Public Hearing

 

 

The Beaver Valley Arena turns 50 this year!

Save the date! join us for the celebrations on Saturday, 25 May, 2024 (5pm-10pm).  Make sure you don’t miss out on any updates for this fun-fuelled family event by following the RDKB and/or Beaver Valley Recreation on social media.  We will post an outline schedule of events soon.  In the meantime, make sure you email us your BV volunteer nominations as well as any iconic pictures of the BV Arena over the years to Jayme at bvevents@rdkb.com.

Latest News

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) is thrilled to announce the 50th anniversary celebration of the Beaver Valley (BV) Arena, a beloved community landmark that has been the heart of countless memories and milestones since its inception in 1974.

As the BV Arena gears up to mark this momentous occasion on Saturday, May 25th, 2024, from 5pm to 10pm, residents and supporters are invited to join in the festivities. Save the date and get ready to reminisce on five decades of community camaraderie, growth, and fun.

Mark Daines, RDKB's Manager of Facilities and Recreation, reflects on the significance of this milestone: "The 50th anniversary of the Beaver Valley Arena is a testament to the enduring spirit of our community. For half a century, the arena has been more than just a building; it has been a gathering place, a source of pride, and a catalyst for countless friendships and memories. As we celebrate this milestone, we also look ahead with excitement to the next chapter of the arena's legacy, knowing that it will continue to be a vital hub of community life for years to come."

In the lead-up to the main event, BV staff are calling on locals to contribute to the celebration. Nominate a BV volunteer to receive a special limited edition gift and share your photos of the arena's journey over the years. From construction phases to iconic events such as hockey games, figure skating competitions, and community festivals, every snapshot tells a story. Please email your volunteer nominations as well as scanned photos to bvevents@rdkb.com, as soon as possible. Alternatively, older originals can to be copied and returned.

Underscoring the pivotal role of volunteers in the arena's success, Mark Daines adds: "Volunteers are the backbone of the Beaver Valley Arena, providing essential support that ensures its smooth operation year after year. Their dedication and hard work are the foundation of our community's spirit, and we owe them a debt of gratitude. As a token of appreciation, the BV Arena team has commissioned special anniversary jerseys for 50 of our volunteers to wear with pride, recognizing their vital contribution to our community."

The 50th anniversary celebration is sponsored by Teck, Columbia Power, Columbia Basin Trust, RDKB, City of Trail and Hall Printing. It promises to be a memorable occasion for all who attend, with a lineup of activities and entertainment that pay tribute to the arena's rich history and vibrant community spirit. Admission to the event will be free and once the doors open at 5pm, the first 150 people through them will receive an original BV Minor Hockey Jersey and button. Draw prizes will include an original retro BV Minor Hockey Hat. Visitors will also be able to check out the new electric Zamboni, historical information and the Beaver Valley Recreation Master Plan, on display.

Currently, the 'Let's Celebrate' itinerary is as follows:

  • 5:00pm: Doors Open, Food by Kim's Creations & Drinks by Vintage Pour - on sale from the start.
  • 5:00-6:00pm: Welcome (Radio Host Wayne Kelly/Area A Director Ali Grieve)
  • 6:00pm: Family Game Show by Altitude Entertainment
  • 7:30 - 8:00pm: Volunteer Appreciation Presentation (Radio Host Wayne Kelly)
  • 8:00- 10:00: DJ Dance by Throwdown Productions

To celebrate 50 years of memories, milestones, and community spirit at the Beaver Valley Arena, follow RDKB and Beaver Valley Recreation on Facebook and Instagram, and use hashtag #bvarena50th to share pictures and memories. Updates will be regularly posted on RDKB's Join the Conversation page:

Per section 222 of the Local Government Act and section 4.20 of the RDKB’s Procedure Bylaw, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary hereby gives notice of its intention to hold a special meeting of the East End Services Committee

Wednesday, February 28, 2024
RDKB Board Room, 202-843 Rossland Avenue, Trail BC

after the Regular Open Board meeting convenes.

• The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the construction of transit shelters.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) has launched a Community Call-to-Action campaign to encourage more Grant in Aid applications, particularly those that will make a difference to sport, culture & recreation in Electoral Area D Grand Forks.
It is hoped that the awareness drive will raise the program’s profile among the region’s volunteers, illicit broader participation from community organizations and support a diverse range of community-driven projects.

RDKB’s Director Linda Kay Wiese  - Fund-amental Change: RDKB's Grant In Aid Program Sparks Community GrowthThe Grant In Aid program, designed to provide grants to groups or organizations that work to benefit their communities, is now open for applications throughout the year. However, to streamline the process, a new structure with two dedicated intake periods have been established for those groups operating in Grand Forks and the surrounding area.  Organizations in this region are invited to submit their applications by the end of the business day on Monday, March 11 and Monday, September 23, 2024. 

Linda Kay Wiese, the elected official representing RDKB’s Area D/Rural Grand Forks, emphasized the inclusive nature of the program, stating, "We want to ensure that all eligible organizations, especially those who may not have considered applying before, are aware of the opportunities available through the Grant In Aid program. This initiative is about fostering community growth and supporting initiatives that might not otherwise come to our attention."

Key details for the 2024 Grant In Aid program include:

  • Application Period: Organizations are encouraged to submit applications throughout the year, with specific processing during the intake periods in March and September.
  • Community Focus: The program aims to support a wide range of projects contributing to community development in Area D/Rural Grand Forks and Grand Forks.
  • Flexible Funding: No request for funds is considered too small. Grant In Aid requests of $5,000 or more may require an official receipt and additional information before adjudication.
  • Community Recognition: Grant recipients are expected to acknowledge the support received from the RDKB Electoral Area(s) in any communications related to their work, projects, or organizational activities.

Application forms for the Grant In Aid program are available here or at the Grand Forks Recreation Office, located in the Jack Goddard Memorial Arena. For further information about the program, organizations are encouraged to contact the Grand Forks & District Recreation Office at 250-442-2202.

"We want to broaden the reach of the Grant In Aid program and invite all eligible organizations, big or small, to consider applying. This is an opportunity for us to collectively enhance the quality of life in our region," adds RDKB’s Area D Director Wiese.

The RDKB invites new and existing community organizations to participate and looks forward to the diverse projects that will contribute to the vibrancy of Grand Forks and Area D.

Picture Shows: RDKB’s Director Linda Kay Wiese who is encouraging all local non-profit clubs, groups, and societies in Area D/Rural Grand Forks and Grand Forks to apply for a Grant-in-Aid prior to the March 11 deadline.

RDKB HomeSmart, a free home retrofit guidance service, officially launches to the public this month. Designed to simplify the energy-efficient and resilient home improvement process, the project is supported by the Columbia Basin Trust, FortisBC, as well as the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.

Freya Phillips, RDKB's Senior Energy Specialist, emphasizes the importance of the program, designed to offer residents a streamlined journey towards a more sustainable and comfortable living environment: "RDKB HomeSmart is a significant step towards creating efficient and resilient homes in our community. We're proud to offer a service that not only reduces energy consumption but also prepares homes for the challenges of a changing climate."

Raven Atherton, the newly appointed Retrofit Program Coordinator for RDKB HomeSmart, says, "Our goal is to make the retrofit journey accessible and straightforward for residents. From the initial sign-up to enjoying the home improvements, RDKB HomeSmart provides comprehensive support at every step."

As part of the launch, RDKB HomeSmart enlisted the participation of its own staff in a pre-launch trial. One staff member remarked, "RDKB HomeSmart saved me a lot of time and confusion! The team has helped me identify all the different rebates and loans available so I can make a retrofit and resiliency plan." This firsthand testimonial reflects the service's commitment to simplicity, efficiency and resiliency.

Residents can visit homesmart.rdkb.com for more information, to sign up, and kickstart their retrofit journey. Enquiries can also be directed to RDKB HomeSmart via phone at 250.368.0284 or by email at homesmart@rdkb.com.

Efficient and resilient retrofits are vital for reducing energy consumption, lowering costs, and future-proofing homes. By joining RDKB HomeSmart, participants gain access to a range of benefits, including time-saving processes, simplified navigation of rebates and loans, and expert guidance from a knowledgeable independent team.

Raven Atherton added, "We've designed RDKB HomeSmart to be a one-stop solution. Our process involves signing up, discussing priorities with me, explaining how the professional assessments are done, and which local registered contractors can implement the improvements needed. The ultimate goal is for residents to enjoy the benefits of a more efficient and resilient home."

The appointment of Raven Atherton and the launch of the RDKB HomeSmart program align with the RDKB's commitment to implementing its five-year climate action plan.

News from 2022/2023

The Beaver Valley Regional Parks and Regional Trails Service is on the brink of an exciting venture – the creation of a Master Plan in recreation! This ambitious project aims to chart the course for the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB), the Village of Fruitvale, and the Village of Montrose, providing clear guidance in establishing priorities for recreation, parks, and culture services in the Beaver Valley.

The purpose of this initiative is to develop a comprehensive master plan that reflects the aspirations and needs of the Beaver Valley community. Combining detailed research, thorough analysis, and invaluable community input, the plan will serve as a roadmap for the RDKB and the two villages, shaping future decisions regarding recreation, parks, and culture services.

Mark Daines, Manager of Facilities and Recreation at RDKB, commends the collaborative effort, stating, "This draft Master Plan is a result of an extensive process involving the active participation of Beaver Valley residents, businesses, and community groups. Their input, gathered through surveys, workshops and roadshows during 2023, has been pivotal in understanding the pulse of our community.”

The draft of the plan, now available online at https://rdkb.com/Recreation-Culture/Beaver-Valley, showcases the amalgamation of community insights with rigorous research and analysis. The plan is not set in stone and will be officially adopted based on strategic priorities and financial considerations.

To further engage the community, Expedition Management Consultants hosted a virtual meeting on Thursday, December 14th, at 6 pm. This presented an ideal opportunity for residents to provide feedback and shape the final version of the plan. 

Daines adds: "We’re so grateful to Beaver Valley residents for their impressive participation in shaping the draft plan. The high response rate reflects the community's passion and is crucial for a plan that truly aligns with their needs. The team appreciates the robust community spirit and thanks everyone for their invaluable input in drafting dreams for the future of Beaver Valley's recreation.”

Can't make the meeting? Written comments are welcomed until December 20th and can be submitted to Cassandra Gilmore at Cassandra@expeditionconsulting.ca or the BV Rec. team direct.

Raven Atherton has joined the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) as the Retrofit Program Coordinator for its new RDKB HomeSmart Program. Her position and the program are outcomes of the RDKB's commitment to implementing its five-year climate action plan. Raven grew up in a family of carpenters and earned her red seal carpentry ticket at 21. She is a certified Energy Advisor and brings unique skills to the role to help the RDKB with this important program. Raven Atherton appointed as Retrofit Coordinator

As the RDKB HomeSmart Program prepares for its public launch in January 2024, Raven will play a key role in guiding Kootenay Boundary residents through the complexities of home energy and resiliency retrofits. From planning to helping access rebates, she will provide personalized support and guide residents to the information they need. Expressing her enthusiasm, Raven shares, "I’m looking forward to helping local people make improvements to their homes that will increase comfort and resiliency. I really enjoy helping people while also encouraging energy-wise practices and advocating for climate resilience. Contributing to a more sustainable future deeply resonates with me."

Raven will be the first point of call for the RDKB HomeSmart Program, actively engaging with homeowners and communities across the region to deliver it. To find out more, visit https://homesmart.rdkb.com.

Freya Phillips, RDKB's Senior Energy Specialist, says, "We’re excited to have Raven join the team. Her hands-on, practical experience as a carpenter and passion for energy conservation, positions her well to help our residents reduce their energy consumption and future-proof their homes. We encourage locals to reach out and benefit from her expertise."

Staff at the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) are celebrating after bringing back a prestigious 2023 Safety Improvement Award from this year’s BC Municipal Safety Conference.

The accolade recognizes the RDKB’s transformational efforts in improving safety practices, experience ratings, and most importantly, reducing injuries, illnesses, diseases, and fatalities within its community.

Colin MacAskill, RDKB's Safety Advisor, who joined the organization in 2022, highlights the significance of the award, stating, "This was a team achievement! and this recognition reinforces the RDKB’s continual improvement in health and safety.”

Award eligibility was open to any local government within BC, encompassing cities, villages, townships, districts, municipalities, and regional districts. A reduction of 15 percentage points or more in safety incidents over the past four years was required, with the current experience rating no greater than +20%.

The Beaver Valley Regional Parks and Regional Trails Service is on the brink of an exciting venture – the creation of a Master Plan in recreation! This ambitious project aims to chart the course for the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB), the Village of Fruitvale, and the Village of Montrose, providing clear guidance in establishing priorities for recreation, parks, and culture services in the Beaver Valley.

The purpose of this initiative is to develop a comprehensive master plan that reflects the aspirations and needs of the Beaver Valley community. Combining detailed research, thorough analysis, and invaluable community input, the plan will serve as a roadmap for the RDKB and the two villages, shaping future decisions regarding recreation, parks, and culture services.

