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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.


 

Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - June 10, 2021

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Thursday, June 10. 

When available, here's where you will find links to view a recording of the:

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Help reduce biting mosquitoes - June 7, 2021

You can be a mosquito bite fighter along with the Regional District Mosquito Control program.

While precipitation is lower than normal for this time of year, nuisance mosquitoes are still present.  As mosquitoes usually peak between mid-June and the end of July, steps you take now around your property can help make for fewer bites this summer.

Help reduce mosquito development and hatches by:

  • Remove any standing water sources and unused items that collect water such as old tires, plant pots or garbage cans - just a few millimetres of water is all that’s needed for mosquito larva to survive and hatch
  • Cover rain barrels with a screen so that mosquitoes can’t lay their eggs in the water 
  • At least twice a week change the water in birdbaths, wading pools and pet bowls
  • Remove any water that sits in unused swimming pools and on swimming pool covers
  • Aerate water in ponds or add fish that will feed on mosquito larvae

The RDCO Mosquito Control program says residents can also protect themselves in a number of ways:

  • Use approved repellents
  • Wear loose fitting, light coloured clothing
  • Minimize activities near treed and bushy areas at dawn and dusk when adult mosquitos are most active
  • Repair and replace any window screens to help prevent mosquitoes entering your home

For several years, trained professionals from Duka Environmental Limited have been providing mosquito control to the RDCO to those areas that help fund the program. 

President Curtis Fediuk says, “The program’s designed to control, not eliminate mosquitoes.  Following COVID safety measures, we’ve been out in the field since mid-April monitoring 280 known mosquito breeding locations.  When we find mosquito larvae developing, we apply a bacterial larvicide that controls the larva before they become biting adults.”

During July and August, the program also controls mosquito development by monitoring and if necessary treating more than 12,000 roadside catch basins located along public roadways and residential streets. 

Residents in the participating areas of the program (City of Kelowna, District of Lake Country, District of Peachland, Central Okanagan East, Westbank First Nation and a small section of West Kelowna Estates in the City of West Kelowna) can report mosquito concerns by completing an online form at rdco.com/mosquitoes or calling Duka Environmental at 1-800-681-3472.

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New fire chief for North Westside - June 2, 2021

North Westside Fire Rescue has a new paid-on-call Fire Chief starting June 14. Alex Van Bruksvoort, an experienced firefighting professional brings extensive credentials to the paid-on-call fire department that provides fire protection and first medical response service to residents in the communities of Killiney Beach, Westshore Estates, Fintry Delta, Valley of the Sun and La Casa resort.  Van Bruksvoort is a Vernon area resident and served 26 years with the City of Richmond fire department, starting as a firefighter and working his way up the ranks to retire as Captain.  Along with his practical training and expertise, he’s a certified fire investigator and has lengthy service in both fire prevention and inspections.

RDCO Fire Services manager Ross Kotscherofski says “We’re pleased to have a person with Alex’s professional credentials take on the administrative leadership and management of the North Westside department.  His fire inspection, investigation and prevention expertise will definitely complement the fire suppression experience of North Westside fire members. He’s ready to act as a mentor and build the department skills even further.”

Kotscherofski adds, “I want to thank Acting deputy chiefs Graeme Headley and Shawn Barnes and the other department officers for their dedication and diligence over the past year as we sought a new leader for the department.  Residents across the fire service area can take comfort knowing that they have a fantastic crew of members who’ve stepped up to serve with the department.  And each remains committed to the rigorous training requirements and are ready to answer the call for help when their pagers go off, responding to their neighbours fire and medical needs.” 

North Westside Fire Rescue is one of four paid-on-call fire departments of the Regional District which also provides medical first response and fire protection services for the Ellison, Joe Rich and Wilson’s Landing fire protection areas.

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - May 31, 2021

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Monday, May 31. 

When available, here's where you will find links to view a recording of the:

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Library borrowing Alternative Approval Process - June 1, 2021

An Alternative Approval Process is underway by the Regional District of Central Okanagan for proposed borrowing for construction of a new Okanagan Regional Library (ORL) branch in West Kelowna.

