passion for the sport were the initial factors that first brought Josh to Big White in 2004, when he was offered a skiing job that lured him away from the slopes of Banff. 

“I chose Big White because it offered the best of both worlds for me – skiing and serving my community in a positive way,” explains Josh. 

A well- known community figure, on and off the slopes, Josh was Director of Snow Sports at Big White Ski for 13 years, as well as the Ski tips presenter for Ski TV and Writer for S Magazine.  Having been a volunteer firefighter for 15 years, it was only when Chief Svendsen retired and Chief Cormack filled those boots to leave an opening as DFC Operations & Training, that Josh’s actual career in firefighting at Big White began. During that time, he was responsible for training the work experience program crew, organising the ongoing training of the Paid-On-Call crew, running the day-to-day operations of the fire hall and becoming the expert on the community’s first ladder truck following its arrival in January 2020.

When asked what he’s most looking forward to in his new role, Josh says: “Continuing the success and accomplishments of all the Fire Chiefs who have come before me.  We live in a beautiful place but that also comes with a wildfire risk.  We’ve done a significant amount of work in mitigation of the forests but moving forwards, we’ll be looking to develop that community awareness and preparedness further.  We’re also fortunate to have an incredible core of volunteers, so I’ll enjoy supporting and growing our crew and increasing our community engagement all year round.”   

When asked why Josh was the best choice to step into his boots, Chris Cormack says: “He’s been a resident of Big White for 18 years and part of the fire department for 17 years and has proven himself to be an exceptional fire fighter, instructor and leader.”

The search is now on for a new Deputy Fire Chief!

“We’re looking for a community minded team player.  An innovative individual who can adapt to Big White’s environment.  They will need to be on the leading edge of fire science so that they can train our crew to the highest level while ensuring the safety of the team and those we assist,” adds Josh.

 

Big White Fire Chief Chris Cormack has taken retirement After steering the Big White Fire Department through ten years of change, its Fire Chief Chris Cormack has taken retirement to focus on family.  Josh Foster has been appointed as his replacement.

“It has been an incredible privilege and honour to serve here at the Big White Fire Department and to be part of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary. These have been some of the most rewarding and fulfilling years of my life,” says Chris.  “I want to take the opportunity to thank Chief Svendsen and all those in the fire service who I have had the privilege of working with, including those who have trained, encouraged and mentored me along the way,” he adds.

The Cormacks have been part of Big White’s community life for the last decade, as it’s doubled in size and transitioned to a two-season resort, but they have no plans to cut their ties with it despite their move to Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island.  After Chris drops in to see if his local fire department needs any volunteers, it will be a return to their Big White condo for the Winter season.

When asked what he will miss most about the job, Chris says: “I’ll miss the fire hall family the most: the training, the camaraderie, responding to emergencies and making a difference in people's lives.  It goes without saying that I’ll also miss friends, early morning coffee meetings with staff at the Big White Ski Resort and those calls from a Work Experience Program or Paid-On-Call member saying that they’ve received a job offer and are about to make their dream of becoming a career firefighter become a reality.”

Chris’ own firefighting career started in his fifties when he was looking to make a change in his life.  He had served as a pastor both in Victoria and on Salt Spring Island for 32 years previously and it was his 10 year’s experience as a volunteer firefighter during that time which secured his position as Deputy Chief at the Big White Fire Department in 2012. He then spent seven years serving as the Deputy Chief of Operations and Training before moving into the role of Fire Chief in 2019.

Despite having to navigate through the COVID pandemic, there have been many highlights under his tenure at the top.  These include the overall growth and professionalism of Big White’s firefighters; a Work Experience Program (WEP) which develops well-trained, experienced graduates with an 85% conversion rate to career positions within the fire service across Canada; and receiving and putting into service Big White’s first Aerial Apparatus.

James Chandler, RDKB’s General Manager of Operations and its Deputy CAO says: “Chris has accomplished so much at Big White and has 10 years to be very proud of.  It’s been great to work with him.  We’re going to miss his friendship and support but will enjoy reuniting on the ski hill when the mountain calls.”


All RDKB's facilities, offices, landfills and transfer stations across the Kootenay & Boundary areas will be closed for next week's National Day of Mourning.

The Grand Forks & Area D Community Centre Open House will still be going ahead as planned on Monday, 19 September, 2022 (4pm - 7pm) once Queen Elizabeth II has been put to rest.

We will keep the information boards up in the foyer of the Grand Forks Aquatic Centre throughout next week for those members of the public who want to drop in and view them.


News Release GF Comm Centre Open House

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) will be holding a Community Open House for residents in Grand Forks and Electoral Area D/Rural Grand Forks to attend on Monday, September 19 from 4 – 7pm.

The aim of the event, which will be held at the Grand Forks & District Aquatic Centre, is to discuss this October’s Referendum on the proposed construction, operation, maintenance and funding of a community centre in the city.

To be cost effective, the Assent Vote (commonly referred to as a Referendum) will be held in conjunction with this year’s General Local Election on Saturday, 15 October.

“We’re so excited about this project!  A gathering place where people can come together for social, cultural, business and life events yet have the opportunity to enjoy live entertainment, indoor performances, additional fitness and recreation programming too.  In short, it will take us to another level,” says Paul Keys, Manager of RDKB’s Facilities and Recreation based in Grand Forks.

“The people of Grand Forks and area have wanted a community space like this for a very long time. There’s nothing like it locally.  The want and need for it is clearly there and many stakeholders have been involved in the process so that the proposed build will be fit for purpose to fill that gap.  We need to be clear though:  Even if voters approve the referendum - the project, and its final costs, will still have to be approved at the RDKB board level to make it a reality.  We are almost there!” Says Danna O’ Donnell, RDKB Director, Electoral Area D/Rural Grand Forks.

“At the open house, residents will be able to get everything they need to make an informed decision when it comes to the referendum.  Staff who have been involved with the proposals from the outset will be on hand to answer questions, explain how it will impact taxes and talk about project specifics.  It’s an exciting time for Grand Forks,” says James Chandler, GM of Operations at the RDKB.

It is hoped that grants, which will be actively pursued in 2023, will significantly bring down the $16.3 million anticipated build costs.  Cathy Korolek RDKB Director for Grand Forks explains:  “If the loan authorization bylaw is approved in the referendum, the project will have the capacity in its budget to move forwards and we’ll be one step closer to securing a local community space.  We want to bring these ceiling costs down in any way we can by taking advantage of all grant opportunities. If successful, taxpayers contributions will be lessened accordingly. Shifting timelines risk rising costs elsewhere so we’ll need to ensure financial gains are worth any delays.

Located adjacent to the current aquatic centre and arena near the intersection of Hwy 3 and 19th Street, the one-storey, 13000 sq foot facility will feature a community hall for 250 people,  a commercial kitchen, washrooms, and a café.  It will also house a conference room designed to meet the demands of a modern Emergency Operations Centre when there is an activation.   The design incorporates a variety of spaces suitable for fitness, recreation, youth, maker activities, meetings, weddings, events, markets, fairs, family and special events. 

