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Posted: January 16, 2017

RDEK Board Highlights

RDEK Logo newThe following is a synopsis of some of the items covered in the Jan. 6 Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) board of directors’ meeting.

Priority projects

The RDEK board has approved the list of 2017-2018 project priorities. The approved list provides staff with direction on the board’s priority projects. Staff will take the priorities and assign time lines to each project for the board’s further review.

Columbia Basin TrustCommunity Initiatives and Affected Areas Program applications available

The RDEK will continue to administer the Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs for 2017/2018. Application forms for the 2017/2018 program are now available and will be accepted until 9 a.m. on February 14. For more information, visit www.rdek.bc.ca or contact the RDEK.

Voicing concern over winter road maintenance

Mainroad plowLetters will be sent to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and Mainroad Contracting with copies to MLA Bill Bennett and MLA Norm Macdonald expressing concern with the lack of adequate winter maintenance of roads and highways in the East Kootenay and requesting increased public education on the process for reporting changing road conditions and emergency situations.

West Fernie Servicing Project – Phase 2 moving forward

Engineering design for Phase 2 of the West Fernie Servicing & Infrastructure Project is nearly complete. In preparation for spring 2017 construction, nine contractors have been prequalified to submit tenders for Phase 2 construction. Tender documents are now being prepared and it is hoped that the contract will be awarded at the March RDEK Board meeting.

New Public Hearing scheduled – Wasa Commercial

The location of the proposed RV park. Nowell Berg Photo
The location of the proposed RV park. Nowell Berg Photo

A public hearing has been authorized for a new proposal for a 20-hectare property fronting Highway 93/95 in Wasa. The bylaws that went to public hearing in August 2016 and proposed to amend the property to C-4, Service Commercial Zone will not proceed. The board gave first and second reading to two new bylaws that propose to amend the property to C-1, Highway Commercial Zone. The proposed C-1 zone will permit a variety of commercial uses, including a campground and future subdivision. The applicant has offered a development agreement to provide certainty to the future land use. The public hearing for Bylaws 2755 and 2756 will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 24 at the Wasa Community Hall. Watch e-KNOW for a more detailed story on this.

Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund Program

The following projects have been approved for $87,600 in funding under the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund for 2017:

Reintroduction of Northern Leopard Frogs to Columbia Marshes         $28,000

Lake Windermere Community-Based Water Monitoring                         $11,000

Abel Creek Culvert Rehabilitation                                                               $3,000

Columbia Wetlands Waterbird Survey                                                      $6,500

Strategic Invasive Plant Control of Leafy Spurge                                      $6,500

Columbia Valley Farmland Advantage Stewardship                                 $10,700

Columbia Lake Ecosystem Monitoring & Education                                  $11,900

Kootenay Community Bat Project                                                               $10,000

In addition, the board adopted a bylaw amendment to remove the program’s expiry clause.

Renewed Servicing Agreements

The board has renewed its master water and sewer servicing agreements with the Kinbasket Water and Sewer Company Ltd. (Kinbasket) for the provision of water and sewer services to the Holland Creek service areas.

Area G Backyard Agriculture

BackyardchickensThe Backyard Agriculture Project has now concluded with the adoption of bylaws to regulate fencing, chickens and bees within Electoral Area G. The zoning bylaw now permits the keeping of backyard chickens and bees and wildlife exclusion fencing for gardens within identified zones. The bylaws were the result of extensive consultation with the Columbia Valley communities.

New member for Area B Commissions

John Todd has been appointed to the Electoral Area B Advisory Planning Commission and Electoral Area Advisory Commission.

Continued participation in Imagine Kootenay partnership

Board Chair Rob Gay has signed the Memorandum of Understanding for continued participation in the Imagine Kootenay partnership under the Columbia Valley Economic Development Service subject to confirmation that CBT will continue funding the program for the five-year term.

Truck donated to Search and Rescue

Columbia Valley Rural Fire & Rescue is donating its 2003 Silverado truck to Columbia Valley Search and Rescue for use in its operations and training programs. The Fire Department replaced the Silverado in 2016.

Application to be submitted for WildSafeBC community coordinator

BearAwareInsetAn application will be submitted to the 2017 WildSafeBC Program to provide a part time Community Coordinator in Electoral Areas F and G from May to November. The RDEK has participated in the Program since 2015 and will pay a $3,000 contribution fee from the Discretionary Grants-in-Aid Service.

In support of continued Hotel Room Tax

The province will be requested to continue to levy a two per cent tax under the Municipal and Regional District Tax program on accommodation purchased within the Village of Radium Hot Springs and a portion of Electoral Area G for another five-year term. In addition, the RDEK has stated its support for the implementation of a business plan.