The Regional Board approved using the process to gauge elector support before authorizing bylaws permitting the RDCO to borrow $8 million on behalf of the ORL.  There won’t be any financial impact to the Regional District for the service that would be established if the bylaws are adopted. The Okanagan Regional Library has agreed to pay all of the debt and costs associated with the process at it is not able to directly access Municipal Finance Authority financing The same process was used in 2008 for Municipal Finance Authority borrowing for construction of the ORL administration office in Kelowna.

It’s estimated there are 164,780 qualified electors within the proposed Service Area boundaries of the Regional District of Central Okanagan including the Central Okanagan East and West Electoral Areas, City of Kelowna, City of West Kelowna, District of Lake Country and District of Peachland.  Those residing within Westbank First Nation reserves #9 and #10 are not eligible to participate in this process.

Before approving the proposed Service Area Establishment Bylaw No. 1477 and Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 1478, elector approval is required. Residents that support the proposed borrowing do not have to do anything.

Those opposed must submit a completed Elector Response Form to the Regional District by 4 p.m. Monday, July 12. The Alternative Approval Process requires at least ten per cent (16,478) of the estimated 164,780 eligible electors to submit a form in order to require the Regional Board to hold a Referendum before adopting the proposed bylaws. 

Elector Response Forms and information about this Alternative Approval Process is available on the RDCO website: rdco.com/aap.

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Rural Property Tax Notices - May 31, 2021

Property owners in the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West Electoral Areas will soon be receiving their 2021 Rural Property Tax Notices from the BC Government.

In the electoral areas the Province collects Rural Property Tax Notice payments while municipal governments directly collect the taxes for Regional District purposes from their property owners. 

To avoid any penalty, property owners in the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West Electoral Areas should ensure that their Rural Property Tax is paid to the Minister of Finance by the July 2 due date. If they have questions about their Rural Property Tax Notice, their Homeowner Grant Application or tax deferment programs, they should contact the Surveyor of Taxes at 1-888-355-2700; email ruraltax@gov.bc.ca; or go online to the Ministry of Finance website.

All property owners in the Central Okanagan are reminded that:

  • the Regional District doesn’t collect taxes directly
  • cannot accept Property Tax payments 

Property owners in the City of Kelowna, City of West Kelowna, District of Lake Country and District of Peachland must direct their property tax payments to their local government.

The Regional District provides approximately 80 different programs and services to residents across the Central Okanagan.

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July bring more waste disposal opportunities - May 28, 2021

It’ll soon be more convenient for some Central Okanagan West Electoral Area residents to dispose of their waste and recycling. Beginning July 1, additional operating hours will be available for customers using the RDCO transfer stations at Traders Cove and North Westside.

Environmental Services Manager Travis Kendel says extending the hours at both facilities is a direct result of resident feedback garnered during a 2019 Transfer Station Operations and Service review. “Recommendations from that review and a resident survey indicated a strong desire from the community for longer hours at both facilities. In collaboration with our waste contractor E360 the hours are now being expanded.”

The North Westside Road Transfer Station has been operating Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. The new hours will now expand services each Saturday  from 8 a.m. until 4.p.m.

For the Traders Cove Transfer Station, hours are being extended to include Saturdays, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Traders Cove Transfer Station

  • Summer Hours (Victoria Day to Labour Day)
    • 6:30 – 11:30 a.m. Wednesday
    • NEW starting July 1,  9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday
    • 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday
  • Winter Hours
    • 6:30 – 10:30 a.m. Wednesday
    • NEW,  9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday
    • 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Sunday

 

Closed December 25 and January 1

 

North Westside Road Transfer Station

8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Sunday.

NEW expanded hours -8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

 

 Closed Easter Sunday, December 25 and 26, and January 1.