To find out more about the referendum and Community Centre project to include timelines, the impact on taxes and the 1802 and 1806 proposed bylaws which eligible electors will be asked to vote on, please visit https://jointheconversation.rdkb.com/ and look out for the mail shot in the post. 

 

Rock Creek’s Riverside Centre gains strength under public ownershipResidents, businesses and visitors in the West Boundary are set to benefit from a major change in the ownership and management of the Riverside Centre that promises to boost local services and promote wider community development.


The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) completed the purchase of the Centre this July with Federal Gas Tax funding and a short-term 5-year loan out of Area E Economic Development service.  This purchase was included in 2022 property taxes.  Trails to the Boundary Society (TTTBS) will manage it with existing staff and volunteers, making the not-for profit stewards a magnet for external grants and future development opportunities.  It’s projected that over $30K in annual rental revenue will be returned to Area E as a result.

 “A large number of services currently run out of the centre. Our competent and forward-looking staff, coupled with a host of valuable community volunteers, ensures continued growth. Promotion of the West Boundary, its opportunities, and economic development, are foremost in our minds,” says Patricia Henley, the president of the Trails to the Boundary Society. “The partnership with the regional district opens a variety of components for increased services, grants and exciting opportunities moving forward,” she adds.

“This is an exciting milestone for the West Boundary. I’m grateful to the Rock Creek Farmers’ Institute and Osoyoos Credit Union for taking the bold step to purchase the land back in 2018 and finance the construction,” says Director Vicki Gee, Area E/West Boundary who spearheaded the move for the RDKB board to purchase it from its joint owners, which had formed a co-operative with The Trails to the Boundary Society and Boundary Family Service to lease the land and build it. “We had a vision for a community space that would be accessible daily to deliver free core services.  Due to the intensive service focus of the Centre, it made sense that local government own it,” she adds.

“The Riverside Centre is in good hands as it enters its next stage and we’re pleased to have kickstarted the legacy it will ultimately create,“ says Alan Bajkov, Board Chair, Osoyoos Credit Union.  “Its new stewards will continue to ensure it remains driven by community need and will steer it forwards to stimulate growth, improve lives and strengthen the prosperity of our local economy to the benefit of the region,” he adds. 

“So much more than just a building, the Centre’s new owners understand the bigger picture we envisaged for it and will continue to uphold our values.  They’ll ensure it remains a central part of our rural life to enhance food security, bolster local business, support the agricultural community and entrust our heritage to the next generation,” says Ed Fossen, secretary of the Rock Creek Farmers’ Institute. 

History buffs will know that Riverside was formerly a town site with 14 buildings which was initially developed in the late 1850s during the Gold Rush. 

With free WiFi, EV charging stations, printing & scanning services, a drop in venue, Board Room and ‘hot office’ rentals, the centre is now home to a full service Visitor Information Centre, local artisan products, art and history books, Osoyoos Credit Union Office and ATM, Boundary Invasive Species office, WorkBC outreach through Community Futures, Boundary Family Services outreach, the Ministry of Children & Family Development, Boundary Women’s Coalition, a Community Integration Specialist (Ministry of Social Development & Poverty Reduction) and offers Tech Learning through the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy.

Under a New Horizons for Seniors grant, weekly educational sessions will be held through March 2023.  Hugely popular and of interest to all ages, a schedule of topics is promoted in the Kettle River Echo and West Boundary Connect for anyone who is interested in attending.

Anouschka Riverin with her BikeAnouschka Riverin, finance manager with the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, will be swapping her calculator for cycling when she takes on the ‘Tour de Cure’ 100km fundraising bike ride in Chilliwack later this month.

Her team, ‘Just Beat it’, hopes to complete the epic, in-person cycling challenge in under 5 hours and has raised nearly $2000 to help the BC Cancer Foundation break down the disease through lifesaving research and enhancements to care.

Three of the Rosslander’s closest outdoor adventure buddies will join her on BC’s biggest cycling fundraiser when she saddles up on Saturday, 27 August.  Together they will be fuelled and motivated by the ‘generosity of colleagues at the RDKB’ who have been donating to it throughout her event training.

“Helping to change the stigma around cancer has been a learning experience filled with constant personal growth,” says Anouschka, who is a cancer survivor and openly shares her story when prompted by colleagues and friends.  Diagnosed with advanced Stage 4 colon cancer metastasized to her liver in November 2020, the BC Cancer Foundation played a major role in her recovery.  It takes a whole team to break away from cancer and the players in Anouschka’s have been vast:  The oncology team, Dr. Scotland and Dr. Schumacher at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital; her nurses and Dr. Eeason at Kelowna General; the radiation team and Dr. Liu at Vancouver’s BC Cancer Agency and her family doctor Dr.Jonas Sandstrom.

“I’m so grateful to everyone who has supported me over the last couple of years as well as the kindness and generosity of my colleagues at the RDKB. This cause is very personal to me but it affects everyone - nearly 1 in 2 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer, and 1 in 4 will die from the disease,” adds Anouschka.

Looking the picture of health, you wouldn’t expect Anouschka’s journey to have involved 12 rounds of chemotherapy, short-course radiation therapy and three surgeries in 2021 alone. Apart from a small bump just below her right clavicle, beneath which lies a power port tube to her heart, there is little evidence on the outside of her scuffle with cancer.   Her chemo tube is flushed monthly, and it remains in place as a constant reminder that remission is unlikely to last.  She is very upbeat about it all and the team will be celebrating the fundraising event at the Waterpark afterwards.

“My biggest concern is for my butt!  I’m going to be on that saddle for a long stretch,” adds Anouschka who has been clocking over 100km every week as part of her training regime and regularly commutes up and down the hill from Rossland to RDKB’s headquarters in Trail. 

Help bring hope to cancer patients in British Columbia, power research and find new cures by donating online: tourdecure.ca/fundraiser/justbeatit  Your generosity will also help ‘Just Beat It’ reach their $7500 fundraising goal and motivate them throughout the Tour De Cure: (Link: Anouschka Riverin – The Tour de Cure | BC Cancer Foundation)

Amy Shields A buzz and sense of excitement is in the air within the RDKB’s Grand Forks Recreation Department as it works on developing, promoting and hosting brand new local programs following the appointment of its first ever community programmer.

Raised in the West Kootenays, Amy Shields will bring 10 years’ experience accrued in the sports & leisure industry to her new role.  She will kick off her tenure with the launch of a fresh and exciting Fall schedule, soon to be announced, that will encompass a physical literacy-based multi-sport program on Fridays designed to appeal to children out of school.

With a shared vision to build social capital for the people of Grand Forks, the ‘new team in town’ is brimming with ideas to keep everyone, from toddlers to elders, entertained, happy, energised and motivated. 

