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Recorded video is available for Regional District Board and Governance and Service Committee meetings - MP4 video files will be available in the days following a Regional Board and Governance and Services Committee meeting.  Please select the appropriate Board meeting date file or Governance and Services Committee meeting date file to link to the video recording MP4 file for that meeting.  You may require the free Windows Media Player.


 

Open burning season wrapping up - April 19, 2021

Open burning season in the Central Okanagan ends on Friday, April 30.

Until then when conditions allow, all eligible property owners, farmers and other large lot owners with permits from their local fire jurisdiction may burn specific wood debris outdoors. As well, the BC Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation must be followed.

Property owners must follow Best Burning Practices and call the toll-free Outdoor Burning Hotline:  1-855-262-2876 (BURN) before lighting any fire to ensure that open burning is allowed. Both the Venting and Air Quality must be good in order for burning to occur within the Central Okanagan.  A link to this Outdoor Burning information is also available each morning after 8 a.m. at rdco.com/airquality.

On days when open burning is allowed, it’s recommended that debris piles be ignited after 10 a.m., when proper venting conditions are more likely to exist.  Permit holders must continually supervise any permitted burning and have the proper fire extinguishing equipment and tools on hand to prevent the fire from spreading.

Under the Regional District Smoke Control Bylaw, creating nuisance smoke from open burning is not allowed in the City of Kelowna, the District of Lake Country, City of West Kelowna, Westbank First Nation, the Central Okanagan East and West Electoral Areas or under the bylaws of the District of Peachland. Violators could receive a fine or be charged with the cost of putting out the fire. Residents are encouraged to report anyone illegally burning on a non-burning day by calling the Regional Fire Dispatch Center at 250-469-8577.

Regardless of property size, all Central Okanagan property owners are encouraged to use other options to dispose of their yard waste including the:

  • Bi-weekly curbside collection
  • Mow-Chip-Rent-it Rebate Program
  • Year-round disposal at the Glenmore landfill and Westside Residential Waste Disposal and Recycling Centre (fees apply)

Central Okanagan residents are reminded to check with their local fire jurisdiction for regulations and restrictions regarding campfires, chimineas and other outdoor wood fire burning devices. Campfires, fire pits and outdoor burning appliances are not allowed at any time within the City of Kelowna.  Kelowna fire crews do have the ability to issue bylaw fines if they are notified of a campfire in the city limits.

The Regional Air Quality Program is an initiative of the Regional District of Central Okanagan, cities of Kelowna and West Kelowna, districts of Lake Country and Peachland and Westbank First Nation. It helps protect and improve the region’s air through education, awareness and pollution prevention programs.

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Star Place Water Quality Advisory - April 19, 2021

The Regional District of Central Okanagan has issued a Water Quality Advisory for residents served by the small Star Place Water System in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area.

The advisory affects eight properties connected to the community water system on Star Place off Trepanier Road near the Okanagan Connector (Hwy 97-C).   Increased turbidity in the water system source from the spring runoff has resulted in water quality that might impact children, the elderly or those with weakened immune systems.  Roadside sign notices will be in place to let residents know of the Water Quality Advisory.

It’s recommended that Star Place water customers follow Interior Health guidelines, especially people with weakened immune systems, the elderly, children and those wishing additional precautions.   All water intended for drinking, washing fruit and vegetables, making beverages, ice or brushing teeth should be boiled for at least one minute or customers should use a safe alternative to water from the tap such as bottled or distilled water.

This water quality advisory affecting the Star Place Water System will continue until further notice and testing confirms water is within acceptable Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines. 

For information visit the Regional District website water system webpage (rdco.com/water) or contact RDCO Environmental Services at engineer@rdco.com or 250-469-6241.  To subscribe online for Regional District water quality advisories or alerts by email visit rdco.com/water.

Links to Interior Health Information:

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Spring freshet preparations - a seasonal reality - April 16, 2021

Now that we’ve officially sprung into spring, here’s a seasonal reality check from your Central Okanagan Regional Emergency Program.

For some residents across the region, it’s time to protect their properties from the potential damage of high water and flooding.

With warmer temperatures and spring showers, the snowpack in the valley will begin melting, increasing flows and levels of our water bodies.  Anyone living near creeks, streams and lakes experiencing issues with flooding in the past should be making their annual emergency preparations.

Emergency Program Coordinator Sandra Follack reminds property owners that they are responsible for having a flood protection plan along with the tools and equipment to protect from possible flood damage.

She says, “Throughout the annual spring runoff, local governments and the BC Ministry of Environment are monitoring water levels and weather conditions.  If needed, advisories, watches and warnings will be issued.”