Residents can take up to two bags of garbage per week to their designated transfer station. Both facilities also accept yard waste and recyclables sorted into the following categories:  

  • Paper & Cardboard (flattened)
  • Containers (plastic, tin, aluminum, aerosol cans, milk cartons, paper cups, etc.)
  • Plastic Bags and overwrap
  • Other Flexible Plastic Packaging
  • Glass
  • White Styrofoam
  • Coloured Styrofoam

For additional information regarding the Transfer Stations, please visit rdco.com/recycle.

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Help reduce poverty and increase community wellness - May 26, 2021

A new survey invites Central Okanagan residents to share their experiences of poverty.

The Central Okanagan Poverty and Wellness Strategy (COPAWS) team is spearheading the Lived Experience Survey.  It encourages people who have current or past experience with poverty to share their ideas on how Central Okanagan communities can do more to raise families, couples and individuals out of poverty and into wellness.

The Lived Experience Survey is available online at: https://unitedwaysibc.com/wellness-poverty-strategy/

COPAWS manager Naomi Woodland says “One in five children and 15% of families and adults live in poverty in the Central Okanagan and COPAWS is working to change this. We want to hear from people who have or are living with poverty, to better understand what is working and what is not in our communities in order to reduce poverty and increase wellness.”

There are also opportunities for people to help others complete the survey. If you know someone who should be heard on this issue or have time to volunteer and provide access to those who may struggle to complete the survey by themselves get in touch with the COPAWS project team at info@unitedwaysibc.com or 1-855-232-1321.

Learn more about this project and how to take an active role at: unitedwaysibc.com/wellness-poverty-strategy/

The project team is working closely with a large number of service providers across the Central Okanagan to contact participants of their programs to complete the survey.

Woodland adds “It is time to develop innovative solutions that everyone can be a part of. The Federal and Provincial governments have made significant investments into current systems to reduce poverty. These moves have lifted 1000’s of individuals and families out of severe poverty, but there's still space to do more. We are asking the community what changes they would make to increase equity and quality of life for everyone in our communities.”

In March 2019, the Province released their poverty reduction strategy called TogetherBC which set targets to reduce the overall poverty rate in British Columbia. Provincial funding was made available through the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) to support local governments in reducing poverty at the local level.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) and member municipalities supported applying for a grant with the RDCO as the regional applicant and in May 2020 the UBCM awarded $149,000 for the development of a regional strategy to improve the wellbeing of Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

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Register for PlaySkills Summer Camp - May 19, 2021

Play Skills Summer Camp is held at the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan in Mission Creek Regional Park (Springfield and Durnin Roads). 

Registration is underway for these full-day camps for youngsters ages six to nine, Monday to Friday July 5-9, 2021 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

During this fun week of nature exploration, play, and activitie mornings are dedicated to developing fundamental movement skills and the ABCs of athleticism: agility, balance, and coordination. In the afternoons, children become nature detectives, discovering park trails and ponds, making new friends and growing a life-long interest in the wild world. The cost per child is $190 for the week.

Learn more about this camp and register at rdco.com/parksevents or by contacting the EECO at 250-469-6140, or email eeco@rdco.com.

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Safe in-person Regional Parks programs return - May 17, 2021

Regional Parks Visitor Services staff are happy to see you once again!

In-person interpretative programs are once again being offered with limited numbers of pre-registered participants following the latest COVID safety guidelines.

Isabella Hodson, Supervisor of Community Relations and Visitor Services, says “We’re so excited to be able to once again share our park programs with visitors.  In order to keep staff and participants safe, we’re limiting the number of people for each of our programs.  They must also pre-register on our website at rdco.com/parksevents.  Of course, hand sanitizer will be available and physical distancing is maintained during the events for everyone’s safety.”

Among the programs available during the rest of May and June:

  • Pond Study – join our guided walk to the turtle pond in Mission Creek Regional Park and learn about the aquatic critters that call it home.
  • Let’s Talk Trees – learn about various tree species in the Central Okanagan and how they connect with each other.
  • Four Food Chiefs – we celebrate and share knowledge of these pillars of the syilx culture and people for thousands of years.