From their base within the Jack Goddard Memorial Arena, they have plans to shake up the local recreation offering, create more fit-for-life opportunities, identify existing recreational gaps, fill them and make the pursuit of healthy lifestyles more accessible and affordable to all.

In response to demand and high on the agenda is the roll out of more cultural activities as well as those aimed at girls/women-only groups.  Embracing the bigger picture, collaboration with other community groups will bring some new and exciting events to Grand Forks and beyond in 2023.

“We are thrilled that Amy has chosen to join and expand our team.  We can’t wait to see what the future holds!” says Melina Van Hoogevest, recreation supervisor at RDKB’s Grand Forks recreation department. “Her qualifications, previous work and volunteer experience as well as her passion for introducing exceptional programs for our community make her the perfect fit,” she adds.

“There is so much scope to boost our fabulous arena and aquatics programs.  Having a fresh slate to add more quality and growth to them, for more local people to enjoy, is an awesome opportunity and will be a lot of fun,” says Amy whose vast experience encompasses work with seniors as well as children in the FUNdamental stage of the Long Term Athlete Development model.  “The provision of robust, high quality, low cost and accessible recreation activities are so important.  They help build stronger, active, healthier communities, bring opportunity to those who need it most and improve overall wellbeing across all ages and groups,” she adds.

Leading by example, Amy is very active: she has competed in Masters track and field championships; loves to ski and hike; and has completed an impressive nine long distance running events comprising Marathons and an 50K Ultra.  She also has NCCP coaching certificates in cross country skiing, gymnastics and track and field.  

Christina Laker James Dergousoff and othersFormer staff member and Christina Laker James Dergousoff (pictured second from left) is coming home from the Commonwealth Games with a silver medal!

James swam the breast stroke leg for the Canadian entry in the 4 x 100m mixed medley relay that finished in second place.  You can watch the replay here: https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2057999427743

We're so incredibly proud!

25 year old James, whose hometown is Christina Lake, now lives in Quebec City but has a deep connection with the pool at the Grand Forks Aquatic Centre as well as the people who use it and run it. 

“As a toddler, I would take him to the aquatics centre to burn off all that excess energy.  He was diving off the deep end before his 3rd birthday and had enrolled himself in the local Piranhas speed swim club by Kindergarten,” says mom Theresa whose family still use their place at Christina Lake despite having to leave the Boundary area in James’ teenage years due to work.

In the years since, the former RDKB fitness instructor and lifeguard has also used the vast expanse of water at Christina Lake, as well as his ‘local’ pool at Grand Forks, for training.  During the pandemic (May 2020), when public pools across the world closed, James moved back to the lake, bought a wetsuit and swam there to continue his preparations for that year’s Olympic trials.

The Grand Forks Recreation team recently commissioned renowned mural artist Paul Archer to paint a giant image of the Olympic hopeful swimming on the north end interior wall of the Aquatic Centre after the RDKB match funded the sponsorship received from local supporter, Dr. Mark Szynkaruk.
Photo credit: Swimming Canada/Ian MacNicol
 

Join a free session to learn about running for local government office.

With local government elections this October 15, people are starting to give serious consideration to who could be representing communities for the next four-year term. Everyone wants to elect people who care.

Democracy starts in our own communities. Local government is designed to be representative of the greater community. It plays a critical role in shaping the reality of our day-to-day lives. It provides core services and responds to local needs, but it is often overlooked as a way to enact change. Everyone who runs in a local government election wants to make their community a better place. Ideas differ and priorities are not always shared - this is a good thing. It means our communities get robust representation.

We can begin to build the changes we want to see. We can improve infrastructure and services that we all use and enjoy, while promoting the long-term success for future generations.

Whether you are thinking of running for office or you care about electing the best candidates that will shape the future of your community, this free candidates-readiness workshop is for you. Ready to learn more? We’ve got you covered.


Workshop details

August 24, 2022
6 p.m. | snacks provided
In-person | 445 – 13th Avenue, Castlegar
Online via Zoom | castlegar.ca/workshop

The workshop is offered by City of Castlegar, City of Rossland, City of Nelson, Regional District of Central Kootenay, and Regional District of Kootenay Boundary and led by Christina Benty, former Mayor for the Town of Golden, from Strategic Leadership Solutions. For more information, visit: castlegar.ca/workshop

Archer and his sidekick Lannah, an 8 year old cross between a Mini Schnauzer and a Chinese Creston.Renowned mural artist Paul Archer has completed the incredible transformation of the north-end interior wall of the Aquatic Centre in Grand Forks for the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB).   The large-scale painting of former colleague and local swimming legend James Dergousoff is a fitting tribute to the athleticism and determination of the Olympic hopeful as he competes on the world stage.

With this latest addition, Archer is now responsible for over 80 murals in Grand Forks alone - more than Chemainus, the mural capital of BC.  His latest portraiture depicts James in action during the trial heats that led him to this year’s FINA World Championships in Budapest, on Canada’s senior national swim team. 

Achieving the motion and movement of the water splash was “the hardest, challenging and most enjoyable aspect of the process,” says Archer, who used four colours of latex paint and high flow acrylics just to master its white cap, cascades, fountains, bubbles and splashes.

James is currently preparing to represent Canada at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, UK (July 28th – August 8th).  He grew up training in the Aquatic Centre as part of the Grand Forks Piranhas swim club, has a close affinity with RDKB staff as a former fitness instructor and lifeguard, and will provide years of inspiration for the youngsters who swim there in his wake. 

Working through the night and beyond, Archer created the giant swimming action shot over a five-day period with his service dog Lannah who is always close to the artist when he has his airbrush gun in-hand.  The pair, who are used to forming an attentive crowd and even popcorn eating line-ups around their workspace, captivated a young audience that watched the artist’s magic unfold poolside after practising  their own kind of strokes in the water.

“Archer has the most incredible life story, the coolest career, and is so talented.  He was the perfect choice for our mural project and we’re so fortunate that he took it on,” says Melina Van Hoogevest, recreation supervisor at RDKB’s Grand Forks recreation department.  “We’ll be closely following James in the Commonwealth Games to see if he can break that minute on the 100 Breast.  Whatever the outcome, we can’t wait until he visits us in early August to see what’s popped up at the pool where his aquatic dreams first began!” she adds.

Despite Archer’s father having concerns that he would never make a living being an artist, “everyday is an adventure” for the self-acclaimed “Anglo Saxon freak & his dog”, who has worked for some of the biggest brands and names in biz to create Instagram-worthy content worldwide.  Wherever he goes, people love to watch and as “the Universe always provides”, one job has always effortlessly led to the next.  