Mark Daines, Manager of Facilities and Recreation at RDKB, commends the collaborative effort, stating, "This draft Master Plan is a result of an extensive process involving the active participation of Beaver Valley residents, businesses, and community groups. Their input, gathered through surveys, workshops and roadshows during 2023, has been pivotal in understanding the pulse of our community.”

The draft of the plan, now available online at https://rdkb.com/Recreation-Culture/Beaver-Valley, showcases the amalgamation of community insights with rigorous research and analysis. The plan is not set in stone and will be officially adopted based on strategic priorities and financial considerations.

To further engage the community, Expedition Management Consultants is hosting a virtual meeting on Thursday, December 14th, at 6 pm. This presents an ideal opportunity for residents to provide feedback and shape the final version of the plan. The link to register for the meeting can also be found on the RDKB’s website and Facebook page (https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/753502214407?aff=oddtdtcreator).

Daines adds: "We’re so grateful to Beaver Valley residents for their impressive participation in shaping the draft plan. The high response rate reflects the community's passion and is crucial for a plan that truly aligns with their needs. The team appreciates the robust community spirit and thanks everyone for their invaluable input in drafting dreams for the future of Beaver Valley's recreation.”

Can't make the meeting? Written comments are welcomed until December 20th and can be submitted to Cassandra Gilmore at Cassandra@expeditionconsulting.ca or the BV Rec. team direct.

 

Bark-gains are in store for dog owners in Grand Forks, Greenwood, Electoral areas C/Christina Lake, and D/Rural Grand Forks as the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) reminds residents to tag their four legged friends, for less.

From now until January 31, 2024, responsible pet parents have the chance to renew or purchase their 2024 dog licence at a reduced fee. This limited-time offer ensures furry friends in the region are properly licensed and their carers get an extra pep in their step as they kick off the new year.

According to James Chandler, RDKB's Deputy CAO and General Manager of Operations, "Our goal is to make responsible pet ownership both rewarding and affordable. By offering this early bird discount on dog licence’s, we're not only encouraging compliance with our bylaws but also giving back to the community of pet lovers in Grand Forks and beyond."

To score the savings, dial up the RDKB at 250-442-2708, make an in-person pounce at 2140 Central Ave or send an email to dogtags@rdkb.com. And for those who like to fetch information in the digital realm, the RDKB website is the go-to resource for all the details: https://rdkb.com/Public-Safety/Animal-Control.

In order to expedite the process, dog owners are encouraged to provide the following information during their purchase or renewal: Dog Name, Breed, Colour, Sex, Neuter/Spay Status, Address (Civic and Mailing) and current tag number (if applicable). The 2024 discounted prices are: $15 for Neutered or Spayed Dogs, $25 for Intact Dogs and $100 for Kennel or Hobby Kennel Owners. Standard rates will apply from February 1, 2024.

According to the RDKB's canine code (Bylaw No. 1550), all dogs older than four months must be licensed. Greenwood residents, be sure to take a peek at Bylaw 1568 for additional tail-wagging regulations.

The RDKB is excited to announce the release of a new video on our Grand Forks Landfill’s organics and composting program.  Hosted by Landfill Supervisor Rob McGregor, the video discusses the sophisticated, complicated, and fascinating process that takes household food waste and transforms it into black gold—compost.

Please enjoy and share with your friends and neighbours!

Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHzIk-ITz6A

Thanks to Rob McGregor and Viv Hurley, Communications Specialist, for producing the video.

Trail, BC—Roughly 100 seniors from the greater Trail area recently learned how to prepare for emergencies, thanks to a partnership between the Trail FAIR Society and the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB).

The seniors learned about the stages of evacuation, developing household emergency plans and emergency support services, among other preparedness topics. Thanks to a United Way grant received by the Trail FAIR Society, each participant received a 72-hour emergency kit and other supplies.

“Partnerships like this build resiliency in our community,” said Mark Stephens, the RDKB’s Manager of Emergency Programs. “Public safety and emergency preparedness is important for all ages.”

He pointed out that seniors may have issues such as mobility and seclusion, which the RDKB addressed.  

“I know many of the attendees are feeling much more secure about emergency situations now,” said Stephanie Haukaas, Lower Columbia Better at Home Program Coordinator for the Trail FAIR Society.

The RDKB also signed the seniors up for the Voyent evacuation alert system and FireSmart home assessments.

Stephens called the event “the highlight of my career—the attendees were all so engaged and asked thoughtful questions.”

To find out how you can be prepared for emergencies, visit https://emergency.rdkb.com/

Kootenay Boundary Community FireSmart Resiliency Committee met for the first timeWork is underway to boost wildfire resilience in six RDKB municipalities: Fruitvale, Montrose, Warfield, Trail, Grand Forks, and Greenwood. Community Wildfire Resiliency Plans (CWRP) are being developed to pinpoint and mitigate fire risks, enhancing regional readiness and recovery.

The Kootenay Boundary Community FireSmart & Resiliency Committee kickstarted the CWRP project, emphasizing the area's unique risk profile and the importance of proactive community preparation.

Carlene Pires, RDKB’s Emergency Program Coordinator, emphasized, "Prepared communities are more resilient." The committee aims to strengthen collaboration among key partners, promoting the implementation of FireSmart principles at a regional level.

This spring, the RDKB received $690,082.17 in funding under the Community Resiliency Investment program for the 2023 FireSmart Community Funding & Supports grant.  $192,000 of this was earmarked toward the development of the 2023 Community Wildfire Resiliency Plans.  B.A. Blackwell and Associates Ltd. are leading the project, with plans slated for completion in April 2024.

The 2022 CWRPs for the Electoral Areas will be accessible on https://emergency.rdkb.com/  by year-end. Rossland and Midway are excluded from the 2023 project due to recent CWRP completion.

CWRPs will guide the region's wildfire resilience actions for 5-10 years, focusing on community capacity, collaboration, and actionable recommendations aligned with FireSmart principles.

B.A. Blackwell boasts expertise in wildfire risk assessment and management, with a skilled team experienced in local government wildfire risk reduction projects.

Their past work includes Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPP) for Electoral Areas A & B, Grand Forks, Greenwood, and the City of Trail, as well as the 2019 CWPP for Rossland and the 2022 CWRP for Midway.

RDKB Board Chair Linda Worley in Car Park.In a groundbreaking move towards inclusivity and accessibility, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) has announced the launch of its Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC). The initiative is set to open doors to a more inclusive future for the region.

The RDKB is seeking local heroes with lived and learned accessibility experience to become part of the AAC. Members of this committee will be the driving force behind initiatives aimed at making Kootenay Boundary a more welcoming and accessible community for all.

Anitra Winje, RDKB's Corporate Officer, underscores the significance of this endeavour, saying, "Creating an inclusive, accessible region is not just a dream but a necessity. This is our chance to turn that dream into a reality. Join us, and let's build a brighter future together."

The committee's term of two years will include four in-person meetings per year, and members will also have the option to participate virtually. Compensation of $100 per meeting makes it both an impactful and rewarding commitment.

Members must be actively involved with organizations for people with disabilities, be a caregiver for people with disabilities, or a person living with a disability. Candidates may also represent a broad range of under-served and equity-seeking groups such as, but not limited to: Indigenous Peoples, faith-based groups, LGBTQ+, newcomers, new Canadians, persons living in poverty, people of diverse ethnic or cultural origin, seniors, women, and youth.

“Our regional district is dedicated to fostering an inclusive and accessible community for all our residents. The launch of the Accessibility Advisory Committee is a significant step towards this goal,” adds RDKB’s Board Chair Linda Worley.  “Together we can make a lasting difference in our communities, unlock access for all and pave the way for a more inclusive Kootenay Boundary,” she adds. 

To find out more and apply to serve on the Committee, visit https://jointheconversation.rdkb.com/accessible-inclusive-rdkb.  Fill out and submit the application form under "Documents" to the right of the page.

Completed applications are due by Friday, November 28, 2023 and may be submitted by email, mail or dropped off in-person at RDKB offices in Grand Forks or Trail for the attention of the Corporate Officer.  For more information, e-mail corporate@rdkb.com or call 250.368.0225.

Ireland, RDKB's Furry Hero, Goes Social and Offers Comfort to Those in NeedThe Regional District of Kootenay Boundary has proudly introduced its newest team member, Ireland – a facility support dog working alongside Trail RCMP victim services. Despite her recent arrival in Trail, Ireland has already begun making a positive impact on victims and witnesses of crime or tragedy in the Kootenay Boundary area.

Ireland's journey to becoming a justice facility support dog was guided by the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides in Oakville, Ont. Highly trained and ready to lend a paw, Ireland provides solace and support to individuals facing tough times, offering them the unique comfort that only a real service dog can provide – with lap time, a calming presence, and an ever-wagging tail.

While there are approximately 50 justice dogs in Canada, Ireland proudly stands as the first and only accredited justice facility support dog guide in the Trail and Greater Area.  She is the first in the Kootenay Boundary to support all ages, providing her RCMP and court services within the criminal justice system to children, youth and adults alike.  Having to do her job flawlessly, with no petting allowed on duty, she is very different to a therapy or emotional support dog.  She has to be calm and quiet in public, ignore other animals and people, and has to toilet on command so she doesn’t do her business at an inopportune moment.

Jenn Penney, RDKB’s Program Manager of Victim Support and Ireland's primary handler, explains, "Her role is to offer support, particularly to children, vulnerable victims, and adult clients during court testimonies. She brings comfort, one cuddle at a time." Ireland's presence will be felt in the witness box, client meetings, hospital examinations, forensic interviews, and community events.

Penney emphasizes that facing emotional experiences or accusers in court can be isolating and frightening for many, but with Ireland by their side, individuals can find much-needed solace – even experiencing reduced blood pressure and heart rate. She reassures, "It's going to be okay."

To keep up with Ireland's heartwarming journey, follow her on her social platforms: @compassionatecanine on Facebook and @compassionatecanine_Ireland on Instagram.

Jenn and her team plan to organize significant fundraisers within the local community to garner support from individuals and businesses alike. Funds raised will be allocated to Ireland's well-being and to expand her service area, reaching out to crime victims attending court sessions in more distant locations. Ireland is expected to make appearances at these events, both in person and, hopefully, in the form of adorable stuffed animals.

Jenn concludes, "We hope to create mini stuffed versions of Ireland that can be purchased, with a second one donated to a child benefiting from Ireland's services. It's all about spreading warmth and comfort."

RDKB garbage tags

There has been a lot of talk about trash within the McKelvey Creek Wasteshed as the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary ushers in change with a new waste reduction program, to secure a greener tomorrow.

The RDKB has posted its weekly green bin and garbage curbside collection schedule on its website in anticipation of the program’s launch on Monday, October 2, 2023.  These calendars will also be delivered to residents within the first two weeks of September by the collection contractor GFL.

“Pickup days will mostly remain unchanged, though residents should verify any schedule alterations online,” says Janine Dougall, RDKB’s General Manager of Environmental Services.

Transition specifics vary by municipality: Dual garbage and green bin collections will be weekly, even in areas previously bi-weekly. The Green bin service requires no tag, while garbage bags need prepaid tags. A list of garbage tag retailers can be found online here.

Green bins have been delivered to Rossland, Warfield, Trail, Montrose, Fruitvale, Area A, and Area B. GFL's split packer trucks, with separate compartments for waste types, will divert food waste from green bins and cut landfill by up to 38%. Surpassing backyard composting, catering to items like meat, bones and grease, Class A soil will be created from the food waste at RDCK's composting facility near Salmo.

"Keep yard waste, diapers, pet waste, metal, and all plastics out of green bins. Even 'compostable' or 'biodegradable' bags harm compost quality. Only kraft paper bags or 'Bag to Earth' liners are allowed.  Alternatively, soiled newspaper or cardboard can be used,” adds Dougall.

"We know change is difficult and we extend our gratitude to those embracing these changes. Our staff will continue to assist in educating residents in the proper processes and benefits of the new program.  With support from our municipal partners, the transition of garbage collection to the regional district is well underway,” says RDKB’s Board Chair Linda Worley. “Our approach to sorting transforms waste into beneficial products and our goal is to notably reduce recyclable waste in landfills. Let's unite to bid farewell to landfill waste, uphold our Zero Waste Goals, achieve carbon neutrality in local governance, prolong the McKelvey Creek landfill's lifespan, and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions." she adds.

The implementation of garbage tag fees promotes fairness by only charging for waste by those who generate it.  If residents utilize the available waste diversion programs, less garbage tags will need to be purchased.  Garbage tags will cost $3 fee each and allow for the pick-up of garbage to a maximum of 50 lbs.  Apart from Montrose where garbage tags will remain at $3.50 each. 

Residents can contact BA Belton, RDKB’s Environmental Communications and Programs Coordinator with any queries regarding the new green bin or garbage collections:

envcoms@rdkb.com | 250.368.0231

Please see area specific information below:

Rossland
Starting in September, Rossland businesses that currently sell GFL garbage stickers will limit sales and minimize the number of extra stickers circulating in the community.  Sheets of 10 will be reduced to 5.  The sale of all GFL stickers will be stopped as of October 2, 2023.