Follack adds, “The Regional Emergency Program is here to help. The ‘Be Prepared’ page on cordemergency.ca has links to information about flood preparedness including a recommended method for sandbag diking. The website also provides information for what property owners should consider in areas that might be susceptible to land slippage or movement.”

Later in the spring, stockpiles of sandbags will be available at local fire halls throughout the Central Okanagan for those protecting their properties. As the freshet season progresses, local governments will provide information on their sandbag locations and availability.  A reminder for everyone that during the COVID-19 pandemic, anyone filling sandbags should keep a safe physical distance from others. Depending on the flood threat, property owners may be responsible for providing their own sand to fill the bags.

In the event of an emergency and activation of the Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), the latest information will be available online at cordemergency.ca and via Facebook (facebook.com/CORDEmergency) and Twitter (twitter.com/CO_Emerg). Central Okanagan residents are encouraged to sign up for the ‘Central Okanagan Emergencies’ email updates to receive notifications from the Emergency Program.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) Emergency Program is coordinated by the Kelowna Fire Department on behalf of the RDCO, the cities of Kelowna and West Kelowna, districts of Lake Country and Peachland and Westbank First Nation.

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Prevent auto crime - April 15, 2021

With spring weather, more people are getting outside and safely taking advantage of the fresh air.  And as parking lots fill, so too does the potential for theft from and of vehicles.

RDCO Crime Prevention program coordinator Roy Morgan says “We’re encouraging and making vehicle owners aware that when parking in a driveway, parking lot or anywhere for that matter, they should take a proactive approach by preventing auto crime.  Before leaving your vehicle, lock up and ensure valuable items are out of sight.”

While this is Auto Crime Enforcement month, Morgan says it’s a practise that should become a year-round habit.

Unfortunately, he adds some drivers are not getting the message.  “Criminal opportunists only need to walk past a vehicle and check to see if doors are unlocked and any valuables are within sight.”

Christine Kirby, ICBC road safety and community coordinator says “Any unsecured vehicle is a target for auto crime. Always lock your doors, and use an immobilizer or steering wheel lock to reduce your risk. And remember to remove any valuables including smartphones, laptops, backpacks and packages.”

Morgan echoes this.  “If the doors are locked and windows are closed and any personal valuables are removed or placed in the trunk, this crime can be prevented. We are encouraging all motorists to take the extra step to make sure their vehicles are locked and secured at all times.”

Information on preventing auto crime is available online at:

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Volunteers: the power of many - April 15, 2021

There’s a huge army of selfless, dedicated, community-building people across the Central Okanagan who deserve a tip of the hat!

They are our volunteers.  They come in all shapes and sizes, life experiences and reasons for participating.  They share one common trait:  they help keep organizations going.  And for the past year, many have adjusted to reflect the realities of the pandemic in order to keep everyone safe, while delivering their programs.

The RDCO salutes them all as we approach National Volunteer Week April 18-24 with the theme ‘the voice of one, the power of many’.   

Many RDCO programs and services are provided with the help and support of individuals and organizations like these:

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact any of these groups for information about what they do and how you can get involved.

All of our program volunteers give of themselves to make the region and their neighbourhoods a better place. Thanks to everyone!

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Earth Day Nature Trivia - April 12, 2021

Don't wait to register your team of up to six people for the Earth Day edition of Nature Trivia!

Join us live for three rounds of nature-themed trivia questions. After each round, teams email their answers to our EECO staff.

There's a prize package for the winning team and two more prizes that will be awarded by random draw.

Once registered, you'll receive a zoon link before the day of the program.

Register at rdco.com/your-services/parks-services/events-and-programs.aspx

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Volcanoes to Glaciation - April 12, 2021

There's evidence all around us of how the Okanagan Valley took shape.
In this special Zoom program - Shaping the Valley - Volcanoes to Glaciation, our park staff will share info about some of the most well-known rock formations in the valley. Many are easily accessible or at least visible in our regional parks!
There's no cost to take part, but please register in advance at rdco.com/your-services/parks-services/events-and-programs.aspx 
Once you’ve registered, you’ll be emailed a Zoom link before the day of the program.
The programs run:
  • Sunday, April 18 from 10 to 11 a.m. 
  • Sunday, April 25 from 3 - 4 p.m.

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Central Okanagan Poverty and Wellness Strategy seeks to unify work across the region to reduce poverty - April 9, 2020

The United Way Southern Interior BC (UWSIBC), Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) and partners are continuing efforts to develop a Central Okanagan Poverty and Wellness Strategy.