During his colourful career, Archer has turned down Disney (twice), drawn the dead (he still uses a funeral car to transport his materials in); Britney Spears has taken his Burmese Python on stage and after being stabbed, the mugshot he drew of his attacker led to an arrest.   He has created outdoor concert stage backdrops for Black Sabbath, Lady Gaga, Metallica, Alice Cooper and most recently, Snoop Dog.  As the only large-scale brush artist in the Caribbean, a six-week project there turned into a 6 ½-year stint where he became a tourist attraction in himself as he burnt images of music icons into Hard Rock Café bar tops.   “I’m always in that place,” says Archer as he describes the time he was asked to look after Tony Hawke and the Jackass crew when they arrived on a job at a 50,000 sq ft skate park he was working on in the Cayman Islands.  Unfortunately, on that occasion, he missed the chance to do a private commission for Bam Margera when the shorts he’d written his number on got lost in a hurricane.

Locally, Archer’s expanse of work includes the Davis building and Cannafest.  He hopes to make a lasting mark for Greenwood’s 125th birthday and a Canadian & American Tour to honour indigenous burials is also in the pipeline.

To finance the mural project, the RDKB match-funded sponsorship received from local supporter, Dr. Mark Szynkaruk.

RDKB Annual Report cover taken by Tina Bryan Photography

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) has announced the launch of its second-ever Annual Report.  With an impressive sunset shot taken by Tina Bryan at Nursery Bridge in Grand Forks on its front cover, the digital publication provides a beautiful snapshot of the RDKB’s scope, services and spending during 2021.

As the branch of government that works closest to the people, RDKB’s Finance and Corporate team have used the online document to report on the organization’s robust financial health and clear sense of direction to its citizens, while framing the Kootenay and Boundary areas as an attractive proposition for investment and growth.  Designed by Shelley Ackermann, who juggles her family’s business operating The Alpine Grind café in Rossland with graphic design work, imagery from local photographers and RDKB staff captures the essence of our region from the ski hills of Big White in the west to the serenity of Champion Lakes in the east.

“Unlike municipalities, regional districts are not legislated to produce annual reports.  However, the RDKB has chosen to create the document to be transparent and accountable to the region’s citizens on how their needs are met, funds are raised, tax dollars are spent, and to also measure what strategic plan objectives have been achieved,” says RDKB’s Chief Finance Officer Barbara Ihlen.  “If you want to find out what the RDKB is all about, head to our website and take a look at our 2021 Annual Report.  Weve adapted our financial information to transform from what can be an incredibly dry read into an informative, visually impressive one with a financial and statistical section that underlies our commitment to open and responsible reporting,” she adds.

“This document is a way for us to report on our 2021 challenges and successes and to our communities how we manage the services we deliver to our residents,” adds Linda Worley, Chair of RDKB’s Board of Directors. 

As detailed in the RDKB’s latest Annual Report, accomplishments during 2021 included the following:  Designating the Cascade Cemetery (Area C) and the Franklin Trail (Area D) as heritage sites; receiving funding from FortisBC for a senior energy specialist for an additional two years; starting the retrofit of the Charles Bailey Theatre rigging system/orchestra pit which was supported by the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund and Columbia Basin Trust; receiving an additional $1 million in provincial grants for the Food Hub project; and receiving approval of $46 million in provincial and federal funding for the Columbia Pollution Control Centre (waste water treatment) upgrade project.

Head to the homepage of rdkb.com to take a look at how your tax dollars are managed to address your area’s short and long-term needs. It’s all in the RDKB’s 2021 Annual Report here.

James Dergousoff

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary’s (RDKB) Grand Forks team will be closely monitoring the progress of former colleague James Dergousoff, and cheering wildly for him, when the promising breaststroker competes for Canada at his first FINA World Swim Championships in Budapest this coming Saturday, June 18.

25year old James, whose hometown is Christina Lake, now lives in Quebec City but has a deep connection with the pool at the Grand Forks Aquatic Centre as well as the people who use it and run it. 

“As a toddler, I would take him to the aquatics centre to burn off all that excess energy.  He was diving off the deep end before his 3rd birthday and had enrolled himself in the local Piranhas speed swim club by Kindergarten,” says mom Theresa whose family still use their place at Christina Lake despite having to leave the Boundary area in James’ teenage years due to work.

In the years since, the former RDKB fitness instructor and lifeguard has also used the vast expanse of water at Christina Lake, as well as his ‘local’ pool at Grand Forks, for training.  During the pandemic (May 2020), when public pools across the world closed, James moved back to the lake, bought a wetsuit and swam there to continue his preparations for that year’s Olympic trials.

The Pan American Games medallist won the 100m and 200m Breaststroke races at the 2022 Bell Canadian Swimming Trials to qualify for next week’s FINA event. That performance also opened the lane for James to represent Canada during the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham (UK) later this summer (28th July - 8 Aug).

“We all know James very well and are super excited for his return to competitive swimming.  He’s a fantastic role model for our young people here, very driven, and we’ll be cheering him on from Grand Forks Rec as he makes one more push to fulfill his dream of representing Canada at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.  What an opportunity!” says Melina Van Hoogevest, recreation supervisor at RDKB’s Grand Forks recreation department.  As well as having the opportunity to work with James at the Aquatic Centre for a six-month stint (October 21 – March 22), she also knew James as a boy growing up.

“Whatever the outcome this summer, James is one of our community’s greatest swim athletes, the finest young man ever and with his amazing positive attitude and outlook on life was an awesome part of our team at the Aquatic Centre.  We’re currently making plans to create a giant mural of him in action so that he can continue to inspire others with what he has accomplished,” adds Melina.

Local mural artist Archer, who has helped transform Grand Forks with his incredible artwork, has been commissioned to paint an image of James swimming on the north end interior wall of the Aquatic Centre after the RDKB match-funded the sponsorship received from local supporter, Dr. Mark Szynkaruk.

You can track James’ progress in the 100m and 200m Breaststroke heats at the FINA World Swim Championships when they kick off on Saturday, June 18 and Wednesday, June 22.  The event will be streamed live daily on the CBC Sports app, CBCSports.ca and CBC Gem, plus weekend coverage on the CBC TV network, beginning at 1 pm PST both Saturday, June 18, and Sunday, June 19.

“James has swam under a minute in the 100 Fly, the 100 Back and the 100 Free.  His current best time in the 100 Breast is 1.00:88.  If he goes under a minute, he will be one of a handful of swimmers in the world that have ever gone under a minute in all four disciplines - not even Michael Phelps has done that.   So, while there are much faster swimmers in the competition, we’re watching very closely and hoping for that 59 second swim!” adds Theresa Dergousoff.

News From 2021

 

Trail, BC
July 15, 2021
1:00 p.m. PT


Trail, B.C. —The Christina Lake Fire Department is helping Christina Lake residents protect their homes and prepare for wildfire through an innovative sprinkler program.

For a $200 investment, homeowners can have fire personnel install and test the WASP sprinkler, a gutter-mounted sprinkler system designed to fit any house. Firefighters also provide advice to homeowners on how to apply FireSmart principles to their property and help residents sign up for the RDKB’s emergency notification system.
Christina Lake sprinkler program helps residents prepare for wildfire
“Our approach with this program is, ‘Help us help you,’” said Christina Lake Fire Rescue Chief Joe Geary.