Purchased GFL stickers will be able to be utilized from October 2 to December 31, 2023 as follows:

  • One large GFL sticker will be equivalent to 1 RDKB tag.
  • Two small GFL stickers will be equivalent to 1 RDKB tag.
  • A partially filled bag will require the use of two small or 1 large GFL sticker.  The use of one small bag sticker will not be accepted.

New RDKB garbage tags will be available from participating businesses in early September.  These will be the only garbage tags allowed for the service after January 1, 2024.  Please do not use RDKB garbage tags prior to October 2, 2023. 

Warfield
Warfield property owners who paid for residential garbage collection for 2023 will receive 9 garbage tags for their use. These tags offset the fees paid for weekly garbage service from October to December 2023. Residents can expect the tags, accompanied by a letter, in the coming days.

Trail
The City of Trail will provide a credit on 2024 utilities bills for residents who paid the 2023 annual garbage rate. 84% of the annual garbage rate is to cover the cost of curbside pick-up so the credit will reimburse residents for the collection costs from October to December 2023 that the RDKB will be responsible for. The City’s spring and fall yard waste pick up service, which is the remaining 16% of the annual rate will continue with in the current year and into 2024.

Montrose
The community of Montrose will keep its current curbside garbage pick-up service.  It will still be picked up every Wednesday, and at the same price - $3.50/Village bag.   The weekly collection of green bins (food waste) will be provided by the RDKB, on the same day as garbage collection. 

Fruitvale

  • 13 FREE RDKB garbage tags will be allocated to each household in lieu of being charged for the service in utilities.  These will be available at the Village office in September for use October 1st onwards.
  • Although the Village of Fruitvale does bi-weekly garbage, RDKB will be collecting garbage weekly from October 2nd onwards.
  • Village of Fruitvale garbage bags will not be mandatory for use from October onwards, but RDKB garbage tags will be mandatory.
  • Village garbage bags will not be reimbursed as 13 RDKB garbage tags are being given free of charge.
  • Once the 13 tags are used, Village residents can purchase RDKB tags for $3.00 as needed, from the Village office.

Area A and Area B (excluding Genelle)
For many residents in these areas, you have either never had garbage pick up or you have a direct contract with a local hauling company (such as GFL or Waste Management).  Starting October 2, 2023, the RDKB will be providing weekly curbside collection of green bin and garbage to the vast majority of residents.  A collection calendar will be delivered to residents within the first two weeks of September by GFL staff.  Keep an eye out for it!

Area B (Genelle only)
Waste Management will continue to operate garbage pick-up every Monday until its contract expires on March 31, 2024.  The RDKB will be collecting green bin waste on the same day as garbage, so residents can place both materials at the curb on the same day. Starting April 1, 2024 the garbage collection service will transition to the RDKB and residents will be required to then purchase RDKB garbage tags.

September 6, 2023

Melina holding the GF Rec community Leisure guideThe team at Grand Forks & District Recreation is delighted to announce the forthcoming release of its second community leisure guide to cover the Fall 2023 and Winter 2024 seasons. The guide, which has become an essential resource for local residents and newcomers alike, showcases an array of exciting recreation opportunities within the Grand Forks and Christina Lake area.

To celebrate this launch, a ‘Parade of Programs’ event will be held on Wednesday, September 13, from 4 – 5.30 pm at the Hutton Elementary Gymnasium, where the public can drop in to learn more about local recreation opportunities and even register for the upcoming activities.

Featured are a variety of activities to keep all ages occupied during the cold snap including fitness challenges, Candyland Christmas Skates, Friyay Play camps, a Happy New Year Swim and special themed pool events including a ‘Swim Spooktacular’, and ‘I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas Pool Party’.

Melina Van Hoogevest, RDKB’s Recreation Supervisor for Grand Forks & District Recreation, underscores the guide's role in enhancing community engagement, stating, "We are elated to present this guide to our community, providing a comprehensive local resource. It offers everything you need in one place to savour our area to the fullest, engage in our diverse programming, have a blast, and stay active." Melina further emphasizes, "Whether you're eager to explore something entirely new, connect with new friends, or re-establish a healthy routine, our guide unlocks a myriad of opportunities for individuals of all ages and families. It's not solely centered around RDKB facilities and programs; it also showcases the vibrant community clubs, leagues, and societies that enrich our region."

The comprehensive community leisure guide includes schedules and fees for the Aquatic Centre and Fitness Room, The Jack Goddard Memorial Arena, The Curling Centre, guidance on how to register for activities, details about the equipment loaner program, and information on applying to the leisure access & Inclusion program for low-income families.  Users can browse through current programs, pool events, swim lessons, and lifeguard training, as well as holiday events.  A convenient interactive map of recreation facilities located in Areas D/Rural Grand Forks, Area C/Christina Lake, and the City of Grand Forks is also accessible through a QR Code link to the RDKB website.

Paul Keys, RDKB’s Manager of Facilities and Recreation for Grand Forks & District Recreation, underscores the significance of the guide in bolstering community engagement and accessibility, remarking, "In step with our thriving community and expanding programs, the demand for a leisure guide like this has never been more pronounced. Its primary objective is to illuminate the wealth of recreational opportunities at our disposal, enhance accessibility, and amplify engagement, especially for newcomers and residents eager to deepen their involvement. Our team has poured immense effort into bringing this project to fruition, and we are optimistic that it will continue to evolve and serve our community with each successive edition."

In an effort to reduce its environmental footprint, the Fall 2023 and Winter 2024 edition of the bi-annual Community Leisure Guide will be available digitally here in an interactive presentation and on its Recreation & Culture pages at https://rdkb.com/Recreation-Culture/Grand-Forks-District.

A limited number of printed copies will be distributed at the Grand Forks Aquatic Centre and various community locations.

Media contacts:
Melina Van Hoogevest
250.442.2202
mvanhoogevest@rdkb.com

Residents served by the Beaver Valley Water Service are still under Stage 3 Outdoor Water Conservation measures. The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) and Village of Fruitvale enacted these measures on August 1, 2023.

Bv valleywater conservation stage 3

"Let's unite as a community to protect our water resources during this critical period. Stage 3 water conservation measures are crucial to avoid the implementation of Stage 4, a step we truly wish to avoid. By embracing these temporary changes and watering responsibly we have the power to safeguard our environment and maintain our outdoor water usage. This is our chance to make a difference.  Let’s spread the word, and together, make a significant impact. Water conservation starts with each one of us, " says Goran Denkovski, RDKB’s Manager of Infrastructure and Sustainability. 

Under Stage 3, even-numbered addresses are permitted to use their sprinkler systems on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 4 am to 6 am and 8 pm to 10 pm. Odd-numbered addresses may use their sprinklers on Wednesdays and Fridays during the same time frames. Sprinkler use is strictly prohibited on Mondays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Additionally, residents are encouraged to water using micro- or drip irrigation systems. Please note, sprinkler use on vegetable and fruit gardens are exempt from this but the RDKB encourages residents to use similar water conservation principles when using sprinklers for this purpose.

These water conservation measures form part of the RDKB's comprehensive Water Conservation Plan for the Beaver Valley Water Service. In line with the conservation efforts, the RDKB's WaterSmart Ambassador is offering complimentary sprinkler system assessments to residents in the Beaver Valley Water Service (currently Stage 3 Outdoor Water Conservation Measures), Rivervale Water Service (currently Stage 2 Outdoor Water Conservation Measures), and Christina Lake Water Utility (currently Stage 2 Outdoor Water Conservation Measures). The assessments aim to identify defects and improve efficiency across lawns and gardens, thereby aiding residents in reducing water usage.

To schedule a sprinkler system assessment, obtain authorization for watering new sod/grass seed, order indoor water conservation toolkits, or for any other WaterSmart and landscaping inquiries, residents can contact 250-231-5384 or email watersmart@rdkb.com.

For water saving tips and more, visit RDKB’s WaterSmart page at https://jointheconversation.rdkb.com/rdkb-watersmart.

The Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue service (KBRFR) is celebrating after receiving a significant contribution from longtime local supporters, Cirba Solutions, in the form of a generous cash boost from the battery recycler.

Cirba Solutions, which champions the recycling of materials for reintegration into the manufacturing marketplace to reduce the need for newly mined ones, contributes to the KBRFR regularly.  Its most recent donation facilitated the purchase of batteries and battery-powered chainsaws by KBRFR - a major stride in the Department’s ‘going green’ initiative.

Fire Chief Dan Derby extended his heartfelt appreciation for Cirba’s continuing support of his firefighting crews: “They’ve enabled us to buy essential equipment which will be deployed across our fire halls, furthering our commitment to a more sustainable and environmentally conscious firefighting approach."

"Investing in our local firefighting service is not only an obligation but a responsibility we, as local companies, willingly embrace," says Kathy Bruce, Senior Vice President, Cirba Solutions. "Our community's safety is paramount, and firefighters are the unsung heroes who dedicate their lives to protect us, our homes, and our environment."

Kathy emphasizes the unique connection local businesses have with their communities, understanding firsthand the importance of a robust firefighting service in ensuring public safety and security. She adds, "By supporting our local firefighting service, we help provide them with the tools and resources they need to effectively respond to emergencies, safeguard lives, and protect property. It's a collective effort that enhances the overall resilience and well-being of our community."

Cirba Solutions' involvement in supporting the local firefighting service reflects the company's core values, encapsulating the essence of community collaboration and environmental stewardship.

CIRBA SOLUTIONS FANS THE FLAMES OF COMMUNITY SUPPORT

Picture shows:  From Left to Right, Fire Chief Dan Derby, Chris Moffat (Operations Manager, Cirba Solutions), Colin Gill (Firefighter/Station 374 Trail) and Kathy Bruce, (Senior Vice President, Cirba Solutions) at KBRFR’s Trail headquarters, Station 374 where Chris and Kathy witnessed firsthand the impact of their philanthropy.

Bv valleywater conservation stage 3In response to the Lower Columbia Region's extreme drought level 4 – Extremely Dry, residents in the Beaver Valley Water Service are now under Stage 3 Outdoor Water Conservation measures. The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) and Village of Fruitvale have enacted these measures to promote responsible water usage and safeguard water resources during this critical period.

Under Stage 3, even-numbered addresses are permitted to use their sprinkler systems on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 4 am to 6 am and 8 pm to 10 pm. Odd-numbered addresses may use their sprinklers on Wednesdays and Fridays during the same time frames. Sprinkler use is strictly prohibited on Mondays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Additionally, residents are encouraged to water using micro- or drip irrigation systems. Please note, sprinkler use on vegetable and fruit gardens are exempt from this but the RDKB encourages residents to use similar water conservation principles when using sprinklers for this purpose.

These water conservation measures form part of the RDKB's comprehensive Water Conservation Plan for Beaver Valley Water Service. In line with the conservation efforts, the RDKB's WaterSmart Ambassador is offering complimentary sprinkler system assessments to residents in the Beaver Valley Water Service (Currently Stage 3 Outdoor Water Conservation measures), Rivervale Water Service (Currently Stage 2 Outdoor Water Conservation Measures), and Christina Lake Water Utility (Currently Stage 2 Outdoor Water Conservation Measures). The assessments aim to identify defects and improve efficiency across lawns and gardens, thereby aiding residents in reducing water usage.

To schedule a sprinkler system assessment, obtain authorization for watering new sod/grass seed, order indoor water conservation toolkits, or for any other WaterSmart and landscaping inquiries, residents can contact 250-231-5384 or email watersmart@rdkb.com.

For water saving tips and more, visit RDKB’s WaterSmart page at https://jointheconversation.rdkb.com/rdkb-watersmart.

flooding assistance graphic

Disaster Financial Assistance is available for those affected by flooding (April 27th, 2023 to May 16th, 2023)

• City of Grand Forks

• Village of Fruitvale

• Village of Midway

• RDKB Electoral Areas D and E

Application Deadline: Sept 3, 2023

Carlene Pires RDKB Emergency Program CoordinatorThe atmosphere was electric and energy levels were 'scorchio' as the Emergency Management Team at The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) took a proactive step in wildfire education by organizing some FireSmart Ember-tainment for the younger generation.

On a hot and sunny day at Gyro Park in Trail, BC, wildfire mitigation specialists, local firefighters, and the beloved Mascot 'Ember' the FireSmart Fox came together for a fun-filled afternoon of learning and outdoor activities that culminated in an epic water fight.

The inaugural event, which saw the active participation of kids aged 6 to 12 from the City of Trail Parks & Recreation Summer Adventure Camp and Camp Cowabunga, focused on imparting vital FireSmart principles to the next generation. The youngsters eagerly soaked up knowledge while having a blast, making it a memorable experience for all involved.

Carlene Pires, RDKB's Emergency Program/FireSmart Coordinator, emphasized the significance of such events for the young ones. "It is crucial for young people to understand the importance of FireSmart practices, especially in the area we live in," she stated. "By engaging them through events like these, we empower them with knowledge about responsible camping, wildfire prevention, and safety measures. Not only do they learn how to protect themselves and their families, but they also become ambassadors for FireSmart practices in their communities."

Throughout the event, children actively learned about the causes of wildfires and how to prevent them through interactive discussions and demonstrations. RDKB’s team demonstrated wildfire safety techniques and explained the measures to be taken to minimize wildfire risks. The presence of the FireSmart Mascot, 'Ember' the Fox added an element of excitement, and the kids were thrilled to interact and have fun with their furry friend.