United Way SIBC provided an update on the project to the RDCO Governance and Services Committee yesterday.  The update highlights the partnership building that is occurring across the region as well as the plan for engagement and involvement of Central Okanagan residents for opportunities to provide input into the strategy.

The Regional District is partnering with United Way Southern Interior BC (UWSIBC) on the strategy which will identify actions and priorities to address poverty and wellness for the region, while also continuing to reflect the unique needs of each community.

Poverty reduction is about more than numbers. It’s about people. The Central Okanagan Poverty and Wellness Strategy (COPAWS) will bring together the collective wisdom and input of Indigenous peoples, community advocates, representatives of all levels of government, service providers, community organizations, business leaders and most importantly, people with lived experience. Through multi-sector, diverse community partnerships and input received through extensive public engagement, the Strategy will harness the power of collective action to make life better for everyone in the Central Okanagan.

The project team is finalizing the plan for community engagement which will incorporate the voices of a diverse group of people throughout the Central Okanagan. There is an opportunity for all residents of the Central Okanagan to be involved in this work over the next few months during an extensive community engagement process.

“We have developed an engagement plan that builds on strong, collaborative networks to identify actions and priorities that address poverty and wellness for the region,” says Naomi Woodland, Poverty Reduction Manager, United Way SIBC. “Between April and July, we look forward to meeting with community partners, participants, the general public, community leaders and priority populations across the region in order to represent these voices in the Strategy.”

Learn more about this project and how to take an active role

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - April 9, 2021

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Thursday, April 8. 

And here's where you can view a recording of the:

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Passing of former Director Len Novakowski - March 31, 2021

The Regional Board and staff with the RDCO offer their thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of former Director Len Novakowski who recently passed away.

He served the people of Central Okanagan West for four years as an alternate Director and 11 more years as an elected Director prior to incorporation of the City of West Kelowna.  Len was a passionate public servant who always had a calming and thoughtful presence around the Regional Board table and he will be missed by all who had the opportunity to meet and work with him.

Len Novakowski obituary

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - March 29, 2021

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Monday, March 29. 

And here's where you can view a recording of the:

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2021-2025 RDCO Financial Plan approved - March 29, 2021

The Regional District of Central Okanagan Board has approved the 2021 – 2025 Financial Plan. 

The 2021 RDCO budget totals just over $56.8-million compared with $57-million in 2020.

Board Chair Gail Given says, “This year’s budget is fiscally conservative and considers the realities of COVID-19. It addresses the pandemic challenges we’re still facing but also advances projects based on the Board’s priority areas. These include Environment, Economic Development, Sustainable Communities, Transportation and Mobility. Operating costs are keeping pace with growth and inflation in the Central Okanagan and include some minor staffing increases. We’re also focused on building our capital reserves to address future infrastructure needs.”

In 2020, the Regional District received a Provincial COVID-19 Restart program grant of more than $1.1-million. Just over $481,000 of that was used in 2020 to offset costs incurred for the RDCO response and recovery and lost revenues due to the pandemic.  In 2021, the remaining $625,800 is allocated to offset additional anticipated costs for COVID-related programs and services.  Recently the Province announced an additional $357,000 in Restart program funding for the RDCO in 2021, which will be appropriately allocated later this year.

In this budget an estimated $18.7-million in important Capital and infrastructure improvements are proposed including approximately:

  • $10.7-milllion for Regional Parks
  • $4.5-million for liquid waste systems
  • $1.15-million for new equipment and supplies for the Regional Emergency Program and RDCO fire departments

Since 2009 the Regional District has used reserves and leveraged grants to complete over $99-million in Capital projects.

At the end of 2020 there was just over $4.2-million in outstanding capital debt compared with $4.5-million in 2019. As a result of good fiscal planning with reserve contributions, the RDCO continues to provide needed services to our growing region while building its reserves.  It hasn’t required financing to replace assets for decades. At the end of 2020 financial reserves total just over $36.9-million. That’s an increase of $6.23-million over 2019.

Unlike municipalities, the Regional District does not collect taxes directly. It requisitions funds from each local government on behalf of their residents and the Province which collects property taxes in each Electoral Area. The RDCO is conscious of the financial impacts COVID-19 is having on all governments.

The tax impacts for general services on the average home that was assessed at $734,000 in 2020 are shown below. Market value increases varied by area from 2020 to 2021. The actual tax rate varies from neighbourhood to neighbourhood and municipality, depending on the local services provided by the Regional District. 

If a home went up or down by more than the average market value, the owner will pay more or less than the numbers estimated.