“The outreach is excellent training for our firefighters and enables them to connect with and educate residents about wildfire and how to prevent it and prepare for it.”

Since the program was initiated in 2020, Christina Lake Fire Rescue has installed 105 sets of sprinklers on 64 homes in the community.

In addition to protecting individual homes, the sprinklers benefit the wider community. Each home that has its own sprinkler system is one less home that may require emergency use of a regional Structure Protection Unit (SPU) deployed as available by structural firefighters during wildland urban interface fires. The closet SPU is located at the Grand Forks Fire Department.

“We know which properties have sprinklers in place so that we can monitor them in the event of an interface wildfire, and then we also know which homes may require deployment of an SPU sprinkler if it is available and not already deployed in another community,” says Geary.
Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Area C/Christina Lake Director Grace McGregor was keen to have one of the sprinkler units installed on her home and encourages her constituents to do the same.

“As a homeowner, community member and elected representative for Christina Lake, I try to lead by example whenever I can. If we receive an evacuation order due to wildfire, we can turn on our sprinkler unit and be able to leave quickly with some small peace of mind knowing that FireSmart homes with sprinklers installed are more likely to withstand a wildfire than those without them.”

“I am so thankful to our fire department for developing this program and I think we all need to take advantage of it if we can,” said Director McGregor.

For more information on the Christina Lake Fire Rescue sprinkler program, contact Christina Lake Fire Rescue at 250-447-6611.

For tips on how to FireSmart your property, visit https://firesmartbc.ca/

To sign up for RDKB Emergency/Evacuation Notifications go to https://emergency.rdkb.com

 

Trail, BC
July 15, 2021
1:00 p.m. PT


The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary will use long-term borrowing to finance a $1,285,000 loan to buy a new tender/pumper engine, a primary fire rescue engine, a command vehicle, a heater and boiler, an exhaust removal system and a self-contained breathing apparatus cascading system for Christina Lake Fire Rescue.

Two electors of an eligible 1604 electors in the Electoral Area ‘C’/Christina Lake Local Service Fire Protection Area opposed long-term borrowing through an Alternative Approval Process (AAP) that ended on July 12. For the AAP to fail, the RDKB needed to receive at least 10 per cent or 160 signed and submitted elector response forms opposing the proposed Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 1758 that allows for long-term borrowing for the fire apparatus and equipment. As that threshold was not met, the bylaw will now go to the Board of Directors for adoption to initiate the long-term borrowing at their next meeting on July 29. 

“I would like to thank everyone who took the time to learn about or participate in the Alternative Approval Process, whether they were in favour of our borrowing strategy or against it,” said Area C/Christina Lake Director Grace McGregor.

“It’s great news that we can now acquire the equipment needed to keep our community and our fire fighters safe and do so in a fiscally responsible way by spreading the cost over a longer period so the impact on those paying for fire protection and emergency response services is affordable.”

The new firefighting equipment will allow Christina Lake Fire and Rescue Service to maintain its current Class 1 Public Fire Protection Classification (PFPC) with the Fire Underwriters of Canada. Meeting this standard will continue to allow for lower home insurance rates for property owners in the region.

“This new equipment will allow us to comply with the National Fire Protection Association and WorkSafe BC regulations and will provide a safer work environment for our firefighters,” said Christina Lake Fire Rescue Chief Joe Geary.

The loan for the fire equipment will be repaid over a period of no more than 20 years and residents will pay an additional $4 to $14 dollars in property taxes per annum per $100,000 of property assessment over that period.

In an AAP, electors are asked whether they oppose a question, rather than providing their assent to a question, as they do in a referendum. An AAP is often used when regional districts propose loan authorization bylaws or when electors have already been actively engaged on a topic and there are reasonable indications that they are in favour of a proposal. It has the additional advantage of being less expensive to carry out than a full referendum that requires polling stations and other voting infrastructure. TT

 

- Trail users, stakeholders and partners are invited to complete a survey at jointheconversation.

Trail, BC
July 14, 2021
1:00 p.m. PT

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) has launched a community engagement process to capture data related to recreational trail user habits. It includes a survey that will remain open until September 9, 2021 when results will be used to determine whether to develop a Boundary Recreational Trails Master Plan (BRTMP). The plan would apply to electoral areas D/Rural Grand Forks and E/West Boundary as well as the municipalities of Midway, Greenwood, and Grand Forks.

“The Boundary has a wealth of frontcountry and backcountry trails. This is a great chance for everyone interested in our trails to tell usCyclists enjoy the Kettle Valley Rail Trail near Rock Creek. The RDKB invites anyone and everyone interested in trails in the Boundary to complete an online survey at jointheconversation.rdkb.com. what is important to them, their experience on the trails and to help us understand who uses which trails and why,” said Area E/West Boundary Director Vicki Gee.

“Recreational opportunities are a big part of why people want to live in this part of B.C. I am excited to see what we learn from all those who have enjoyed our trails or who have an opinion about trails or a connection to trail. I hope we can get lots of people to participate,” said Area D/Rural Grand Forks Director Danna O’Donnell.

The RDKB is working with their consultant, Cascade Environmental Resource Group, to investigate, research, and consult with the public. Surveys will reveal local knowledge on inventory, types of trails, locations and potential opportunities. They will inform the RDKB about trail use demographics, identify existing and potential future areas of interest, and potential opportunities and constraints.

For more information about the engagement process and to complete a survey, go to the RDKB’s community engagement site, jointheconversation.rdkb.com.

 

 

- Bylaw enforcement officer can now issue tickets, fines and public can request adjudication.

Trail, BC
July 8, 2021
11:45 a.m. PT

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) has enacted its 2021 Bylaw Notice Enforcement Bylaw (Enforcement Bylaw) that provides the RDKB bylaw enforcement officer with the authority to issue tickets and related fines for bylaw infractions.

Local governments create bylaws for various purposes including to regulate, prohibit, or require certain actions or behaviours related to things like land use and zoning; building regulations; animal control; and noise.

Anyone who receives a ticket and wishes to dispute it can do so through a new administrative adjudication system that is part of the new Enforcement Bylaw. This means disputes can stay out of the provincial court system and lawyers and witnesses are no longer needed to adjudicate.

“My first approach is always to educate people about what the actual bylaws are and why they exist,” said RDKB Bylaw Enforcement Officer Brandy Rafuse.

Rafuse said situations can be corrected by the property owner once they understand what the bylaw requires, and a ticket or fine can be avoided in certain cases, depending upon several factors including whether a situation is unsafe.

“When I receive a written complaint and arrive at a property to investigate, I may discover that the owner has no idea they are contravening a bylaw, or what the financial and legal implications may be if they fail to comply.”

To educate residents about the new Enforcement Bylaw and other bylaws that exist across the region, the RDKB has mailed an informational flyer to all electoral area addresses this past week and has shared an educational video here and on social media to explain how the new process works.