"The kids were great, and they already had a lot of knowledge about FireSmart principles. Our aim was to consolidate their understanding and reinforce the importance of wildfire prevention. Ember was an instant hit with them, making the learning experience even more enjoyable," added Carlene.

The water fight at the end of the event served as a refreshing reward for the kids, and it also served as a symbolic gesture to emphasize the role of water in fire safety.

As the event came to an end, the young participants left Gyro Park equipped with valuable knowledge and a renewed passion to practice FireSmart principles. They were encouraged to share what they had learned with their families back home, creating a ripple effect of awareness throughout the community.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary's Emergency Management Team expressed gratitude to everyone involved in making this event a resounding success. With events like these, the RDKB continues to build a safer and more resilient community.

For more information about FireSmart principles and wildfire safety, or to book a FREE FireSmart Home Assessment, please visit https://emergency.rdkb.com/Be-Prepared/FireSmart.

BA Belton with new RDKB green bin

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) has announced the upcoming delivery of green bins for its Green Bin Program, a transformative residential curbside collection program for organics and kitchen scraps, which will officially launch on October 2, 2023.

Residents in Rossland, Warfield, Trail, Montrose, Fruitvale, and Areas A & B, can expect to receive their green bins between August 7th and 24th.  It represents a major step towards creating a greener and more sustainable region and will reduce the amount of waste going to landfills.

"This is an exciting moment for our West Kootenay residents! The delivery of the green bins marks the beginning of a positive change in how we handle waste within this area," says BA Belton, Environmental Communications & Programs Coordinator for the RDKB. "Remember to look inside them for the kitchen tote, sample liners, and all the essential information you need to get started when the program kicks off.  If you're planning to be away during the delivery period, consider asking a friendly neighbor to move your green bin for you too,” he adds.

The RDKB will also be introducing a Bear Bin Trade-In program this September, enabling residents to trade their 80L critter-resistant bin for a bear-resistant one at a cost of $200.  It has allocated a set number of bear-resistant bins, available on a first-come, first-serve basis, to each municipality and electoral area in the program until December 31, 2023.

"Embracing the Green Bin Program is not only a momentous step for our community but also a giant leap towards our goal of becoming a carbon-neutral local government. I am thrilled to see residents join us in this important endeavor. By diverting organic waste from our landfills, we are not only extending the life of the McKelvey Creek landfill but also making a significant impact in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As RDKB Board Chair, I wholeheartedly support this initiative, knowing that together, we are creating a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable future for generations to come." - Linda Worley, RDKB Board Chair.

Remember, no plastics are accepted in the green bins, even if they claim to be 'compostable' or 'biodegradable.' Yard or garden waste should also be kept out. To access more information, ask questions and to ensure a smooth transition to the Green Bin Program, ‘Join the Conversation’ online: https://jointheconversation.rdkb.com/new-green-bin-program-2023.

Viewing dock at christina lakeThe Regional District of Kootenay Boundary is delighted to announce the installation of the first-ever viewing dock at Christina Lake. It aims to offer visitors and locals alike a unique opportunity to connect with nature, observe the aquatic flora and fauna, and enjoy tranquil moments by the lake. The project was made possible through funding from the Community Works Fund, and the dock is now open to the public.

Located at the south end of Christina Lake, off the shore of the Community Nature Park, the new viewing dock extends an impressive 100 feet from the shore into the water. Built by Graham Marine Construction, it was crafted using yellow cedar framing and composite decking.  A welcome addition to the natural surroundings, it has been designed to ensure durability and safety for all users.

"The introduction of the viewing dock at Christina Lake is a momentous milestone for us and we’re grateful to everyone who has brought this vision to life.  Particular thanks goes to the Christina Lake Parks and Recreation Committee as well as RDKB’s Paul Keys," stated Grace McGregor, Director for Area C/Christina Lake. "This dock opens up fresh opportunities for people to engage with nature on a whole new level. It will provide a unique perspective for lake residents and visitors who don't have access to a dock, offering everyone a chance to immerse themselves in the breathtaking beauty of our environment."

“This new addition is part of a continual program of development and maintenance that focuses on local recreational infrastructure and programs.  We hope the new dock will give people the chance to enjoy the serenity of the lake and an opportunity to observe and appreciate its natural wonders up close,” adds Paul Keys, RDKB’s Manager of Facilities & Recreation for Grand Forks & District Recreation, who also revealed plans to hold an official opening ceremony at the dock this summer.

Jayme Fowler Event Coordinaor at Beaver Valley RecreationBeaver Valley (BV) Recreation is about to make a splash in the community with an exciting new adventure series of "Pop-up" events!

Get ready for a wave of summer fun as it launches a series of temporary and unexpected happenings that will take place at short notice in the most unique places the local area has to offer.  All with the aim of cranking up joy and togetherness.

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, August 2, 2023, at 5:30 pm, as the team at Beaver Valley Recreation kicks off its first "Pop-up" event - a thrilling "Community Paddle Night" at the picturesque Champion Lakes. This paddling extravaganza guarantees a splashing good time for all ages and a memorable experience for families and individuals alike.

“Grab your paddle boards, kayaks, dinghies, and floaties and head down to the boat launch at Champion Lakes. We'll embark on a group paddle along the lake to take in the stunning scenery and have some fun on the water. Then after the paddle, we invite everyone to enjoy a free sizzling hotdog BBQ and some refreshing beverages - the perfect way to refuel and connect with fellow participants. Children under 12 are welcome, but they must be accompanied by an adult, and for everyone's safety, life jackets are a must!” explains Jayme Fowler, Event Coordinator, Beaver Valley Recreation, Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.

BV Recreation aims to make this event accessible and enjoyable for all, so no registration is required, but they'd love to know you're coming. Feel free to reach out to Jayme at 250-231-7260 or email bvevents@rdkb.com to let them know you plan to join the adventure.

“Keep your eyes peeled, as this is just the beginning of our "Pop-up" event series. We’ve got countless surprises in store, designed to cater to diverse age groups, families, and interests, all while making the most of the wonders our beautiful valley has to offer,” adds Jayme.

Follow BV Recreation and the RDKB on social media for more "Pop-up" event announcements!

RDKB Building PermitsBrian Champlin, Manager of Building Inspection Services at the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB), is reminding residents and contractors about the longer processing times for building applications during the summer season. On average, applications can take up to 6 weeks to process during this peak period.

To ensure a smoother and more efficient process, Champlin emphasizes the importance of planning ahead and submitting applications well in advance. The RDKB Building Department encourages residents and contractors to be considerate and understanding of the increased workload faced by the department during this time.

Champlin adds, "We kindly request applicants be polite and courteous to our dedicated team. It’s disheartening to witness instances of our staff receiving abuse from clients who are unaware or surprised that summer is the busiest period for building applications. By understanding and respecting these seasonal demands, we can create a more positive and productive environment for everyone involved."

In addition to the summer rush, delays in application processing often occur due to incorrect or incomplete paperwork. To help expedite the process, the RDKB urges applicants to visit their website in advance at https://rdkb.com/Plan-Build .  The website provides valuable information, including guidelines, forms, and resources to ensure accurate and complete submissions.

Champlin concludes, "By utilizing the resources available on our website, applicants can greatly speed up the processing time for their building applications. We encourage everyone to familiarize themselves with the requirements and guidelines beforehand to avoid unnecessary delays and frustrations."

July 4, 2023

Anouschka Riverin RDKBs Manager of Finance with the Canadian Award for Financial ReportingThe Canadian Award for Financial Reporting (CAnFR) has been awarded to the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB), by Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its annual financial report.

Even though regional districts are not legislated to produce annual reports like municipalities, RDKB’s finance team used the digital publication to provide a snapshot of the organization’s scope, services and spending for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2021.  Created by the branch of government that works closest to the people, it was RDKB’s second-ever annual financial report and the first to be submitted for the CANFR award. 

“Congratulations to the RDKB staff who put this stunning, award-winning document together!  This is a well-deserved win for a report which beautifully captures our 2021 challenges and successes as well as how we manage the services we deliver to our residents.  It’s well worth a look,” says Linda Worley, Chair of RDKB’s Board of Directors.

“RDKB chose 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 Financial Officer Barbara Ihlen whose team plans to receive the award annually.  “Winning this award is an incredible accolade to our team and testament to our commitment to open and responsible reporting,” she adds.

The Canadian Award for Financial Reporting Program was established to encourage municipal governments throughout Canada to publish high-quality financial reports and to provide peer recognition and technical guidance for officials preparing these reports. Its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management. The annual financial report has been judged by impartial Canadian Review Committee members to meet the high standards of the program, including demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” designed to clearly communicate its financial story and to motivate potential users and user groups to read the report.

Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) advances excellence in government finance by providing best practices, professional development, resources, and practical research for more than 21,000 members and the communities they serve.

Click here to take a look at the 2022 annual financial report, which has just been published.  You can also view the 2021 award winning, annual financial report on the Finance section of the site.  Both editions were designed by Shelly Ackerman.

June 30, 2023
2:30 p.m. PST

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) has received approval from the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) for non-farm use for the development of a commercial food processing facility on about one acre of a nine-acre parcel owned by the RDKB outside of Rock Creek. Non-farm use approval is required when more than 50% of product processed on the parcel is not produced on the parcel.

The RDKB applied for grants for development of the Boundary Food Hub, the biggest source of funding coming from the Feed BC/BC Food Hub Network:  https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/growbc-feedbc-buybc/bc-food-hub-network   Altogether, the RDKB has received $1.5 million in grants.  The non-profit Boundary Community Ventures Association (BCVA) was formed to create the Food Hub under the oversight of the RDKB, who are responsible for the grants.  Independently, BCVA has acquired $50,000 for the Food Hub and a further $161,720 toward feasibility & planning of future projects.

The cost to acquire the $300,000 parcel was included in the RDKB’s 2021 5-Year Financial Plan, but the purchase did not close until March 2022.  Financing was done through the Area E Economic Development Service through short-term borrowing from the Municipal Finance Authority, to be repaid over five years.  The Municipal Finance Authority enables local governments in BC to undertake short- and long-term borrowing. 

The decision to purchase the parcel came after the original plan to situate the food processing facility on the Riverside Centre property fell through.  A search was undertaken for land in Greenwood, Midway and Area E.  The parcel purchased offered the best value in terms of parcel size, possibility of future farming activities and proximity to abattoirs in the Rock Creek area for the meat processing part of the facility.

The next steps in the development of the Food Hub will see the RDKB and BCVA enter into a ground lease agreement which will govern roles and responsibilities for each party for site development and construction and management of facilities.  The BCVA will then begin development of the facility.

“In our ongoing efforts to move toward food security, job creation, and the ability to process products locally, the RDKB is pleased to have provided the opportunity for this much-needed facility in the Boundary area,” said Linda Worley, Chair of the RDKB Board. “With the generous grant funding from the Province and through the hard work and perseverance of the BCVA, we thank everyone who is making this project a reality.”

Grace McGregor, Vice-Chair of the RDKB and President of BCVA commented: “This is so exciting. We should all be doing our part to help local food producers.  I am so pleased that the provincial government and the RDKB understand the need.”

More information:

RDKB
James Chandler
General Manager of Operations
gmoperations@rdkb.com
250.368.0249

Vicki Gee
Boundary Community Ventures
vicki@boundarycommunityventures.ca
250.449.8271  

Trail, BC
June 30, 2023 | 1 p.m. PST

RDKB Directors Boundary Tour 2023Boarding the Bus for the Boundary

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Board of Directors recently toured several sites in the Boundary to give Directors a greater insight into our westerly communities. 

“This tour provided an essential opportunity for all RDKB Directors to experience the diversity of our Regional District from community forest projects for our ecosystem, the deep heritage of municipalities and electoral areas, to community projects of food production and gathering places,” said Linda Worley, Chair of the RDKB Board. 

Directors visited the RDKB-owned Riverside Centre in Rock Creek, which is operated and managed by the Trails to the Boundary Society. Trails to Boundary staff explained the many services available to the public, including an information centre, community gathering space, credit union, free internet/WiFi/laptop use, artists’ gallery, office rentals, and electric vehicle charging stations.

John Bolt, mayor of the smallest city in Canada – Greenwood – showed off the municipality’s impressive heritage assets, including the museum and City Hall.

The Directors went for a nature walk at the West Boundary Community Forest’s (WBCF ) Outdoor Education Center at Wilgress Lake. WBCF members Dan Macmaster and Heinz Kreuzer led the Board around the Kootenay mix woodlot. The site is used to educate kids about forestry and ecology and demonstrate responsible forest management practices.

The Board also got back to the land at the bountiful one-acre community garden in Midway. Director Richard Dunsdon proudly toured the Board through the rows of organic fruits and vegetables. Residents can rent garden plots for $5/year. Volunteers are on site every day during the growing season. Visitors are encouraged to drop by and see what organic delights are available to purchase.

In Grand Forks, Directors saw organic matter in action at the landfill. Rob McGregor, Solid Waste Operations Coordinator, explained the complicated process required to turn kitchen waste into compost. Directors were so impressed by the operation that the RDKB has decided to film a short documentary about it to inform our residents about our ongoing efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep organics our of our landfills. 