Member

 

2021
House Value

 

Total Tax per House

 

Net Incr / (Decr) on the home from 2020

Kelowna

$750,000

$190.38

$6.97

Peachland

$754,000

$221.76

$8.31

Lake Country

$774,000

$224.66

$13.98

West Kelowna

$753,000

$210.59

$7.25

C.O. West

$746,500

$674.42

            $8.49

C.O. East

$739,000

$534.82

           ($0.49)

The Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District (CORHD) Board also approved its Five Year Financial Plan.  Each year, ratepayers within the Hospital District contribute up to 40% of the funds for approved capital and equipment services. The 2021 budget includes $10.2-million in new capital project funding. 

Hospital Board Chair Given says, “The challenges we’ve all faced over this past year with the pandemic shows just how important health care is across our region. The Hospital District’s funding contributions to bolster our health resources are important, well leveraged and bring a huge return. For every 40 cents we spend, Interior Health and the Provincial Government contribute 60 cents to the economy for the capital investment portion of these much needed projects.”

Interior Health has indicated that in the next ten years, there will be several potential capital projects coming forward. In order to continue to build reserves to fund these and reduce the possible need to borrow, the Hospital District Board has agreed to an annual four per cent increase starting in 2021. That means this year the average household in the Central Okanagan will contribute $196.49 (up $7.56 from 2020) towards capital improvements and new health equipment in the region.

This fall, there will be a large debt refinancing initiative carried out, which due to lower interest rates, is anticipated to result in a significant debt payment reduction. This should enable increased transfers to reserves in 2022, to assist with meeting Interior Health requests.

Central Okanagan property owners may be eligible for the Provincial Homeowner Grant. Information will be available on your Property Tax Notice or visit the Ministry of Finance website:  www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/individuals/Property_Taxes/Home_Owner_Grant/hog.htm

Some property owners may qualify for assistance through the BC Property Tax Deferment Program.  Information about this program and who qualifies is available on the BC Government website:  www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/individuals/Property_Taxes/Property_Tax_Deferment/ptd.htm

For more information on Regional District of Central Okanagan budgeting visit rdco.com/budgets.

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April is Community Clean-up month - March 22, 2021

April 1 marks the official kick off to Community Clean-up month.  This annual program of the Regional District of Central Okanagan encourages residents do some spring cleaning in their own neighborhoods. And while things may look a little different this year in terms of the size and types of groups that can tackle projects, some good work is still possible.  (View Community Clean-up month poster)

The RDCO Waste Reduction Office supports Community Clean-up month by supplying cleanup gear to participants:

  • Gloves
  • Bags
  • Garbage pickers where available

Once a cleanup is completed, it also arranges to have the collected waste picked up.

This year due to strict COVID constraints, residents wishing to tackle a cleanup must follow all public health guidelines:

  • Only come together in your small family bubbles
  • Wear masks and protective gear
  • Keep your distance
  • Do a cleanup in your own neighborhood

Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart says this program has been going on for the last twenty years, illustrating the dedication and commitment of our community. “This year is for sure different in that we can’t gather in large groups to do some collective larger spring cleaning projects. But, we can get together in our small family groups, head outdoors for a few hours or less, whatever you have time for, and do a spring blitz. We’ve already heard from a number of families that want to channel some pent up energy in a positive way. All these small acts combined can really make a difference. You know what they say, many hands make light work.”

Stewart adds over the years, literally thousands of residents have participated in Community Clean-ups, from families and friends to schools, church groups and service organizations

If you would like to arrange your own family-friendly, socially distanced Community Clean-up event, contact the Regional Waste Reduction Office by emailing recycle@rdco.com or call 250-469-6250.

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Falcon Ridge Water Quality Advisory - March 19, 2021

The Regional District of Central Okanagan has issued a Water Quality Advisory for residents served by the Falcon Ridge water system.

Approximately 55 properties connected to the Falcon Ridge system off Highway 33 are affected. 

Channel maintenance in Mission Creek has been completed to provide sufficient water flow past the system intake. As a result, turbidity has increased and some residents may be impacted by the change in water quality. Interior Health has been consulted and roadside sign notices will be in place advising of the water advisory.

It’s recommended that Falcon Ridge water customers follow Interior Health guidelines, especially those with weakened immune systems, the elderly, children and those wishing additional precautions. All water intended for drinking, washing fruit and vegetables, making beverages, ice or brushing teeth should be boiled for at least one minute. As a safe alternative to boiled water from the tap, customers may choose to use bottled or distilled water.

This water quality advisory will continue until further notice and testing confirms water is within acceptable Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines.