“If we issue a ticket after someone has been educated about what the bylaws require, I always point out that on the back of any ticket are written instructions on how to dispute it, so residents know that a straightforward process exists for them to make their case.”

The RDKB bylaw enforcement process is complaint-driven, which means only written complaints sent to the RDKB can trigger an investigation into a possible bylaw contravention. Anyone can submit a complaint through an online form here or by email, mailed letter, petition, or verified fax.

All complaints are confidential, and the provincial Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act requires the RDKB to keep all personal information confidential even if someone makes an information request under the Act. The only case in which information may be disclosed is if the matter proceeds to court and the RDKB is required by law to disclose the information provided.

Anyone who receives a bylaw infraction ticket can pay a reduced rate if they pay early and has access to an adjudication system in which an independent adjudicator renders an impartial decision about whether the offence occurred.

“Bylaws are in place to keep our communities safe and livable for everyone. We are committed to educating people about how and why to respect bylaws in place for their own and their neighbours’ well-being. We are also committed to enforcing those bylaws and providing the public with access to a fair, impartial adjudication process. Education and enforcement are both necessary to keep the Kootenay Boundary a great place to live,” said Director Ali Grieve, Electoral Area Services Committee Chair, the committee responsible for bylaw enforcement services.

For more information about bylaw enforcement and to find a link to RDKB bylaws in your area, check the Bylaw Enforcement page here.

 

Trail, BC
June 29, 2021
11:00 a.m. PT

Outdoor water conservation stage 2
Beaver Valley Water Service customers in the Village of Fruitvale have moved to Stage 2 of the WaterSmart Outdoor Water Conservation program . This means even numbered addresses can irrigate or run a sprinkler on Tuesday and Saturday and odd numbered addresses can water Wednesday and Sunday. No irrigation or sprinkling is allowed on Mondays, Thursdays or Fridays. Residents can water with a micro- or drip irrigation systems or hose with a shut-off nozzle any day of the week.

“We have had very little rain this spring and now we’re into day after day of high temperatures. We have seen a sharp increase in the amount of water being used in the Village of Fruitvale as a result. Going to Stage 2 now helps us manage consumption, continue to supply safe, clean drinking water and still meet outdoor needs,” said Gabe Wiebe, RDKB WaterSmart/Engineering and Safety Coordinator.

Outdoor water use accounted for over 30 per cent of the total water used in the Beaver Valley Water Utility in 2020. The water conservation program is designed to result in a lower volume of water treated, reduced stress on infrastructure, lower costs to maintain the water system, and fewer impacts on ecosystems.

To further promote water conservation, the RDKB is offering free water conservation kits to utility customers in Beaver Valley, Rivervale and Christina Lake. These kits, funded by FortisBC, include a low-flow showerhead, a kitchen faucet aerator, and a bathroom faucet aerator. All items are easy to install so residents can begin saving water, energy and money right away.

The WaterSmart Outdoor Water Conservation program supports environmental stewardship and climate preparedness priorities for the RDKB.
For more information, please visit:

https://jointheconversation.rdkb.com/rdkb-watersmart

 

Trail, BC
June 8, 2021
12:00 p.m. PT

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary has received $395,027 in provincial funding for the second phase of a two-phase project to upgrade Saddle Lake Dam west of Grand Forks, B.C., it announced today.

The first phase of the project included design and construction of a $190,000 free overflow spillway completed in 2019—also funded by the Government of British Columbia. The second phase will increase dam stability above and below the concrete spillway.

“We are grateful to the Province of B.C. for funding this project and helping us further prepare for our annual freshet. This project will ensure we have a safer, more stable dam so residents who live and farm in the valley below can expect the spillway and dam to function predictably. We can continue to enjoy hiking, biking and bird-watching in the public access areas near Saddle Lake,” said Danna O’Donnell, electoral area director for Area D/Rural Grand Forks.

“This is the only dam the RDKB owns in the region, and it has been a concern for us for several years since a provincial dam safety review in 2014 identified it as being at risk of failure, with very serious consequences for anyone living downstream,” said Goran Denkovski, Manager of Infrastructure and Sustainability at the RDKB.

“We knew that both phases of this project were crucial to maintaining the dam over the long term and ensuring that it would continue to safely spill the water behind it during annual freshet and hold back the water at other times of the year,” said Denkovski.

Construction of the Saddle Lake Dam Phase 2 Stabilization project will begin in summer 2021, pending approval of permits, when the RDKB plans to install lock blocks on the top of the dam to tie the existing concrete face to the earthen section of the dam. They will then add filter fabric and additional fill on the downstream side to lessen the downstream slope and install rocky material, or riprap, on top of that to prevent erosion and add further stability. The project is scheduled for completion by fall 2022.

Saddle Lake is an artificial lake that formed behind the dam in a saddle-like depression between two hills above rural Grand Forks when local Doukhobor farmers built the reservoir dam to meet irrigation needs for the extensive communal orchards and grain fields below in 1912. The RDKB acquired the dam in 2012 and has maintained and monitored the dam under the supervision of the B.C. Dam Safety Program since then.

This funding was granted under the 2020 Structural Flood Mitigation category in the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF). Funding goes towards projects that enhance the resiliency of local governments, First Nations and communities in responding to emergencies, and is administered by the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM).

 

Trail, BC
June 3, 2021
12:00 p.m. PT

Engine Boss wildland fire training hosted by Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue

- Office of the Fire Commissioner, Fire Chiefs Association of B.C. and the BC Wildfire Service cooperate to train local fire departments

Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue (KBRFR)The Hospital Creek Firecrews along with other Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) firefighters from Christina Lake, Grand Forks and from fire departments across the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) will participate in advanced wildfire suppression training this week. Thirty-nine structural firefighters will gain the skills and knowledge to lead a single fire engine and attached personnel to fight wildland fires this summer.  

Structural firefighters trained in wildland firefighting are dispatched to fight wildfires at the request of the BC Wildfire Service or the Office of the Fire Commissioner. The two-day Engine Boss course trains firefighters how to safely lead their crew and to take responsibility for crew safety and reporting to other incident supervisors during a wildland fire incident. 

“We’re really pleased that firefighters from across the RDKB and RDCK will receive training in more advanced supervisory roles during a wildfire and allow us to expand our capacity to help the BC Wildfire Service fight wildfires across the region this summer,” said Dan Derby, Regional Fire Chief, Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue.  

Derby, who is also president of the Fire Chiefs Association of British Columbia (FCABC), said the course was developed in partnership between the Office of the Fire Commissioner and the BC Wildfire Service, and is supported by the FCABC and host fire departments including KBRFR.  

“This kind of training only happens when everyone involved in fire suppression – structural and wildland – cooperates toward the same goal of getting more structural firefighters trained to take on leadership roles during interface wildfires so we can respond as a team with BC Wildfire to keep people safe during wildfire season.”  