While in Grand Forks, the Board stopped by Saddle Lake Dam on Reservoir Road, which is owned and monitored by the RDKB. Created in 1915 by Doukhobors for irrigation purposes, the lake is home to a rare salamander.

Further up the road, the Board viewed Hardy Mountain Doukhobor Village, a 16-acre historic site the RDKB acquired from The Land Conservancy.

The Board finished its tour by viewing the City of Grand Forks’ flood mitigation efforts. Graham Watt, the City’s Manager of Strategic Initiatives/Flood Recovery, pointed out the sheet pile wall, earth berm dike and demountable wall, as well as the site of future restored floodplain. It was noted that these measures were very effective in mitigating the impact of freshet 2023.

“Viewing the valuable work toward the future generations through the landfill preservation of the RDKB green bin composting operation, and the incredible work of flood mitigation at the Grand Forks dike system gave us a greater appreciation for our decisions and the work of the staff and community members who have and will benefit from these efforts,” said Worley. “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank everyone for their warmth and hospitality during our tour.”

After the success of its one-day Boundary tour, the Board plans on visiting Christina Lake in September, Big White in March 2024 and the east end in spring of 2024 to get a fuller picture of the diversity of communities in the regional district.

More information:
Anitra Winje
Corporate Officer
corporate@rdkb.com | 250.368.0225

South Kootenay Green Link Active Transportation PlanThe Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) is calling on all South Kootenay residents to shape their future and get online to unleash their ideas on the South Kootenay Green Link Active Transportation Plan (ATP).  Project leaders are seeking community input that will drive the development of its game-changing, multi-use corridor.

Residents are being urged to complete an online survey, which closes on Sunday, July 9, to join the movement, share their thoughts and make their mark: https://jointheconversation.rdkb.com/greenlink-active-transportation-plan

The initiative, which is in its ‘listening phase’, aims to create a cohesive, accessible, all ages and abilities (AAA), active transportation network that connects Rossland, Warfield, Trail, Montrose, Fruitvale, through Electoral Areas A and B/Lower Columbia-Old Glory, helping its users to ‘ditch the car’ and walk, ride, skate or roll instead. It hopes to fill a gap for a safe, interconnected alternative that will connect downtown cores, the Trail Regional Hospital, Trail’s Teck Operations, local schools and other important amenities.

Donna Dean, RDKB’s Manager of Planning and Development, praised the successful turnout and valuable insights from locals at the ‘Ideas Fairs’, adding: “Common themes emerged, shedding light on the challenges ahead and advocating for safe routes away from vehicle traffic.”

The project is funded by a $50,000 grant from BC’s Active Transportation Network Planning program and matched by funds from the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary. By enhancing recreational opportunities, supporting local businesses, promoting tourism, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and contributing to healthier lifestyles, the aim is to build a better South Kootenay.

Ms. Dean emphasized the importance of gathering diverse thoughts on the project to optimize the Active Transportation Plan and achieve a successful outcome.  “The information will be consolidated and shared with residents this fall,” she added.

June 29, 2023 | 11 a.m. PT
Trail, BC

Provincial Grant will help RDKB get FireSmart-er

  • RDKB Emergency Management receives largest grant in service’s history

A $690,000 grant from the Province of BC will help RDKB residents get FireSmart-er. The Union of BC Municipalities’ Community Resiliency Investment Program funding is the largest grant ever received by the RDKB’s Emergency Preparedness Service.

“We are extremely grateful for the Province of BC’s incredible support, which will enable us to grow and deliver the RDKB’s FireSmart program,” says Carlene Pires, Emergency Program and FireSmart Coordinator.

The funding is earmarked for community education, the development of community wildfire resiliency plans, as well as hiring wildfire mitigation specialists who will perform free FireSmart home hazard assessments across the regional district as part of the FireSmart Home Partners program.

“The Board of Directors is extremely proud of and grateful to our emergency management staff for their ongoing efforts to help keep Kootenay Boundary residents safe, as wildfires are becoming an ever-increasing concern,” says Linda Worley, Chair of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.

The wildfire mitigation specialists are already connecting with residents and performing assessments across the RDKB. Homeowners are encouraged to sign up for a free FireSmart home hazard assessment at firesmart@rdkb.com.

With wildfire season approaching, the RDKB encourages residents to implement FireSmart principles, create Grab and Go kits and sign up for our free emergency evacuation alerting system through Voyent Alert at emergency.rdkb.com.

The RDKB has received four similar grants in the past, the most recent being $227,000 in 2021.

More information:

Carlene Pires
Emergency Program and FireSmart Coordinator
epc@rdkb.com
250.368.0259

The Beaver Valley Regional Parks and Regional Trails Service is embarking on a Master Plan in recreation.

The purpose of this project is to develop a master plan that will provide guidance to the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB), Area A, Village of Fruitvale and Village of Montrose in establishing priorities for recreation, parks, and culture services in the Beaver Valley.

The project will lead to the development of a well supported plan summarizing community needs for recreation, parks, and culture services in the Beaver Valley. The plan will establish community-based priorities for facilities and programming and provide direction for future recreation, parks, and culture services.

There are several opportunities to provide input toward the plan. All residents, businesses, and community groups in the Beaver Valley are encouraged to participate.

Here are some ways you can provide your input:

Resident Survey
An online survey is available from May 19th – June 23rd, 2023, on the RDKB’s website. The survey can be accessed using the link below.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BeaverValleyResidentSurvey

Paper hard copy surveys will also be available for pick up and drop off at the Village of Montrose and the Village of Fruitvale municipal offices.


Community Group Survey
An online survey is available from May 19th – June 23rd, 2023, on the RDKB’s website. The survey can be accessed using the link below.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BeaverValleyCommunityGroupSurvey


Community Group Input Workshops
Community Group Input Workshops are scheduled to take place on June 7th and 8th 2023, through video conference. The sessions will begin with a presentation by the consultant team to introduce the project. This will be followed by facilitated discussions to gather input from participants. Please see the schedule below and register to attend if you would like to participate on behalf of a community group.

Workshop Schedule Workshops

Date

Time

Community Group Input Workshop #1

June 7th

5:00pm – 6:30pm

Community Group Input Workshop #2

June 8th

5:00pm – 6:30pm

 

We accept registration for workshops up until the start of the meeting, however we recommend registering at least one day in advance in order to receive and review the presentation slides. Please register for a workshop using the link below.
https://www.eventbrite.ca/o/beaver-valley-master-plan-63261289773
 

Community Road Show
Members of the consulting team will be in the Beaver Valley on June 20th and 21st to engage with the public through a community road show. Staffed engagement stations with table-top presentation boards and family-friendly activities will be set up throughout the region (see schedule below). Come on by to speak with us!

Road Show Schedule Location

Date

Time

Montrose Hall

June 20

3:00pm – 5:00pm

Fruitvale Curling Rink

June 21

3:00pm – 5:00pm

 

Trail, BC
May 12th, 3 p.m.

The RDKB regional emergency operations centre (EOC) will be on standby for the weekend monitoring conditions.
Currently, the RDKB regional emergency operations centre has 621 addresses on Evacuation Alert and 1 address on Evacuation Order within the RDKB and the Villages of Fruitvale and Midway.
“The EOC continues to keep an eye on upcoming weather; it’s likely that rivers will rise again and may reach the same levels as last week,” said Mark Stephens, RDKB EOC Director. “To that end, people are encouraged to keep their flood protection measures in place and to stay alert.”
Residents are strongly encouraged to register for the RDKB’s free emergency notification system at https://voyent-alert.com/ca/community/#registration. Those residents in Evacuation Order or Alert areas will receive instant messaging if they are signed up to the system.

Regularly monitor the emergency.rdkb.com website as well as the @RDKB_Emergency twitter feed for the latest emergency news, weather forecasts and alerts.   

 

Trail, BC
May 3rd, 1:30 p.m.

RDKB Issues Evacuation Alert and Order
South Johnson Flats and Manly Meadows, Grand Forks

An Evacuation Alert and Order have been issued by the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Regional Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) for South Johnson Flats and Manly Meadows in rural Grand Forks, effective as of May 3, 2023 at 1:30 p.m. due to the possibility of flooding.

A full list of addresses as well as a map of the evacuation area in the RDKB are available on the RDKB Emergency Site.

Trail, BC
May 3rd, 11:12 a.m.
For Immediate Release

With the possibility of imminent flooding, the RDKB is advising residents in the Boundary to prepare emergency or “grab and go” kits should they need to evacuate their homes.

What You Should Do:

  • Locate all family members and designate a meeting area outside the evacuation area, should an Evacuation Order be issued while separated.
  • Pack essential items such as government-issued ID, medications, eyeglasses, valuable papers (e.g., insurance, credit, and mortgage information), immediate care needs for dependents or pets, and, if time and space permits, keepsakes for quick departure.
  • Make arrangements to stay with family or friends (if possible).
  • Prepare to move disabled persons, children and/or neighbours, if assistance is needed.
  • Prepare to take pets with you and move livestock to a safe area (if possible).
  • Arrange transportation for all your household.
  • Fill the gas tanks of personal vehicles.
  • Arrange accommodation for all members of the residence, if possible.
  • Monitor for information on a potential Evacuation Order and location of Reception Centres.

For more info on flood preparedness and how to put together a grab and go kit, Click here

Regularly monitor the emergency.rdkb.com website as well as the @RDKB_Emergency twitter feed for the latest emergency news, weather forecasts and alerts.   

If you haven’t already done so, please sign up for our Emergency Notification System at https://voyent-alert.com/ca/community/#registration 

More information:
Anitra Winje, EOC Information Officer
250-231-4748 (cell)
corporate@rdkb.com

Trail, BC
May 3rd, 10:15 a.m.
For Immediate Release

A sand bag station is being set up in Rock Creek at Cenotaph Road and Highway 3 (Ministry of Transportation pullout). Sand and bags will be available this afternoon, May 3rd.

Sand bag stations are also available at:

Beaverdell/Carmi:       Beaverdell Fire Hall

Grand Forks & Area D: (see maps for location of sand & bags and mitigation works)

  • 18th St at Kettle River Drive (beside cemetery north of Dog Park)
  • Grand Forks Arena (west side of building)
  • Morrissey Creek Rd at ATV Staging Area
  • Grand Forks Airport
  • Barbara Ann Park off Riverside Drive

Christina Lake: Fire Hall
Rock Creek:     Riverside Centre
Westbridge:    Westbridge Community Hall
Greenwood:    Public Works Yard
Midway:          Public Works Yard

Please stay clear of fast-flowing watercourses and potentially unstable river and creek banks.

Check https://emergency.rdkb.com/ for updates and information on emergency preparedness.

Check https://emergency.rdkb.com/Current-Emergencies/Freshet-2023#sandbag for other sandbag locations.

If you haven’t already done so, please sign up for our Emergency Notification System at https://voyent-alert.com/ca/community/#registration

RDKB Information Bulletin
Trail, BC
2:10 p.m. - For Immediate Release

A flood watch is in effect for the Boundary region, according to the BC River Forecast Centre.

A flood watch means that watercourse levels are rising and may breach banks. Flooding of areas adjacent to affected rivers and creeks may occur.

Should you need sand and/or bags, please pick them up at the locations listed below (please note you will need to fill the bags with sand):

Beaverdell/Carmi:          Fire Hall (available May 3)

Christina Lake:                 Fire Hall

Grand Forks & Area D: (see attached maps for location of sand & bags and mitigation works)

  • 18th St at Kettle River Drive (beside cemetery north of Dog Park)
  • Grand Forks Arena (west side of building)
  • Morrissey Creek Rd at ATV Staging Area
  • Grand Forks Airport
  • Barbara Ann Park off Riverside Drive

Rock Creek:        Riverside Centre
Westbridge:       Westbridge Community Hall
Greenwood:      Public Works Yard
Midway:              Public Works Yard

The RDKB urges residents to remain cautious and to stay clear of fast-flowing watercourses and potentially unstable river and creek banks.

The RDKB continues to monitor the situation. For updates and emergency preparedness information, visit https://emergency.rdkb.com/

If you haven’t already done so, please sign up for our Emergency Notification System at https://voyent-alert.com/ca/community/#registration 

RDKB Information Bulletin
Trail, BC
10:30 a.m. - For Immediate Release

Boundary residents are asked to prepare for the possibility of flooding, advises the RDKB Emergency Operations Centre. With increasing temperatures and the possibility of heavy precipitation in the forecast later this week, waters are expected to rise. Current models show that levels could be similar to those in 2018. Conditions can change throughout the week. The RDKB continues to monitor the situation and will provide updates as necessary.

Should you need sand and/or bags, please pick them up at the locations listed below (please note you will need to fill the bags with sand):

Grand Forks & Area D: (see maps for location of sand & bags and flood control works)

  • 18th St at Kettle River Drive (beside cemetery north of Dog Park)
  • Grand Forks Arena (west side of building)
  • Morrissey Creek Rd at ATV Staging Area
  • Grand Forks Airport
  • Barbara Ann Park off Riverside Drive

Christina Lake: Fire Hall
Rock Creek:        Riverside Centre
Westbridge:       Westbridge Community Hall
Greenwood:      Public Works Yard
Midway:              Public Works Yard

Please stay clear of fast-flowing watercourses and potentially unstable river and creek banks.