For information visit the Regional District website water system webpage (rdco.com/water) or contact RDCO Environmental Services at engineer@rdco.com or 250-469-6241. To subscribe online for Regional District water quality advisories or alerts by email visit rdco.com/water.

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - March 12, 2021

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Thursday, March 11. 

And here's where you can view a recording of the:

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Be prepared, not panicked in an emergency - March 9, 2021

When is the best time to prepare for an emergency?  When there isn’t one.  While our communities have been navigating the ups and downs of the pandemic over the past year, an emergency – whether flood, fire or other, stops for no one, including COVID-19.

This is the time of year for all Central Okanagan residents to check and update their family emergency plan.  If you don’t have a plan yet, the Central Okanagan Regional District Emergency program webpage offers plenty of resources to help guide you through the process. 

“Being prepared to look after your family for at least 72 hours in the event of an emergency is something we all need to do each year,” says Sandra Follack, Central Okanagan Emergency Program Coordinator.

She adds, “Moving from winter to spring provides a great opportunity for residents to check through their ‘grab and go’ kit.  Take stock of materials you need to replenish and ensure that you replace any outdated food, prescriptions, water or other items you may need should an emergency evacuation force you from your home.”

Follack says, “For those that may not have a plan or kit yet, the upcoming Spring Break is an opportune time to create a household family plan, ‘grab and go’ kit and make it a safe and educational family activity.”

You’ll find a number of useful links, preparedness information, checklists and videos at cordemergency.ca/beprepared.

Having a plan and kit brings some peace of mind.  “There may not be a lot of advance notice during the early stages of an emergency response,” says Follack. “If the threat is imminent, there may only have a few minutes to get your family and belongings together before being directed to leave your home.”

Every Central Okanagan resident is encouraged to visit cordemergency.ca and subscribe to receive notices directly from the Regional Emergency Operation Centre if its activated in an emergency. 

Residents should also be also aware that in this COVID-19 pandemic environment, health and safety protocols will be in place for any Emergency Reception Centre in order to protect Emergency Support Services volunteers and evacuees visiting in person.   Also a new online program provided in conjunction with Emergency Management BC was introduced in 2020.  It provides an easy online self-registration option for anyone on Evacuation Alert or forced from their home due to an Evacuation Order.  During an emergency, this will help ESS volunteers administer and coordinate resources for anyone eligible for assistance and help under the Emergency Support Services program. 

With springtime showers and the annual freshet ahead, Central Okanagan emergency program social media channels will provide tips and resources to help residents prepare. For ongoing emergency information, follow us at Facebook.com/CORDEmergency and on Twitter at @CO_Emerg.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) Emergency Program is coordinated by the Kelowna Fire Department on behalf of the RDCO, the cities of Kelowna and West Kelowna, districts of Lake Country and Peachland and Westbank First Nation.

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - February 24, 2021

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Monday, February 22. 

And here's where you can view a recording of the:

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Wood Stove Exchange Rebates Available - February 23, 2021

Rebates of up to $400 are available for Central Okanagan residents that replace an old wood burning appliance with a newer, cleaner burning model.

There are six participating Central Okanagan retailers that will recycle your old stove and handle all the necessary paperwork for the applicable rebate through the Regional District of Central Okanagan Air Quality Wood Stove Exchange program and the Provincial Government.

The $400 rebate is available for those recycling an uncertified wood stove with a cleaner appliance such as a new pellet stove, an electric heat pump, natural gas fireplace or a propane stove or fireplace. And those replacing and recycling their old uncertified, wood burning stove or wood furnace with a new EPA/CSA B415.1 certified wood replacement will be eligible for a $250 rebate.   

Program Coordinator Nancy Mora Castro says “If residents already bought a wood certified/gas appliance through another retailer this year, they may be eligible to receive a rebate by contacting the program and completing the necessary forms.”

She adds, “Newer, cleaner burning technology appliances reduce smoke polluting emissions by up to 90% and use less wood, as they burn much more efficiently.”

Additional incentives may be available, so be sure to check with your local retailer or Fortis BC for more information. To take part in the program, visit one of the participating Central Okanagan retailers or contact the Regional Air Quality Program for more information at airquality@kelowna.ca or 250-469-8408. 

Useful information, a new Burn It Smart online tool showing how get the most from your wood heating appliance can be found at rdco.com/airquality.  The RDCO Air Quality Program helps protect and improve the region’s air through education, awareness, and pollution prevention programs.

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - February 11, 2021

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Thursday, February 11. 

And here's where you can view a recording of the:

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October - December 2020 Program Highlights - January 26, 2021

For the health and safety of residents and staff, many programs and services provided by the Regional District of Central Okanagan continued to be impacted by Public Health Orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Like most people, these challenges created new, creative opportunities to continue the high level of service expected of the RDCO.