“We’re also really thankful to our instructors from the City of West Kelowna and the City of Penticton who took the time to develop and deliver this course. Everyone has stepped up to make sure we keep improving our fire suppression skills at the municipal and local government levels.” 

Field training for the course will take place on Saturday, June 5 in Trail after a one-day online training session. 

Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue serves Lower Columbia communities including electoral areas A and B/Lower Columbia-Old Glory from fire halls in Rossland, Warfield, Trail, Genelle, Montrose, and Fruitvale. The RDKB also provides fire rescue services from stations in Christina Lake, rural Grand Forks, Kettle Valley, Beaverdell and at Big White.  

 

Trail, BC
May 31, 2021
11:30 a.m. PT

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary has lowered its flags to half-mast at its Trail and Grand Forks offices in response to the 215 children whose remains were found by the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc at the former site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School.   

“The loss of any child is a terrible thing and every parent’s worst nightmare. To hear of the deaths of more than two hundred children at one location is unfathomable. What is clear is that the residential school system continues to cause great pain for Indigenous peoples, families and communities, and by extension, all of humanity. This discovery is the most blunt, brutal reminder imaginable of what Indigenous peoples have suffered in the residential school system,” said Diane Langman, RDKB board chair.

“On behalf of our board of directors and staff, we honour the lives of these little ones whose families’ and communities’ hearts are broken, and who deserve our full support to find answers, bring their children home, and begin to heal.”

The RDKB periodically lower flags to half-mast in response to a tragic death or catastrophic event in the world.

 

Trail, BC
May 27, 2021
11:00 a.m. PT

- Retriev Technologies in Waneta has donated over $20,000 in life safety equipment to the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary in the last 10 years

Thermal imager donated by Retriev TechnologiesKootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue (KBRFR) has added a thermal imaging camera to its fire fighting arsenal. Retriev Technologies in Waneta donated the $7,000 camera to firefighters at the Trail Station on May 26.

“We’re extremely thankful to Retriev Technologies for providing us with an indispensable tool to help us perform our duties more safely and effectively in the extremely hostile environment of a structural fire,” said KBRFR Regional Fire Chief Dan Derby.

“This tool not only helps our crews orient themselves in a building and locate the seat of a fire and any victims faster, but it gives us another vital piece of equipment designed to make sure we all go home safe at the end of a call,” said Chief Derby.

A thermal imaging camera (TIC) detects infrared energy, or heat, and converts it into a visual image. Firefighters often struggle to see through the intense smoke of a structural fire and the TIC allows them to see flames clearly and quickly, and to scan large areas to locate victims and make better decisions when every second counts. The handheld camera displays high resolution images on a bright, four-inch LCD screen so details of the environment are visible as firefighters move through a burning structure.

Derby said that recent studies of scenarios in which a thermal imaging camera was used and compared to scenarios without a camera, search times to find victims dropped by 75 per cent, time to locate the source of the fire was cut by 60 per cent, and firefighters located an exit 100 per cent of the time with the camera compared to 70 percent without a TIC.

“Retriev Technologies wholeheartedly supports firefighter and public health and safety. As a technology company, we are keenly aware that advances in equipment such TICs can help people do their jobs better and save lives, and we want to play a role making our communities safer,” said Kathy Bruce, Vice President of Retriev Technologies.

Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue serves the Greater Trail area as well as electoral areas A and B/Lower Columbia-Old Glory from fire halls in Rossland, Warfield, Trail, Genelle, Montrose, and Fruitvale. The RDKB also provides fire rescue services from stations in Christina Lake, rural Grand Forks, the Kettle Valley, Beaverdell and at Big White.

 
Trail, BC
April 28, 2021
4:00 p.m. PT

Today the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) introduced its new WaterSmart Outdoor Water Conservation program to customers of the Christina Lake Water Utility, Rivervale Water Utility and Beaver Valley Water Service (Village of Fruitvale).

In 2020, outdoor water use accounted for over 30 per cent of the total water used in the Beaver Valley Water Utility, 40 per cent in the Rivervale Water Utility and 50 per cent in the Christina Lake Water Utility. Outdoor water conservation measures can drastically reduce water use. An effective program results in less water treated, reduced stress on infrastructure, lower costs to maintain the water system, and reduced impacts on ecosystems.

“The RDKB is working with residents to reduce water use by 20 per cent in each of these three water utilities in keeping with our regional water conservation plans,” said Gabe Wiebe, RDKB WaterSmart/Engineering and Safety Coordinator.

The WaterSmart Outdoor Water Conservation program also supports environmental stewardship and climate preparedness, both of which are priorities for the region.

Stage 1 outdoor water conservation measures are in effect now. This means even numbered addresses can water Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and odd numbered addresses can water Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. No one is allowed to water on Mondays. Anyone with a programmable sprinkler system should update their system to follow the new watering schedule. If drought conditions change, the RDKB WaterSmart Team will inform residents about any change in the Outdoor Water Conservation stage, and the measures they need to follow.

To further promote water conservation, the RDKB is offering free water conservation kits to utility customers in Beaver Valley, Rivervale and Christina Lake. These kits include a low-flow showerhead, a kitchen faucet aerator, and a bathroom faucet aerator. All items are easy to install so residents can begin saving water, energy and money right away.

For more information, please visit: https://jointheconversation.rdkb.com/rdkb-watersmart

 

Trail, BC
March 25, 2021
11:30 a.m. PT

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary has installed new high efficiency furnaces at the Fruitvale Fire Hall as part of its commitment to reduce both energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by increasing energy efficiency in RDKB buildings and facilities.

“We knew before this project that we could find ways to reduce energy use in our fire halls. With the energy assessment and subsidies FortisBC made available, it was immediately apparent that replacing two old furnaces would shrink our carbon footprint at the Fruitvale Station by close to 15 per cent,” said Dan Derby, Regional Fire Chief for Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue (KBRFR), which includes six fire stations across the Kootenay side of the RDKB.

The RDKB is undertaking energy assessments at nine of its facilities including fire halls and recreation facilities after FortisBC offered free commercial energy assessments to its commercial customers. The new furnaces at the Fruitvale Fire Hall are eligible under the FortisBC rebate program that supports the replacement of old commercial furnaces with high efficiency.

“I am really pleased to see projects like this completed by Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue Service,” said Linda Worley, Chair of the East End Services Committee that oversees KBRFR. “Our committee and our fire service are doing whatever we can to support our regional Climate Action Imperative. That imperative only means something if we act and I’m proud to say that this project is another action toward reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.”

In 2020, the RDKB launched its internal Climate and Action Awareness program. This program includes a quarterly newsletter to staff, quarterly reporting of energy consumptions at key facilities, quarterly information sessions for staff on a range of energy and climate topics and providing both work and home energy saving tips.

