January 18, 2021
1:00 p.m. PT
Danna O’Donnell sworn in as new director for Electoral 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.
January 14, 2021
3:45 p.m. PT
New ladder truck at Big White Fire Department product of five years’ work
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.
December 4, 2020
10:45 a.m. PT
RDKB launches Build Energy Smart program with FortisBC
Today the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary launched Build Energy Smart, a program to provide the building industry with resources to prepare for the BC Energy Step Code that will become mandatory in 2022.
The RDKB program is funded by FortisBC through its own BUILTbetter program. These programs support builders by increasing awareness of how to build more energy efficient homes. They also provide resources and training to the industry so by 2022 new buildings will use 20 per cent less energy than today.
The first Build Energy Smart information session will take place on December 10, 2020 at 7:45 a.m. by webinar. It will provide an overview of the Step Code, explain how to work with a Certified Energy Advisor and walk participants through the best way to access FortisBC incentives and rebates.
“We’ve been really fortunate to receive funding from FortisBC so we can support those in the building industry who already follow the BC Energy Step Code, or who want to know how to follow it. Everyone needs to prepare for the Step Code to become part of the BC Building Code in about a year from now,” said Freya Phillips, RDKB senior energy specialist.
“Building to BC Step Code can be a steep learning curve and we’ve seen that supporting builders in achieving this standard is proving to be an effective way to help transform the housing market to net-zero ready homes,” said Siraz Dalmir, key account manager, energy solutions, FortisBC.
“We appreciate the partnership with RDKB on this and many other initiatives that are helping to meet B.C.’s greenhouse gas emissions targets set for 2030 and beyond. We encourage builders to attend these sessions and learn about the many ways we can help.”
The information session is part of - Build Energy Smart – a special project on jointheconversation.rdkb.com that provides the building industry with one central portal to resources, information on education and training sessions as well as an online newsletter, Q and A tool, and discussion forum.
About the BC Energy Step Code
The BC Energy Step Code is a provincial standard that provides a five-step, incremental approach to make buildings more energy-efficient so the Province of B.C. can meet its goal of having all new buildings be Net Zero Energy ready by the year 2032. ‘Net zero’ means that emission of greenhouse gases equals the equivalent of the volume of greenhouse gases absorbed from the atmosphere.
November 27, 2020
2:30 p.m. PT
RDKB to adopt BC Energy Step Code January 1
The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary will implement the BC Energy Step Code for new homes and buildings in RDKB electoral areas A, B/Lower Columbia-Old Glory, C/Christina Lake, D/Rural Grand Forks or E/West Boundary on January 1, 2021. Builders and homeowners can choose to follow the Step Code’s performance path or the existing prescriptive path in the BC Building Code.
“As a regional district, we are committed to taking action to increase our own energy efficiency in our buildings and facilities to move us closer to being carbon neutral. We are also committed to supporting and informing builders and homeowners so everyone is prepared for more stringent energy efficiency requirements coming in 2022 and for owners to understand what they can do to lower their carbon footprint now,” said Diane Langman, RDKB Board Chair.
The RDKB has been in consultation with the building industry and residents over the past year and during that time asked for input on three BC Energy Step Code implementation options. These options were to mandate compliance with the lower steps of the Step Code, make compliance with the Step Code voluntary or do nothing and wait for the Province of British Columbia to adopt the Step Code through the BC Building Code in 2022. Community feedback led to the RDKB adopting voluntary compliance.
“Many builders are already following the Step Code, and we will continue to reach out to those involved in the building industry so we are all ready for it to become mandatory as part of the new 2022 BC Building Code,” said RDKB Senior Energy Specialist Freya Phillips.
“We also want to make people aware of how to take advantage of incentives and rebates available through FortisBC to offset some building costs now,” said Phillips.
FortisBC has adopted the BC Energy Step Code as the energy performance standard for its New Home Construction Program and provides enhanced incentives to build high performance buildings with rebates up to $10,000.
Anyone who applies for a building permit in an RDKB electoral area can choose to follow the BC Energy Step Code. Anyone building in a municipality can contact their municipality for more information about use of the Step Code in those jurisdictions.