This video outlines some of the highlights in the four areas of the Regional Board Strategic Priorities:

  • Environment
  • Economic Development
  • Sustainable Communities
  • Transportation

 

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Unique Collaboration to Market Central Okanagan - January 22, 2021

For an area celebrated as a four-season playground, it’s electrifying to see how much entrepreneurial energy exists in the Central Okanagan. OKGo, a new partnership between the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission, Tourism Kelowna and Accelerate Okanagan, tells the stories of innovators and entrepreneurs in key business sectors and positions the region for future economic prosperity.  

The three organizations have always worked alongside each other in raising awareness of the Central Okanagan’s economic and tourism opportunities. Now, due to the Covid-19 impact, the organizations are collaborating in a new initiative, leveraging their shared audiences, mutual messaging and common goal of long-term economic recovery to promote the region as a knowledge centre for Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace, Agriculture, Viticulture and Digital Tech. The new OKGo campaign will attract new talent, entrepreneurs, business investment and events to the region, ultimately increasing growth across all economic sectors.

“Following the lead of our national destination marketing organization, Destination Canada, we will promote stories of local innovation and success that will help attract meetings and conferences using this new strategy.  With the necessary cancellation of the majority of meetings and business events that were booked in Kelowna in 2020, unique partnerships like OKGo, help us successfully position Kelowna for their future return in addition to attracting new business.” Lisanne Ballantyne, President & CEO, Tourism Kelowna. 

Telling the story of the Okanagan through our local entrepreneurs sparks connection and communicates our values as a region. The multi-year sector strategy includes plans for targeted campaigns  in key markets including the Pacific Northwest and select major Canadian centres. Central Okanagan residents, businesses and organizations are encouraged to share the OKGo stories through their local, national and international networks.

“While we continue to feel the impacts of Covid-19 in our community and around the globe, a medical resolution is underway and recovery is on the horizon. This has been an intensely difficult year for our community and many of our local entrepreneurs. While the COEDC and our partners continue to support businesses in navigating the immediate impacts of the pandemic, with the OKGo campaign we are also preparing for new economic opportunities. When the time is right, the region will be ready.” Krista Mallory, Manager, COEDC

Companies featured include Yeti Farm Creative, Pela, and SunRype. These entrepreneurs opened up to share the benefits of growing a business in the region and what has been the economic factors driving their success. The OKGo campaign includes aligned print and digital assets that tell a cohesive regional story and showcase local companies in the target industry sectors as it relates to innovation, entrepreneurship and infrastructure.

“Entrepreneurs in our region have always been eager to share their experience doing business in the Okanagan. OKGo gives the community a tangible representation of the diverse and vibrant energy in the valley that they can use to tell the world of how much is happening here.”  Brea Lake, CEO, Accelerate Okanagan

The project was funded with matching dollars from Global Affairs Canada as the OKGo campaign supports Canada’s economic recovery by improving the Central Okanagan’s capacity to support local businesses, highlight the region’s competitive advantages and attract investment, talent and business events to the Central Okanagan.

More information about the OKGo campaign, including a promotional video of the region, a digital copy of a high-end magazine that showcases the stories of some of the region’s local companies and a media kit, can be found on the campaign’s website ok-go.ca.

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East Park Development begins in Mission Creek Regional Park - January 21, 2021

The first phase of new development is underway in the east part of Mission Creek Regional Park.

From now until June, crews will be working in this area of the park, south and east of the Leckie Road parking lot.  View Map

This area will be closed for:

  • Building new gravel surfaced trails
  • Upgrading of existing trails and circular pathways
  • Construction of four new wooden footbridges
  • Building a new nature play log obstacle course
  • Turf grass areas
  • Accessible picnic tables and other park amenities

While most of the parking lot will remain open, ten stalls will be closed for construction equipment and materials staging and storage.

Visitors are asked to stay out of the signed, closed area and to be aware of trucks and heavy equipment accessing the work area from Leckie Road parking area.

The Regional District offers more than 2,100 hectares of parkland including 63 kilometres of formal trails in 30 regional parks for visitors to safely explore while practicing physical distancing.  Visit rdco.com/pickapark to plan your next outing.

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Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission Launches Innovative Data Portal - January 14, 2021

The Regional District of Central Okanagan’s Economic Development Commission (COEDC) announces release of COEDC Regional Community Data Portal: CityViz.  The user-friendly data portal makes information, research and analysis instantly accessible to community stakeholders and businesses seeking data to make informed decisions.