Check https://emergency.rdkb.com/ for updates and information on emergency preparedness.

If you haven’t already done so, please sign up for our Emergency Notification System at https://voyent-alert.com/ca/community/#registration 
 

Anitra Winje
Information Officer
250.368.0225

May 2, 2023
10 a.m.

As part of the Regional District’s commitment to Zero Waste Goals and efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, a new waste reduction program will be launched targeting the diversion of food waste and kitchen scraps in the McKelvey Creek Wasteshed.

To facilitate the green bin program, agreements have been reached with Trail, Rossland, Warfield and Fruitvale to allow for the transition of garbage collection services to the Regional District. This will allow for the dual collection of garbage and food waste at the same time using split packer trucks.  These trucks have separate collection compartments for each waste type, so that one does not contaminate the other.  Currently, up to 38% of landfill waste is compostable organics.

“We are excited to move closer to the launch of this program, which will enable us to become a carbon-neutral local government,” said RDKB Board Chair Linda Worley. “We expect to see an annual average reduction of green house gas emissions of 2,225 tC02e resulting from the diversion of 877 to 1,451 metric tonnes of food waste.  This equates to 495 cars driven for one year.”

Worley adds that the initiative will also extend the life of the McKelvey Creek landfill, which is important given the challenges of establishing new sites.

The food waste will be composted at the RDCK facility near Salmo to create a Class A soil product.

 

Starting October 1, 2023, residential curbside collection in the McKelvey Creek Wasteshed will be as follows:

  • For the communities of Rossland, Warfield, Trail, Fruitvale and Electoral Areas A and B, weekly collection of garbage and green bin (food waste) will occur. Residents must use RDKB garbage tags only for the garbage component.
  • Garbage tags may be purchased from local businesses and local government offices in the area at a cost of $3.00 each.  This $3 fee will allow for the pick-up of garbage to a maximum of 50 lbs. 
  • For the community of Montrose, weekly collection of green bin (food waste) will be provided by the RDKB.  Garbage collection services will be maintained by the Village of Montrose.

The RDKB has awarded the contract to GFL Environmental Inc who will provide the residential curbside collection of garbage and green bin food waste. 

Green bins, along with educational materials and a kitchen tote, will be delivered to residents in August.  80L sized bins that are considered “critter resistant” (racoons, skunks, rats, etc.) will be the standard bin size distributed. The RDKB has purchased a limited number of “bear resistant” bins that will be available under a trade-in program.  Residents will be required to exchange the standard bin and pay the difference in cost to receive the bear resistant bin.

The food waste collected by the program will be “beyond backyard composting” and will include such items as meat, bones, grease, and other food waste that should not be included in a backyard composter. No plastics of any kinds will be accepted in the green bins, including bin liners that claim to be biodegradable or compostable.  Only kraft paper bags or the “Bag to Earth” bin liners will be accepted in the program.

The RDKB is grateful for the approximately $700,000 in grant funding from the Province of BC that will assist with the implementation of the project, including public education, collection bin supply and distribution.

Stay tuned for more information or sign up for the RDKB’s “Join the Conversation” page at https://jointheconversation.rdkb.com/

If you are a resident of Trail, Warfield, Rossland or Fruitvale, please note that additional information will be coming from your respective municipal offices over the coming months.

Boundary residents are asked to prepare for the possibility of flooding, advises the RDKB Emergency Operations Centre. With increasing temperatures and the possibility of heavy precipitation in the forecast later this week, waters are expected to rise. Current models show that levels could be similar to those in 2018. Conditions can change throughout the week; therefore, the RDKB continues to monitor the situation and will provide updates as necessary.

Please stay clear of fast-flowing watercourses and potentially unstable river and creek banks.  Check back tomorrow for a list of sandbag locations throughout the Boundary region. 

Check https://emergency.rdkb.com/ for updates and information on emergency preparedness

If you haven’t already done so, please sign up for our Emergency Notification System at https://voyent-alert.com/ca/community/#registration  

Anitra Winje
Information Officer
250.231.4748

Boundary residents are asked to prepare for the possibility of flooding, advises the RDKB Emergency Operations Centre. With increasing temperatures and the possibility of heavy precipitation in the forecast later this week, waters are expected to rise. Current models show that levels could be similar to those in 2018. Conditions can change throughout the week; therefore, the RDKB continues to monitor the situation and will provide updates as necessary.

Please stay clear of fast-flowing watercourses and potentially unstable river and creek banks.  Check back tomorrow for a list of sandbag locations throughout the Boundary region. 

Check https://emergency.rdkb.com/ for updates and information on emergency preparedness

If you haven’t already done so, please sign up for our Emergency Notification System at https://voyent-alert.com/ca/community/#registration  

Anitra Winje
Information Officer
250.231.4748

A hiking challenge, which launched in the Boundary last year to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Grand Forks, is back with a bang this summer.

“Last year’s event was a huge success! We had 124 hikers explore 372 trails in the Boundary! The feedback from everyone who took part was phenomenal and it really seemed to motivate local residents to get outside, have fun and explore the area.  We also had visitors from the Okanagan, Vancouver, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Colorado and even France take part!” says Melina Van Hoogevest, RDKB’s Recreation Supervisor at Grand Forks District Recreation.  “This year the scavenger hunt challenge will run over four months from May to September, and will feature four hikes and four monthly prizes.  We can’t wait!” she adds.

Beverley Newbould, one of the draw winners from last year’s event said:  “I feel like I have won on each of the 8 hikes I have done so far. I have not only got to see so much of the area but I have also met so many wonderful people in the hiking community. Being new to the area, this has been a great gift that I am extremely grateful for.”

“I love this scavenger hunt because it’s bringing me to places I’ve never been before!” shared Erika Couling who participated during 2022.

Echoing the sentiment of many who remarked on the conditions and natural beauty surrounding each trail during the launch event, Susan Routley said:  “I am so proud and happy to live in this beautiful area. I have lived in Grand Forks for over 30 years and have just now started to explore the trails. Retirement is a wonderful thing! Thank you to the Trails Society for working so hard with the RDKB on this particular project and thank you to the Trails Society for making Grand Forks a walker’s paradise.”

The ‘Hike our Story’ Challenge is a collaboration between outdoor enthusiasts from the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary’s Grand Forks & District Recreation department and the Grand Forks Community Trails Society. Their collective aim is to empower people through connectivity to nature and build an appreciation of the area’s history and heritage.

“This year we have handpicked three brand new hikes and included one of our favourites from last year. Each hike will be individually highlighted for an entire month with additional options to explore more within those highlighted areas. Our first hike, starting on May 1, is typically a dry trail,” explains Michelle Mallette, Grand Forks Community Trails Society Vice-President.

By September 4th, when the Challenge has run its course, the hope is that all participants will have discovered new routes as well as the heritage behind them by walking in the footsteps of others who have come before. 

The four hiking adventures can be found on The GF Rec Trails page, as well as the nine trails from last year’s challenge for those who didn’t participate or who want to revisit them.

Giving an additional reason to participate, QR codes on each trail are waiting to be discovered and will unlock the possibility to win monthly gift cards courtesy of Work n’ Play Clothing, Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, Grand Forks Beer Co., and Wildways Adventure Sports & Rentals.

 

For more information on the epic ‘Hike Our Story’ Challenge visit The GF Rec Trails page and follow  @Grandforksrec (Insta), Grand Forks & District Recreation or RDKBdotcom (FB). 

As Event Coordinator, Jayme will be responsible for creating a supportive, welcoming and vibrant environment for the residents of the Beaver Valley. Coordinating a team of volunteers, she will ensure programs are run effectively and will meet the needs of all ages. 

Meet Beaver Valley Recreation’s new Event Coordinator Jayme Fowler“I’m so grateful for this opportunity!  I’m looking forward to getting my feet wet and working with a dynamic team as well as collaboratively with other community groups,” says latest RDKB recruit Jayme.  Special events under her portfolio will include seniors’ lunches and teas, May Days, seniors’ picnic at Beaver Valley Family Park, the annual seniors’ dinner and dance, and breakfast with Santa. “I’m excited to bring back the social activities that we all missed through the pandemic; some of them will include ones from before, and some new ones,” she adds.

Jayme was born and raised in the Beaver Valley and currently lives in Montrose with her husband and children.  Together they spend most of their time at the Beaver Valley arena enjoying figure skating and hockey.  She knows the recreation landscape she will be working in very well.  In a career that has spanned some 25 years, most as a HealthCare Aid, the last five years have been spent active in the Beaver Valley community.  She previously held the positions of Beaver Valley Age Friendly Coordinator and wears the hat of Beaver Valley Coordinator for the British Columbia Community Response Network.

“I have a very long history with the arena too,” adds Jayme.  “My Dad worked there for many years when I was a kid. I spent countless hours public skating, and in my teenage years, I was skate patrol and helped clean the stands after Nite Hawk games. During the summers, I would also work out at Marsh Creek Park with Abel, cutting grass and looking after the campground.”

Jayme’s passion for the community, as well as its seniors, is also reflected in her volunteering activities.  She sits on the Executive Board of the Rossland Figure Skating Club and the Montrose Recreation Commission.  She is also the Project Director for the Columbia Seniors Wellness Society.

Welcome Jayme!

Prevention of Violence Against Women Week - Local, specialist help and support is available.Prevention of Violence Against Women Week in BC (April 16 – 22) gives us the opportunity to amplify the message that there is no future for violence against women in our communities.  Also, how important it is for survivors of violence to get connected to the most appropriate services, resources and supports for them to help escape every form of violence and to recover from their damaging impacts.

RCMP Victim Services provides 24/7 support and crisis response within the Trail and Greater Trail Area with a program that helps make those connections that best suit the needs of the client. It also works closely with Community Based Victim Services at Trail FAIR Society.  The Family and Individual Resource (FAIR) Society is a not for profit that specializes in supporting victims of sexual or relationship violence, to provide the survivor with a comprehensive and collaborative response.

“You don’t need police involvement to get emotional or practical support and information from us,” says Jenn Penney, Program Manager of Trail & Greater District RCMP Victim Services, “No matter how severe the crime, traumatic incident, or tragedy, we provide the assistance you need to prevent further trauma.  We also make sure that you understand your rights as a victim, provide information on how the criminal justice system works, offer support throughout the court process, and connect you with the financial supports available to you as a victim of crime,” she adds.

Join the VAWIR committee for The Clothesline Project and enjoy a free BBQ lunch on Tuesday, May 2nd (11am – 2pm) at Ferraro Foods in Trail.  The annual event is designed to raise awareness on violence against women. A powerful display of t-shirts will be painted and displayed, created by survivors of violence and abuse. There will also be agency resource tables on display for the public to view, gather information, and ask questions.

To find out more about RCMP Victim Services log onto our website where you can find out the types of traumatic experiences we can help with as well as the referrals, emotional support, court services and information we provide: https://rdkb.com/Public-Safety/Victim-Services.

RCMP Victim Services Contact Details:   Direct: 250.368.2184; Non-Emergency RCMP (out-of-hours): 250.364.2566

Trail FAIR Society: 250.364.2326 or www.trailfair.ca

Picture shows: Jenn Penney, Program Manager of Trail & Greater District RCMP Victim Services

The Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue Service (KBRFR) is on the look out for new paid-on-call firefighters for the 2023-2024 training year. 

For the first time ever, the KBRFR will be hosting recruitment open house events at its fire stations in Rossland, Warfield, Genelle, Montrose and Fruitvale, for those interested in learning more. “These events will give residents the opportunity to meet local firefighters, and gain insight into the Regional Fire Department, enjoy some food and receive a fire truck tour and equipment display,’ says KBRFR Fire Chief Dan Derby.  “It’s a great way for potential firefighters to ask questions of the existing crew to understand the commitment it takes to become a firefighter and to familiarize themselves with their local fire station,” he adds.

The first KBRFR recruitment open house event will be held at the Warfield fire station for Trail and Warfield residents to drop in from 1:00pm to 3:00pm on Sunday, April 23, 2023. 

Full Recruitment Open House ScheduleKBRFR paid on call Firefighters recruiting drive

Station 372 Warfield:
Sunday, April 23 (1:00pm-3:00pm)

Station 373 Genelle:
Saturday, April 29 (11:00am-1:00pm)

Station 375 Montrose:
Saturday, May 13 (2:00pm-5:00pm)

Station 376 Fruitvale:
Wednesday, May 24 (6:00pm-7:30pm)

Station 371 Rossland:
Thursday, May 25 (4:00pm – 7:00pm)

Community minded people over the age of 19 and from all walks of life are being encouraged to pop in during those open house events to see what the job, training, and application process is all about.  Registration is not required.

Looking to beef up its Paid-on-Call roster, the KBRFR will be accepting paid-on-call applications up to June 15, 2023. “Don’t ever think you’re not strong, fit or qualified enough to apply.  All you need is a positive attitude, commitment to training, be in good health and have the drive to get involved – we will equip you with all the skills you need to be effective in the role,” says Deputy Fire Chief Glen Gallamore.