More information about commercial rebates and reducing energy consumption:

RDKB Climate Action Facts

  • The RDKB signed on to the BC Climate Action Charter in 2008 and committed to work towards being carbon neutral.
  • In October 2019, the RDKB declared a Climate Action Imperative, recognizing that the RDKB and its communities are already facing significant impacts of climate change and committing to take measurable actions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
  • The joint Provincial-UBCM Green Communities Committee (GCC) has recognized the RDKB as a climate leader for achieving Level 3, the second highest level in a four-level program toward becoming fully carbon neutral.
  • GCC Level 3 recognition means the RDKB has accelerated its progress on commitments to act at the corporate and community levels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
  • The RDKB reports its GHG results to the GCC and the public through the RDKB Corporate Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and the annual Climate Action Revenue Incentive (CARIP) Report.
  • The RDKB has steadily reduced net emissions by about 575 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) which is a 44% reduction since 2008.

 

Trail, BC
March 12, 2021
9:00 a.m. PT

- Public invited to attend on Saturday, March 20 at 2:00 pm through Facebook live

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary and the Boundary Community Ventures Association (BCVA) will host a virtual grand opening of the Boundary Food Hub on Saturday, March 20 to celebrate a major milestone toward greater local food security and economic opportunities for regional food producers and processors.

To view the event, go to https://www.facebook.com/boundaryfoodhub. Attendees will be able to participate by asking questions and providing comments during the Zoom livestream and anyone can view the recording that will be posted on the Boundary Food Hub Facebook page following the event. The virtual event will include comments from supporters, partner organizations, and features a video with some Boundary processors. The Food Hub will assist individuals and businesses interested in commercial food production and processing opportunities across the region. It will provide facilities and support services to entrepreneurs who wish to create value-added food products and take their local food production to the next level, growing their businesses and showcasing the bounty the Boundary has to offer.

A shared-use commercial bakery will be the first Food Hub facility slated to open in May in Greenwood. It will feature pie making and processing equipment for a variety of baked goods. Construction of a value-added meat processing facility in Rock Creek is in the planning stages. The facility will provide cut-and-wrap and co-packing value-added services for meat producers. A community food-safe laboratory to be operated by FoodMetrics Laboratories, through a partnership with the Small Scale Food Processor Association, will be set up in Greenwood. The lab will allow smaller food producers to meet all required food safety standards to sell their products to commercial buyers, including those in the Hotel/Restaurant/Institutional and Retail markets.

The RDKB is hosting the Boundary Food Hub project which will be owned and operated by the Boundary Community Ventures Assn. This is a new organization created to foster economic ventures best suited to a region-based approach.

The B.C. Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries provided an $800,000 grant to purchase food-processing equipment and to cover other start-up costs in partnership with the RDKB and the BCVA. The BC Food Hub Network helps small-scale businesses access shared food and beverage processing space and equipment to increase their production and sales.

Quotes

“The expansion of the B.C. Food Hub Network means that more communities in the Kootenay Boundary region can enhance food production at the local level,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. “Farmers and food processors work together to create local food options for British Columbians and I’m excited to see how this investment will help more bakers in Greenwood create new products and how meat producers are going to benefit from the technology in the Rock Creek location.”

"On behalf of our board of directors I gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries for making the Boundary Food Hub possible. This is exactly the kind of practical support we need to move closer to a sustainable and secure food system for all our residents. I am really proud of the work everyone did to make this project happen so fast – well done,” said Diane Langman, chair, RDKB Board of Directors.

“There is no better way to help people than by giving them the tools to help themselves. The Kootenay Boundary Food Hub is going to make a positive difference to many local food producers who need access to professional-grade equipment and testing facilities to build their businesses,” said Grace McGregor, chair/president, Boundary Community Ventures Assn and RDKB Board of Directors vice-chair.

 

Trail, BC
January 18, 2021
1:00 p.m. PT

Danna O’Donnell is the RDKB Director representing Area D/Rural Grand Forks.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Board of Directors welcomed its newest member when Danna O’Donnell swore her oath to represent the residents of Electoral Area D/Rural Grand Forks in local government today. She was acclaimed to the position after being the only candidate and nominee in a by-election triggered when former director Roly Russell was elected to the provincial legislature on October 24, 2020.

“On behalf of our entire Board of Directors, I welcome Director O’Donnell to the RDKB table,” said Diane Langman, RDKB Board Chair. “We congratulate Danna on her new position and look forward to working with her on many important projects and initiatives as we serve our residents for the next two years.”


“I am thankful and excited to have this opportunity to work for all rural Grand Forks residents and to bring my experience and knowledge as a farmer, Boundary resident, and regional advocate to the RDKB board table. I look forward to working with our twelve other directors on regional initiatives and find ways to cooperate within the Boundary and across our region to make the RDKB an even better place to live and work.”

Director O’Donnell has been a resident of rural Grand Forks for 19 years. She has served on the Boundary Organic Producers Association, Grand Forks and Boundary Regional Agricultural Society, and Grand Forks and District Fall Fair Society. Some projects she is involved in are the Community Centre Stakeholders Group, Central Kootenay Food Policy Council, and the Boundary Area Food and Agriculture Advisory Council. She will join her fellow RDKB directors at the next board meeting at 1:00 p.m. on January 28, 2021 on Zoom.

 

Trail, BC
January 14, 2021
3:45 p.m. PT

New Big White Fire Department ladder truck pushed into fire station

Christmas may be over, but the Big White Fire Department is still celebrating. The January arrival of their one-of-a-kind, 78-foot long Rosenbauer Viper Aerial ladder truck marks the end of a five-year project that started in April 2016. Crews have now ceremonially pushed Ladder 311 into its own bay in the Big White Fire Station, marking a tradition among firefighters that pays homage to the horsedrawn steam engines that were hand maneuvered into their stations a century ago.

“This has been a long time coming and I can’t emphasize enough how pleased our whole department is to see this modern, frontline apparatus in our station ready for deployment,” said Chief Chris Cormack, Big White Fire Department.

“I have to recognize the relentless efforts of retired Chief Jamie Svendsen who kept this project going throughout his tenure here. I also want to recognize the support from Director Vicki Gee and local residents who advocated strongly for this new truck to serve the residents, businesses and visitors at Big White and in Area E/West Boundary.”

Ladder 311 has a 500 horsepower Cummins 12-litre diesel engine that can hold 1136 litres (300 gallons) of water and 114 litres (30 gallons) of fire retardant foam. Its EZ Trac® hydraulic all-wheel drive system means first responders can get to fires and other emergencies even in deep snow at the top of a mountain in winter.

“Fire protection is essential to development at Big White. The ladder truck provides the capacity to protect the taller structures that are in place as well as future development. I’ve seen the work that’s gone into planning and execution of this purchase and adjustments to the fire hall. I am so thankful to everyone who made this happen,” said Director Vicki Gee, Electoral Area E/West Boundary.

The new ladder truck replaces a 25-year-old fire engine and brings the total apparatus count at Big White Fire Department to one ladder truck, one engine, one rescue truck, one bush/CAFS (Compressed Air Foam System) truck and three support vehicles.

News From Before 2021

Public Hearing