“In light of current COVID-19 restrictions and physical distancing, it has never been more important that we enhance the COEDC digital profile. We’re very excited to launch this pilot program for the next 12 months and will continue to add features and datasets as we go. We are actually the first customer for this platform and we look forward to continuing to add data and features that will support the Region’s economic recovery and business intelligence needs.”– Krista Mallory, Manager Economic Development

The COEDC has launched online data tools on their website to put the Region firmly on the map for business relocation, investment and expansion.  Using the CityViz web tool, decision-makers can search an online database of community information while simultaneously analyzing demographic, labour force, housing development, business and talent data at the district or city, and regional levels. The interactive tools are mobile-friendly and put key data at the fingertips of website visitors. Users have the ability to visualize data with interactive tools, charts, graphs, infographics, and reports that can be dynamically sorted and downloaded.

By giving users direct access to thousands of data points and the most accurate, up-to-date information on the Region will help build a nuanced picture of the breadth of opportunity and value of relocating and growing in the Central Okanagan. 

Cityviz is developed and maintained by Ruby Industries Inc. based in West Kelowna, incorporated in 2013. The company is the qualified supplier of data science and data visualization services for B.C. government. They worked on projects with BC Stats, Innovate BC, and won the BC Housing Market Visualization Challenge. Ruby Industries developed a number of other data visualization applications.

"We are very excited about the possibilities of modern technologies together with the wealth of data available to create solutions for the good of our communities. We are very grateful to work with COEDC and hope to help decision makers further develop our district. Listening to the challenges municipalities face and adapting our solutions to their specific needs is our priority and we are looking forward to helping many more communities throughout Canada." - Izabela Bogdanovic, Ruby Industries Inc.

With the new data portal, the COEDC continues providing sophisticated data and resources to guide and support business decision making in the Region – meeting industry and community needs for increased availability and accessibility of data. Additional resources such as the Quarterly Economic Indicators will continue to be published and all COEDC resources can be found at investkelowna.com/resources

To learn more about the COEDC and what we do visit www.investkelowna.com.

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - December 7, 2020

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Monday, December 7. 

And here's where you can view a recording of the:

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Public Meeting Attendance Curtailed - December 7, 2020

Public attendance at RDCO Board and Committee meetings is now curtailed following the latest Public Health Officer Order affecting gatherings and events.

The Provincial Health Officer’s December 3 Order indicates that meetings are allowed to continue, but without members of the public in attendance.  This practice will continue until the Order is rescinded or replaced.

Tonight’s Regional Board meeting will take place without any public seating in the Woodhaven Boardroom.  A link to the livestream of the meeting will be available starting at 7:00 pm at rdco.com/board.  An audio/video recording of the meeting will be online tomorrow.

The Regional District continues to follow the direction of public health experts for the safety of its staff and residents to reduce the impact of coronavirus on our community and our health system.  For the latest information and updates on the RDCO Response to COVID-19 visit rdco.com/covid-19.

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In-person Parks Programs Cancelled - December 4, 2020

The Regional District fully supports efforts to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 and has been following strict health and safety guidelines in its public programs.

In accordance with the latest Public Health Order, all in-person Regional District parks programs and events, are postponed indefinitely.  Any program fees will be refunded.

In addition, the RDCO will not be opening outdoor public skating at either Joe Rich or Scotty Creek community parks.

RDCO Parks staff continues to closely follow information from the Ministry of Health and Provincial Health Officer (PHO) and will evaluate our ability to restart the delivery of our outdoor programs including the opening of outdoor ice rinks in Joe Rich and Ellison over the weeks ahead.

Throughout the pandemic, RDCO Parks Visitor Services staff have provided virtual interpretive programs through @regionalparks Instagram and other social media channels.  While we’re temporarily unable to provide in-person park and school programs our Visitor Services staff remain committed to offer programs in a virtual format to help connect with our community and to inspire residents to venture outside when and where it is safe to do so – which includes our parks.

All 30 RDCO Regional and Community Parks remain open for visitors to enjoy our natural surroundings.  For the safety of everyone using our outdoor park areas, please keep to a safe social bubble and practice physical distancing.

The Regional District continues to follow the direction of public health experts for the safety of its staff and residents to reduce the impact of coronavirus on our community and our health system.  For updates on the RDCO Response to COVID-19 visit rdco.com/covid-19.

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - November 25, 2020

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Monday, November 23. 

And here's where you can listen to audio from the:

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - November 12, 2020

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Thursday, November 12. 