Letter of support for Edgewater rink resurfacing

The RDEK will provide a letter of support to the Edgewater Recreation Society to accompany its funding application to Columbia Basin Trust to resurface the Frank Schnider Memorial Rink.

Emergency Program Agreements signed

RDEK EmergprepA number of agreements have been signed in relation to our Emergency Programs. Gary Burford will continue on as the Emergency Program Coordinator (EPC) for the Columbia Valley Emergency Program, while Sharon Pasowisty will continue on as the Deputy EPC/Emergency Social Services Director. Marianne Stone will continue in her role as the EPC for the Elk Valley and South Country Emergency Program, Scott Robinson will serve as Deputy EPC and Gordon Bunston will be the Emergency Social Services Director. Gerry Smith will be the Deputy Coordinator of the Central Emergency Program and William Barger will be the Emergency Social Services Director. All seven agreements cover the term January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2018.

Discretionary Grants-in-Aid (DGIA)

The South Country Housing Project Society will receive $600 from the Electoral Area B DGIA account for a new laptop and hardware.

The Fernie Secondary School Senior Boys will receive $1,000 from the Electoral Area B DGIA account to help offset the costs associated with their attendance at the Senior Boys “A” Volleyball Provincials in Terrace.

Cranbrook Kimberley Hospice Society will receive $830 from the Electoral Area B DGIA account, $840 from the Electoral Area C DGIA account and $830 from the Electoral Area E DGIA account for operational support.

The Rotary Club of Cranbrook will receive $3,200.40 to offset the cost of tipping fees associated with demolition of the old washroom facility at Rotary Park.

The Windermere Valley Child Care Society will receive $1,000 from the Electoral Area F DGIA account and $1,000 from the Electoral Area G DGIA account for new playground equipment.

The Columbia Valley Community Foundation will receive $2,500 from the Electoral Area F DGIA account and $500 from the Electoral Area G DGIA account for the Volunteer Columbia Valley website.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

Thursday, January 19 – 7 p.m. at Fernie Family Centre (521 4th Avenue, Fernie)

Bylaw No. 2741 cited as “Regional District of East Kootenay – Elk Valley Official Community Plan Bylaw No. 2532, 2014 – Amendment Bylaw No. 5, 2016 (Dicken Rd. / Foothills Silva Culture Inc.) and Bylaw No. 2742 cited as “Regional District of East Kootenay – Elk Valley Zoning Bylaw No. 829, 1990 – Amendment Bylaw No. 84, 2016 (Dicken Rd. / Foothills Silva Culture Inc.)

Tuesday, January 24 – 4 p.m. at Jaffray Community Hall (7375 Jaffray Village Loop Road, Jaffray)

Bylaw No. 2749 cited as “Regional District of East Kootenay – Jaffray, Tie Lake, Rosen Lake Land Use and Floodplain Management Bylaw No. 1414, 1999 – Amendment Bylaw No. 29, 2016 (Rosen Lake / Hall)

Tuesday, January 247 p.m. at Wasa Community Hall (6145 Wasa School Road)

Wasa Community HallBylaw No. 2755 cited as “Regional District of East Kootenay – Wasa and Area Official Community Plan Bylaw No. 2501, 2014 – Amendment Bylaw No. 4, 2017 (Wasa / Kiy & Swan)” will repeal section 5.3 (2)(f); and Bylaw No. 2756 cited as “Regional District of East Kootenay – Electoral Area E Zoning and Floodplain Management Bylaw No. 2502, 2014 – Amendment Bylaw No. 12, 2017 (Wasa / Kiy & Swan)”

Wednesday, January 254 p.m. at Fernie Family Centre (521 4th Avenue South, Fernie)

Bylaw No. 2737 cited as “Regional District of East Kootenay – Elk Valley Zoning Bylaw No. 829, 1990 – Amendment Bylaw No. 82, 2016 (Coal Creek / 1005231 BC Ltd.)

Wednesday, January 257 p.m. at Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce (651 Highway 93/95)

Bylaw No. 2744 cited as “Regional District of East Kootenay – Lake Windermere Official Community Plan Bylaw No. 2061, 2008 – Amendment Bylaw No. 20, 2016 (Rushmere / 1129759 Alberta Ltd.) and Bylaw No. 2745 cited as “Regional District of East Kootenay – Upper Columbia Valley Zoning Bylaw No. 900, 1992 – Amendment Bylaw No. 325, 2016 (Rushmere / 1129759 Alberta Ltd.).

Lead image: Alpenglow on the Rockies as seen from the Columbia River Wetlands. Ian Cobb/e-KNOW photos

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