Information Session December 10, 2020
The RDKB will hold a BC Energy Step Code virtual information session on Thursday, December 10 to review the RDKB Building Bylaw, provide an overview of the Step Code, and explain how to work with an Energy Advisor and take advantage of incentives and rebates. Registration is through Zoom or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information session is part of - Build Energy Smart – a special project on jointheconversation.rdkb.com that provides the building industry with one central portal to resources, information on education and training sessions as well as on online newsletter, Q and A tool, and discussion forum.
About the BC Energy Step Code
The BC Energy Step Code is a provincial standard that provides a five-step, incremental approach to make buildings more energy-efficient so the Province of B.C. can meet its goal of having all new buildings be Net Zero Energy ready by the year 2032. ‘Net zero’ means that emission of greenhouse gases equals the equivalent of the volume of greenhouse gases absorbed from the atmosphere. This will start with the Province requiring by 2022 that all new buildings are 20 per cent more energy efficient than what the current building code requires.
The Step Code’s performance path establishes a desired outcome, and leaves it to the design and building team to decide how to achieve it. The current BC Building Code’s prescriptive path means buildings must meet specific requirements for insulation, windows, furnaces, water heaters, lighting and other equipment and systems. The aim is to build more energy efficient buildings and reduce the volume of greenhouse gases produced by heating and cooling homes, apartments and commercial buildings.
November 10, 2020
4:00 p.m. PT
Warfield Director Diane Langman acclaimed chair of the RDKB Board of Directors
- Electoral Area ‘C’/Christina Lake Director Grace McGregor re-elected as vice-chair
Diane Langman has been named board chair for the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary for a second term. Chair Langman has served for the past four years both as Warfield director at the RDKB and mayor of the Village of Warfield.
Electoral Area C/Christina Lake Director Grace McGregor was re-elected as board vice-chair for a fourth consecutive term. Rossland Director Andy Morel also ran for the position of vice-chair.
Both the board chair and vice-chair serve a one-year term.
“I am humbled that the board has once again placed their confidence in me to lead our regional government. The ongoing pandemic and a lengthy freshet emergency in the Boundary in Spring 2020 were two major challenges we faced and continue to face in 2020. I pledge to continue to work closely with Vice-chair McGregor to lead us through the next year not only as we face the Covid-19 pandemic but as we continue to deliver important services to our residents across the region,” said Chair Langman
“I thank the board for re-electing me as vice-chair. Chair Langman and I already have a good working relationship after a year serving together, and I know we will build on that relationship to do our best to serve the board and the residents of our region,” said Vice-chair Grace McGregor.
The next meeting of the RDKB Board of Directors will take place at 1 p.m. on November 26 by Zoom Meeting.
April 22, 2020
4:30 p.m. PT
RDKB Community Initiatives & Affected Areas projects open for public comment until April 27
The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives and Affected Areas programs (CIP/AAP) 2020 project applications are available online for public comment until April 27 at jointheconversation.rdkb.com.
The public can review and download detailed descriptions of projects proposed in electoral areas and municipalities within the Columbia Basin. Basin residents within the RDKB who register on the site have can send comments to RDKB staff and directors about which projects would most benefit their own electoral area or municipality and why. They can also ask questions or contact the RDKB for more information.
The RDKB had originally scheduled community meetings to engage with the public about the CIP/AAP in April of this year, but the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent public health orders required the RDKB to cancel all face-toface meetings and move the engagement process entirely online as of April 17. To date, the RDKB has seen 117 residents participate, but wants to encourage more comments before the April 27 deadline.
The CIP/AAP is intended to be flexible and incorporate community-based funding decisions. The programs support local projects that provide additional value to Basin communities, and that benefit the broad community and public good. Program funds are distributed annually to the Trust’s local government partners: the regional districts of East Kootenay, Central Kootenay and Kootenay Boundary, the City of Revelstoke, Town of Golden, Village of Valemount, and to our Indigenous partners: Ɂaq’am, Ɂakisq’nuk, Lower Kootenay (Yaqan nuɁkiy), Tobacco Plains Indian Band (Ɂakink’umŧasnuqŧiɁit) and the Shuswap Indian Band.
For more information about specific CIP/AAP projects proposed in the RDKB, visit jointheconversation.rdkb.com. For more information about the programs themselves, visit cbt.org.