And here's where you can listen to audio from the:

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Face Coverings - Masks Required for RDCO Visitors - November 2, 2020

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic across the province and in order to reduce the risk of virus transmission, effective immediately all visitors to indoor RDCO facilities are required to wear a mask or face covering.

This update follows the expectation of the Provincial Health Officer that masks be worn in public areas of buildings in the province.

This includes the main KLO Road administration office, the Environmental Education Centre (EECO) in Mission Creek Regional Park and the Regional Dog Pound on Weddell Place.  For visitor safety, each facility is currently open with restrictions on the number of visitors, personal hand sanitizing requirements on entry, physical distancing and protective barriers.

For those without a face covering, non-medical masks will be available at the main entrance to each facility.

RDCO staff will also wear a mask when having any indoor or outdoor interaction with the public, unless a physical barrier is in place.

Residents are encouraged whenever possible to reduce their in-person visits by continuing to contact staff by phone or email or seek out information online through the rdco.com website.  As well, customers requiring specialized services like development applications and building inspections should continue to arrange appointments with staff by phone or email.  A department directory is available at rdco.com/directory.

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Open Burning Permits Required - September 29, 2020

Starting October, 1, open burning permits will be available for eligible Central Okanagan property owners from their local fire service.*

Permits will be issued to those who qualify and meet the requirements of local fire protection bylaws.  If necessary, each fire jurisdiction enforces its own bylaw regulations.

Those eligible to burn within the four Central Okanagan East or Central Okanagan West electoral area fire protection areas (Ellison, Joe Rich, North Westside, Wilson’s Landing) may call the Regional District at 250-469-6223 to obtain a permit.  (Long Distance Collect Calls are accepted weekdays only between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, excluding holidays).  Residents with questions about the burn permit process in the Central Okanagan should contact their local fire service.

Those issued an open burning permit are reminded they are also required to separately ensure compliance with the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Strategy Provincial Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation. Detailed information is available on the Ministry website to assist any property owner.  Questions about the regulation should be directed to the Ministry.

Anyone eligible to conduct open burning should consider alternatives such as chipping, grinding or if applicable, yard waste disposal at the Glenmore landfill or the RDCO Westside Residential Waste and Recycling Centre off Asquith Road in West Kelowna.  The RDCO Air Quality program has more information available on other disposal options.

Before lighting any fire, property owners with a valid permit from their local fire service and meeting all of the Provincial Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation must call the toll-free Outdoor Burning Hotline:  1-855-262-2876 (BURN) to determine if open burning is allowed on a particular day.  In order for burning to take place, both the Venting and Air Quality conditions must be good. 

Under the Regional District Smoke Control Bylaw, nuisance smoke from open burning is not allowed in the City of Kelowna, the District of Lake Country, City of West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West Electoral Areas or under the bylaws of the District of Peachland.  Yard waste such as leaves, pine needles, grass clippings, weeds and other garden waste are not allowed to be burned.

Violators of local bylaws could receive a fine or be charged with the cost of putting out the fire by their fire service.  Residents may report anyone violating local bylaws by burning on a non-burning day by calling the Regional Fire Dispatch Center at 250-469-8577.  Potential violations of the Provincial regulations should be reported to the BC RAPP line (1-877-952-7277).

Under Regional District and local fire bylaws permitted open burning must be complete on April 30 although the date may be adjusted depending on the local fire hazard. 

Central Okanagan residents should check with their local fire jurisdiction regarding regulations and restrictions on campfires, chimineas and other outdoor wood burning devices.  Campfires, chimineas and other outdoor wood burning devices are not allowed in the City of Kelowna.

* Fire Department Jurisdictions for Permits

(phone only unless otherwise noted)

  • Central Okanagan East or Central Okanagan West Electoral Areas 
    (Residents of Ellison, Joe Rich, Wilson’s Landing, North Westside fire departments):
    • Call the Regional District 250-469-6223 weekdays only 8:00 am – 4:00 pm excluding holidays
      • Note:  North Westside residents may call ‘Collect’
  • City of Kelowna residents - Kelowna Fire Department - Walk-in only
    • 2255 Enterprise Way (Main hall Station 1)
  • District of Lake Country residents - Lake Country Fire Department  250-766-2327
  • District of Peachland residents - Peachland Fire Rescue Service 250-767-2841
    • Weekdays only 8:00 am – 4:00 pm excluding holidays
  • City of West Kelowna residents – West Kelowna Fire/Rescue 778-797-3200

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Regional District of Central Okanagan | 1450 KLO Road | Kelowna, BC V1W 3Z4
Ph: 250-763-4918 | Fax: 250-763-0606 | Email: info@rdco.com
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 4:00 pm (Closed Holidays)