Even if they don’t view firefighting as a potential career, POC recruits join the department for a variety of reasons: The work is rewarding as well as the training, camaraderie and sense of community purpose which come with the role.  Many juggle family, full-time jobs, or shift work with weekly night training sessions (7pm – 9pm) at their nearest fire hall, with some specialized training off-site and on weekends.

Training days take place on Mondays (Montrose), Tuesdays (Warfield & Genelle), Wednesdays (Fruitvale) and Thursdays (Rossland).

Fire Chief Derby says a new, uncertified recruit typically goes through 12 – 36 months of on-the-job training which formally begins in September. “We’ve worked hard to build a training program that will provide all the skills someone will need to achieve accredited firefighter certification.” 

During training, recruits will learn how to safely and effectively function on the fire ground, at motor vehicle incidents and medical aid calls, but no previous experience is necessary.  Training comprises:  Medical First Responder & CPR / Emergency Scene Traffic Control / Electrical Safety Awareness / Gas Safety Awareness / NFPA Firefighter Level II / Incident Command / Wildland Firefighter/ Driver Training and Air Brakes.

Applications and enquiries for each Station are via KBRFR’s headquarters in Trail. To find out more about what the role and application process involves, interested candidates can visit rdkb.com/careers, email kbrfradmin@rdkb.com, or telephone 250.364.1737.

Hot off the press!

Green Bin Guide coming soonIf you live in the Boundary/West Boundary Area - watch your mailbox for a copy of the new RDKB Green Bin User Guide, coming soon!

It has tips on what can and can't go in your green bin, how to reduce the "yuck" factor and much more!

If you can't wait for it to land, check it out here: https://rdkb.com/Portals/0/EnvironmentalServices/GreenBinUsersGuides.pdf

 

With changing weather on the horizon, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) says it’s a good idea to start preparing early for the Freshet Season ahead.

“Weather patterns have changed and we will likely see rivers start to approach normal levels this weekend,” says Mark Stephens, RDKB’s manager of emergency programs. “The changing seasons is a good reminder for the public to review their personal preparedness plans. With the changing conditions we’re also reminding residents to be extra vigilant near riverbanks and to stay away from them, particularly with pets and children,” he adds.

The Regional Emergency Program monitors the snow pack, river levels and weather conditions closely and compares these conditions to the RDKB’s flood response plan.

“We will continue to monitor conditions throughout this year’s Freshet to keep the public and stakeholders up to date with any changes. If you have experienced flooding in the past or know that your property can experience flooding, it’s a good time to exercise personal preparedness,” says Mark Stephens, RDKB’s manager of emergency programs.

Even though the RDKB Emergency Operations Centre is not activated, its team has begun to review the weather and stream flow daily throughout the region.  It will be publishing the Freshet dashboard weekly until it gets closer to peak Freshet season, and more frequent reports are needed. These can be accessed at emergency.rdkb.com.

Residents are encouraged to check out the Freshet dashboard, flood preparation guide, useful resource links and more online:  https://emergency.rdkb.com/Be-Prepared/Freshet-Conditions

On March 29th, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) Board of Directors approved the 2023 budget at $93.1 million after adopting the 2023-2027 five-year financial plan.  Major infrastructure projects throughout the RDKB underpin this year’s budget increase. 

Together with the use of reserve funds, property and parcel taxes, and short and long term borrowing, the RDKB is utilizing a significant amount of grant funding to balance the 2023 budget. Government grants comprise approximately 31% of the revenue ($28.6 million). $22.5 million of those grant monies will support the RDKB operated Columbia Pollution Control Centre (wastewater treatment plant) located in Trail. 

Capital expenditures make up approximately 50% ($46.7 million) of the budget and includes significant projects such as the start of the Columbia Pollution Control Centre upgrade at a cost of $30.7 million in 2023. Other capital projects include the completion of the Boundary organics facility upgrade in Grand Forks, and the replacement of fire apparatus in Christina Lake and Big White.

Also on the horizon are two infrastructure projects associated with the continued regional development of the organics diversion programs: the McKelvey Creek Landfill Upgrade Project in Trail and the purchase of organics processing equipment. Future projects include the imminent implementation of a green bin curbside collection for 8,200 homes in the McKelvey Creek Wasteshed (October 2023), which will service residents of Rossland, Warfield, Trail, Montrose and Fruitvale, as well as those living in Areas A and B. 

“These necessary investments in our infrastructure have the backing of the people, support the resilience of our communities, facilitate our transition to clean growth, create jobs, improve essential services and will strengthen the entire region as a whole,” says Linda Worley, chair of the RDKB board of directors.  She also extended her thanks to the federal and provincial governments whose contributions have made the planned upgrades and initiatives possible.

“This year we returned to town hall meetings in person across Areas A to E to engage the public in our budget process and gather their input. We had record-breaking turnouts and are grateful to our residents for their continued participation in this important conversation,” added Worley.

The full 2023-2027 five-year financial plan can be viewed on the Finance page.

RDKB operates over 70 services in eight incorporated municipalities and five unincorporated electoral areas spread across 8,200 km2 .   They include environmental services (55% of expense budget), protective & public safety services including fire, emergency preparedness, and building inspection (16%), recreation and culture services (12%), transportation services (3%) as well as general government services (8%) and development services (4%).  The remaining 2% of expenses by category are municipal debt, which is a flow-through process with no costs being borne by RDKB rural residents.

For further media information or to arrange an interview, please contact Vivienne Hurley, Communications Specialist, Regional District of Kootenay Boundary on 250-921 6290

Donna Dean RDKB's Manager of Planning and Development with its new interactive web map service

The GIS team at the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) is excited to announce the official launch of its new interactive web map service.

After 15 years, the interactive web map has received a major upgrade. This modernization of our mapping system will encourage collaboration, informative decision making, and uses the same interface already found on many other local government web maps. The public is encouraged to explore the new mapping service before the existing webmap is phased out in mid April.

When asked why the introduction of this updated mapping service is a significant milestone for the RDKB, Donna Dean, Manager of Planning and Development, explains: “Everything is now hosted in-house so our team has total control. This allows them to provide timely updates and changes made to geospatial data will appear on the map in near real time. It’s a much cleaner interface, which is easier to use and has all the functionality of the old system along with new features,” she adds.

Highlights of the new system include:

  • An updated interface where users can explore data from 75+ layers such as parcel information, RDKB Bylaw layers, floodplain information and reference layers from the province.
  • Weekly updates to the ParcelMap BC (PMBC) parcel fabric. PMBC is the current, complete, and trusted mapped representation of titled and Crown land parcels across British Columbia
  • Mobile and tablet compatibility with the ability to enable GPS.
  • Easy navigation across the entire Regional District using predefined bookmarks.
  • Tools which allow users to create reports and print outs; measure distances and areas; convert coordinates and add sketches.
  • The ability to add data from other sources such as BC’s Data Catalogue.
  • Extensive basemap options to choose from including satellite imagery.

Visit https://rdkb.com/Plan-Build/Planning/Maps for more information. The RDKB GIS team is available to provide training and answer questions if needed.

PICTURE SHOWS: DONNA DEAN,RDKB’S MANAGER OF PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT WITH THE NEW WEB MAP SERVICE

Melina Van Hoogevest RDKB's recreation supervisor with the new community leisure guide

With the launch of the RDKB’s first ever community leisure guide, there’s a new way to find out what’s going on recreation-wise for residents and newcomers to Grand Forks and Christina Lake.

From glow stick or super soaker pool parties to adult or family drop-in sports, the team at Grand Forks & District Recreation has included something for everyone and hopes its new guide becomes the go-to source for those in seek of indoor, water-based and outdoor entertainment this Spring and Summer.

“Our team is thrilled to release this guide to our community and create such a useful local resource.  It has everything, all in one place, to enjoy our area to the max, get involved in our programming, have fun, and keep active,“ says Melina Van Hoogevest, RDKB’s Recreation Supervisor, Grand Forks & District Recreation.  “Whether you’re looking to try something completely different, meet new people, or fall back into a healthy routine, our guide opens the door to so many opportunities for adults, children and families. And it’s not just all about RDKB facilities and programs.  The community clubs, leagues, and societies that run in our area are also featured,” she adds.

The community leisure guide includes schedules and fees for the Aquatic Centre and Fitness Room, how to register for activities, use the equipment loaner program, and apply to the leisure access & Inclusion program for low-income families.  Users can browse through current programs, pool events, swim lessons, and lifeguard training as well as Spring break events.  A handy interactive map of recreation facilities located in Areas D/Rural Grand Forks, Area C/Christina Lake as well as the City of Grand Forks is also available by following a QR Code link to the RDKB website.

“As our community grows and our programming expands, the need for a leisure guide such as this has never been greater.   Its aim is to raise awareness of all the many recreation opportunities available, improve accessibility and increase engagement, particularly to families and individuals new to the area or residents who want to get more involved. Our team has worked very hard to get this project completed and we hope that it delivers and evolves with every issue,” says Paul Keys, RDKB’s Manager of Facilities and Recreation, Grand Forks & District Recreation.

To reduce its environmental footprint, The Spring/Summer edition of the bi-annual Community Leisure Guide is out now and can be accessed digitally on its Recreation & Culture pages at  www.rdkb.com .  A limited number of printed copies will be available at in the Grand Forks Aquatic Centre and in various community locations. A Fall/Winter edition is planned for release in September 2023.

Link to New Community Leisure Guide: https://rdkb.com/Portals/0/Recreation/Documents/GF-CLCommunityLeisureGuide.pdf?ver=2023-02-28-093630-620

PICTURE SHOWS MELINA VAN HOOGEVEST, RDKB’S RECREATION SUPERVISOR AT GRAND FORKS & DISTRICT RECREATION, HOLDING THE NEW COMMUNITY LEISURE GUIDE.

RDKB receives $1.7 million boost from Government’s Growing Communities Fund

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) has received a $1,774,000 boost from the provincial government to address the needs of its growing communities.

RDKB Board Chair and Area B Director Linda Worley celebrating with staff at RDKBs recent birthdayThe one-time grant, which the RDKB will receive at the end of March 2023, was allocated using a funding formula based on population size and per capita population growth between 2016 and 2021.  

“This grant enables us to make a massive investment in our future and we’re delighted to receive such support,” says RDKB Board Chair and Area B/Lower Columbia Director Linda Worley.  “Our communities have unique needs which can be prioritised and swiftly addressed with this upfront funding. The Board will deliberate next on how best to allocate it within the RDKB for maximum impact,” she adds.  

“Our communities are growing and this puts more pressure on community centres, parks and swimming pools that families rely on. To help, we’re providing the single largest provincial investment in communities in BC’s history,” said Premier David Eby. “The new Growing Communities Fund will help local communities get building. Growing communities need our support and this funding will make a big difference for everyone.” 

On Feb. 10, 2023, the Province announced the Growing Communities Fund, which provides a one-time total of $1 billion in grants to all 188 BC municipalities and regional districts.

Picture shows: RDKB Board Chair and Area B/Lower Columbia Director Linda Worley celebrating with staff at RDKB’s recent birthday.  The $1.7 billion boost is a late birthday gift for the RDKB, which celebrated its 57th birthday on February 22, 2023.

For a breakdown of funding by local government, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/BG_GrowingCommunitiesFund.pdf
For information about the Growing Communities Fund, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/28220
For information about the provincial surplus, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/27862

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Board is urging all its residents to take immediate action in response to Elections Canada’s plans to redistribute federal electoral district boundaries. See the Report of the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for the Province of British Columbia.

“It’s extremely concerning that a second draft of the federal boundary review has only just been released and is such a radical departure from what was initially presented at the one public hearing held in Cranbrook,” says RDKB Area A Director Ali Grieve who is one of many in vehement opposition. “Now there is no opportunity for public input which is unacceptable.  We need to send a clear, strong united message:  These changes? No way!” she adds.

The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for the Province of British Columbia plans to remove all of the Beaver Valley (Electoral Area A and the villages of Montrose and Fruitvale) from the rest of the RDKB and join it with the riding in the East Kootenay/Rockies Region to form the reconfigured federal electoral district of Columbia – Kootenay – Southern Rockies. View map here.

Area E/West Boundary-Big White would also be impacted by the proposed changes.  Most of the Highway 33 corridor from Kelowna to the south of Beaverdell would become part of the newly named Okanagan Lake West – South Kelowna federal electoral district. View map here

“The realignment of boundaries strips the RDKB of its identity, splits the region, aligns us with areas that have different social, cultural and economic concerns and imposes a federal political divide within our regional district which would only serve to weaken our voice,” says RDKB’s Board Chair Linda Worley whose elected officials are strongly opposing these recent changes. “MP Richard Cannings will soon file an objection with the House of Commons but needs your voice, our voice, to add to it,” she adds.

All RDKB residents are being urged to email richard.cannings@parl.gc.ca before March 6 so that he can take the written objections to the Procedure and House Affairs Committee. 

In the e-mail state where you live and that you strongly oppose the proposed change to your Federal Electoral Boundaries as your Community of Interest and Identity have always been with the West Kootenay /Boundary region.  Please stop this change where no public input was provided.

“Historically, the whole of the RDKB has been in the same federal electoral district and our collective advocacy has been a strong and effective one when we’ve had to lobby our MP on issues of regional concern,” explains Area E Director Sharen Gibbs.

“The commissioner has not considered the needs of our constituents who share a community of interest and identity with our RDKB neighbours,” says Steve Morissette, Mayor of Fruitvale.

“Historically, we’ve always been part of the West Kootenays, not divided from it,” says Mike Walsh, Mayor of Montrose.  “Why would we want to change the status quo that has worked so well for us?” he adds.

The Environmental Services team at the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) is urging local residents, contractors and businesses to be aware of changes coming soon to the McKelvey Creek Regional landfill in Trail.

“The upgrade of the facility over the next number of months will create the infrastructure that is needed for the implementation of the upcoming Organics Diversion Project,” says RDKB’s general manager of environmental services Janine Dougall who is leading the team responsible for rolling out the green bin program in Areas A and B and the municipalities of Rossland, Warfield, Trail, Montrose and Fruitvale in October 2023. “We’re hoping that once works start at McKelvey, people will use available alternative services and only come to the landfill if they really have to.  We’re confident that everyone will play their part in reducing delays, and will always remain courteous to staff on site,” she adds. 

McKelvey Creek Landfill Attendants Nicole and LincolnLandfill users are being encouraged to use their curbside collection service for garbage and to use The Bottle Depot in the Gulch for their household recyclables and deposit-based items.

“Before you make a trip to the landfill, check rdkb.com, social media and follow the project “Join the Conversation” to keep up to date with the latest site news.  Closures are possible and road layouts will change. Tipping fees will be based on volume not weight when the scale is not operational and material will need to be separated and pre-sorted before arrival,” explains Dougall.

General construction works will encompass the demolition of existing infrastructure, expansion of the current transfer station area, the relocation of the recycling area, new pavement and pavement strengthening, two new weigh scales and scale building and the installation of a water and sewer (septic service).  Other project components include the installation of fibre optic internet connectivity which will improve point of sale services.

“The initiation of food waste collection and diversion from landfill is a significant opportunity for the RDKB to minimize green house gas emissions from landfill.  The project also brings cost efficiencies, will extend the landfill’s life and the addition of a second scale will improve wait times and reduce congestion on site.  It’s a great development for the area and will be worth the short-term pain while construction is being carried out,” says RDKB’s board chair and Area B/Lower Columbia-Old Glory director Linda Worley. “On behalf of the Board of Directors I would like to thank our staff for the extensive planning and preparation that has gotten us to this stage in the process,” she adds.

Following the development of the 2019 Organics Management Strategy, an Organics Infrastructure and Collection Program grant valued at $702,000 was secured and is supporting RDKB’s initiation of the new residential green bin curbside collection program.

Visit https://jointheconversation.rdkb.com/ to follow the McKelvey Creek Regional Landfill 2023 Upgrade & Construction Project, ask questions, engage with RDKB staff working on it and view volume based tipping fees.

These include fridges, freezers, air conditioners, dehumidifiers and electric cold beverage dispensers.

For a full list of major appliances accepted for free under the MARR stewardship program, visit www.marrbc.ca.

Lifeguard Erika Burroughs with 75 yr old senior swimmer Brian Noble a regular at Grand Forks Aquatic Centre

The Grand Forks Aquatic Centre is urging local seniors to answer its call for new lifeguards to keep the community safe and ensure its pool is adequately staffed all year round in a stroke that aims to counter the national lifeguard shortage.

Managers at Grand Forks & District Recreation are thinking outside the box to fill the shortfall and buck the trend.  It’s literally all hands on deck, as older adults are being asked to dive in to help and make up for a lack of younger applicants.  They’re appealing to those who want to stay active and supplement their income to return to lifeguarding or to give it a try.  Especially anyone who used to be a lifeguard back in the day, had time off to raise a family, want to recertify or go through the certification process for the first time.

“When we saw what The Canada Games Aquatic Centre in St John’s was doing, actively recruiting and certifying an older demographic as lifeguards and swim instructors, we knew the ‘Greywatch’ idea was a keeper,” says Paul Keys, manager of facilities and recreation at RDKB’s Grand Forks & District Recreation Department.  “It would be great to see a range of ages and life experiences, poolside, that are as diverse as those of our patrons,” he adds.

“We’re surrounded by strong swimmers and water enthusiasts who have time on their hands, want to keep active and to give something back to their community too, all while getting paid and boosting their social lives,” says Melina Van Hoogevest, recreation supervisor at RDKB’s Grand Forks & District Recreation Department. “Age is just a number, so if you’re more Greywatch than Baywatch, don’t be put off. Together, we can future-proof our pool and keep our community safe,” she adds.

“Lifeguarding is really rewarding, regardless of age, and we provide a robust training program for new recruits.  We’re hoping to inspire students and to also plant the seed among those who haven’t considered lifeguarding, to jump right in and join our lifesaving team,” says aquatic coordinator Megan Tiller.

Anyone who wants to find out more about lifeguarding positions and lifeguarding certification at Grand Forks Aquatic Centre, should contact Megan Tiller at Grand Forks & District Recreation: mtiller@rdkb.com.

Picture shows lifeguard Erika Burroughs with 75 yr old senior swimmer Brian Noble, a regular at Grand Forks Aquatic Centre.  It is hoped that patrons like Brian consider lifeguarding as an option at their pool.

 

Responsibility for Gospel Chapel’s Food Recovery Program in Grand Forks has shifted to maximise its future growth, following a collaborative effort between the three organizations that manage, fund and provide the facility for it.

Boundary Community Ventures (BCVA), the organization developing the Boundary Food Hub funded by the Province of BC through the Regional District, will become responsible for the Food Recovery Program, taking over Gospel Chapel’s lead.

Under the new arrangement, Gospel Chapel will continue to provide the venue, RDKB will provide funding for the program and BCVA will manage the program under its Food Hub project.  The staff person currently managing the program will be hired by BCVA. 

The Food Recovery Program was started by Gospel Chapel in 2021 and is operated through Second Harvest, a national charitable organization whose vision is:  “No Waste.  No Hunger”.  Their mission is to “Grow an efficient food recovery network to fuel people and reduce the environmental impact of avoidable food waste”.   Gospel Chapel runs one of two food recovery programs in the Boundary.  They recover food every weekday, year round, from Extra Foods.  The other program is operated by Boundary Community Food Bank, who recover food from Save-On Foods. 

Gospel Chapel sorts and distributes unprocessed food directly to a number of organizations, including Boundary Food Bank and Courtesy Kitchen.  They also process food in their commercial kitchen by making soups and dehydrated products, which are then distributed throughout the Boundary (from Christina Lake through to Big White).  Food that isn’t suitable for human consumption is picked up by local farmers for animal feed.  There are 50+ volunteers currently making this program work.  The Community Care Coordinator at Gospel Chapel has been overseeing the program. 

“We are so grateful to Gospel Chapel for their long history of supporting food security in the Boundary and for starting this program” says Grace McGregor, Vice-Chair of RDKB, Chair of RDKB Boundary Services Committee and Chair of Boundary Community Ventures.  “The Boundary directors are very supportive of this collaboration and have agreed to fund it.  Food security and Greenhouse Gas reduction are two critical goals of the Regional District.”  In addition to the food recovery program, Gospel Chapel created the ad hoc Boundary Food Security Network, which has brought communication and coordination between all the organizations doing food security in the Boundary.  The Food Security Network has been meeting regularly since 2015 and includes Boundary Family Services, School District 51 and Boundary Women’s Coalition, in addition to all the food security organizations from Christina Lake to Big White. 

“We are pleased to collaborate across organizations to maintain the Food Recovery Program” commented Executive Pastor Ben Jepsen.  “It has been a great undertaking for Gospel Chapel in the years we have operated it.  This collaboration will allow the program to explore growth that further benefits our region.”

For further media enquiries please contact Vicki Gee, Director, Boundary Community Ventures on 250 449 8271 or email vicki@boundarycommunityventures.ca

Congratulations to Firefighter Chuck Clemens 30 years serviceCongratulations to Firefighter Chuck Clemens on 30 years of dedicated service with the Christina Lake Fire Department. Chuck joined the department March 1992 and was a Captain for five years (2013-2018) and also is a Fire Service Instructor 1.

Chuck received a Certificate of Commendation from The Office of the Fire Commissioner for a rescue of a submerged motor vehicle in McRae Creek in December 2019.

Chuck has been an Evaluator for our NFPA 1001 Firefighter Level 1 and 2 to help get all our firefighters certified from proctoring exams and evaluating all the required skills and ensure everyone is proficient in critical skills.

New RDKB employee will help shape community

Adrian Hamilton has joined the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary as its new Building Official (Level 1).

Based at the RDKB’s Trail headquarters, Adrian’s extensive experience and sound knowledge of the design, construction and operation of buildings will hold him in good stead to evaluate compliance with regulations, codes, standards and bylaws.  Working across all the areas of the RDKB, he will be one of the first points of contact for permit holder inquiries and will be responsible for conducting building inspections and assessments throughout the region.

“Having been a builder for the whole of my working life, I’m looking forward to just giving back, and providing a useful resource to anyone considering alterations or renovations to their home, especially those starting out,” says Adrian who ran his own business, CEBA Homes, for the last 14 years in Rossland before making his latest career change.  “Building is a young man’s game, it takes a toll on the body and it was time to step into a new working adventure. I’ve developed a fair bit of knowledge over the years, spanning four different continents, and I’m hoping my experience in the industry can help others across the RDKB,”  he adds.

“Adrian will be an invaluable addition to our team and many RDKB residents will benefit from his insight and advice,” adds Brian Champlin, RDKB’s Manager of Building Inspection.

“I love firefighting,” says Carlene Pires who has become the first-ever female Captain within the Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue Service (KBRFR).  “I just so happen to be a woman too,” she adds.

Carlene is proud of her paid-on-call (POC) job as well as the determination and accomplishments that have engineered her rise to the top.  She hopes that any publicity generated will encourage more aspiring firefighters, regardless of age or gender, to join the service during the KBRFR’s annual spring recruitment drive.

Her promotion to the rank of Captain, an historic milestone for the KBRFR, was based solely on merit.  The accolade was also awarded to fellow crew member David Flanagan.  Together, the pair will ensure a seamless succession at Station 372 Warfield is secured and a strong chain of command is already entrenched when Captain Ron Gattafoni retires in a couple of years.

“Carlene embraces the work ethic, values, passion and critical thinking that the role demands and her appointment will sustain our fire service’s continuity long term.  Her remarkable leadership qualities, curiosity for continual growth and commitment to training, all gained whilst balancing a full-time job has been impressive,” says Deputy Chief Gallamore.    “Having each developed a unique skill set, all our captains are up to the task, provide a source of inspiration for new recruits and have the ability to strengthen an already tight-knit crew and community,” he adds. 

Firefighting is in Carlene’s DNA.  Her grandfather was a career firefighter with Nanaimo Fire Rescue and she spent much of her youth, and his retirement, with his firehall family - attending events, visiting former crew members as well as the Saturday night dinners, card games and camaraderie which she remembers the most.

Carlene’s journey into firefighting began as a new recruit in the fall of 2015 as a POC Firefighter and was underlined by “wanting to be part of something bigger than myself, to serve others and help people in my community in their greatest time of need”.  In 2019 she was promoted to a POC Lieutenant and her sheer hard work, dedication, perseverance and love of the job has been the cornerstone to her success. 

During the last seven years as a POC Firefighter, she has gained Provincial wildfire deployment experience and a rack of certifications including Full-Service Firefighter Operations (NFPA 1001) and Fire Officer 1. The demands of the role have also been balanced with careers in the Financial industry and within the Emergency Management Department of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary where she has been its Emergency Program Coordinator since March 2021.  

“I love my job and am thankful for all the strong, trailblazing women who have come before me as well as the fantastic peer support and mentorship I continue to benefit from.  If my appointment encourages more girls and ladies to consider the fire service as a Career, Paid-On-Call or Volunteer firefighter that would be amazing.  It’s such a rewarding move to make,” says Carlene who is a member of Fire Service Women BC  (fswbc.ca)  and sits on the planning committee for Camp Ignite – Kootenay Division, a youth firefighting mentorship program for grade 11 & 12 girls living in Southeast BC.  The four day overnight summer camp  (campignite.com), will be coming to our region for the first time in July 2023 to empower local young women to follow their dreams and introduce them to the exciting world of firefighting. 

Even though the KBRFR is a progressive and inclusive organisation committed to gender diversity, the lack of women amongst the ranks is representative of firefighting at large.  Less than 5% of Canada’s firefighters are women.  Many think they lack the strength, height or fitness credentials to make it but that’s simply not the reality.  Recruits are trained to use technique, equipment and teamwork to overcome any lack of physical stature and size.

“Positive change within the fire service is a constant.  We all work so hard to leave the profession a better place than when we first started. We’re breaking down barriers, talking about trauma, removing stigmas, focusing on fire prevention and receiving robust mental health support and training.  It’s a great time to join such a unique, challenging and fulfilling career!” adds Carlene.

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