Information on dates, times and locations for these programs and more can be found at rdco.com/parksevents or in the latest Park Program Guide.

The Regional District offers more than 2,100 hectares of parkland including 74 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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Share your flood-related experience - May 14, 2021

Central Okanagan residents and property owners are invited to share their experience and ideas to help reduce the risks from flooding and high water.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan encourages residents to learn about how communities can reduce flooding and its impact and recover more quickly after a flood. They can get involved by participating in several one-hour Community Conversations using the Zoom video conferencing platform.

Round 1: what do you care about with flooding and your home and community?

  • Wednesday May 26, 12-1 p.m. or
  • Thursday, May 27, 5:15-6:15 p.m.

Round 2: which flood mitigation options do you want to see in your community?

  • Wednesday, June 23, 5:15-6:15 p.m. or
  • Thursday, June 24, 12-1 p.m.

To learn more and to register your spot, visit rdco.com/flood

“Communities in the Central Okanagan are no stranger to the impacts of floods, having experienced them on our rivers and lakes in recent years,” says Brittany Lange an Environmental Planner at the Regional District. “The question is,” she adds, “how can we better prepare for growing flood risks and reduce the impact of flooding in the future?”

The information gained from residents through these sessions and through stakeholder engagement workshops will help the Regional District as it develops a Flood Mitigation Strategy for the Central Okanagan. This strategy will identify non-structural approaches such as policies, programs, and initiatives to build flood resilience and reduce risks across the region.

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - May 13, 2021

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Monday, April 26. 

When available, here's where you will find links to view a recording of the:

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Q1 2021 Economic Indicators show early signs of recovery - May 10, 2021

The Central Okanagan Economic Indicators for quarter one of 2021 were released today and provide a snapshot of the Region’s economy from January to March 2021.

“The Q1 2021 Economic Indicators show signs of economic recovery and rising business confidence in many sectors. The number of business licenses issued in the region increased 4.7% over the past year and many businesses have shown strong hiring growth with an increase of 14.5% in job postings compared to pre-pandemic levels in Q1 2020. At the same time, many sectors of the economy continue to experience significant impact and long term recovery challenges with airport passenger traffic down 80.4% and job postings in the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation sector down 91% compared to Q1 2021” Krista Mallory, Manager COEDC

While the long term economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic remain unclear, the Central Okanagan region saw a 0.64% growth in the number of people in the labour force in Q1 2021 with 1.05% more people actively employed. The Q1 2021 unemployment rate (5.37%) has returned to levels relatively consistent with Q1 2020 (5.77%). 

Viewed as a leading indicator of activity in the construction and development industry by Statistics Canada, the 251% increase in building permits issued in Q1 2021 in the Region reflect rising confidence in the sector. Housing starts have increased 5.75% in the first quarter of 2021.

As recently shared by demographer Andrew Ramlo at the April 2021 COEDC Advisory Council meeting, “The Okanagan region is expected to add more people in the coming 2 decades than it has in the past two; growth will be driven by a growing and diversifying economy set within one of the most amenity rich settings in the province”.

About the Economic Indicator Report:

In an effort to keep the public and business community informed on the economy of the region, the COEDC - the Region’s primary business resource – collates and distributes statistics of economic indicators for the Central Okanagan.  The Q1 2021 Economic Indicators report provides a snapshot of the Region’s economy and January to March 2021.

The Commission sources the above third party statistical data from BC Stats, Statistics Canada, CMHC, Vicinity Jobs, and local governments in the Central Okanagan. Caution should be used in the interpretation of month-to-month statistics, in particular the Labour Force Survey, a monthly sample survey which provides unemployment rates of the Canadian labour market.

The Economic Indicator’s are publically available on the Resources page in the COEDC website.

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

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Recycling Ambassadors return with recycling education - May 4, 2021

Are you putting the right things in your recycling cart? The Regional District Recycling Ambassadors are back on the streets this spring and summer, randomly checking what’s under the blue lid and inside curbside recycling carts. This is part of the ongoing RDCO cart education and inspection campaign to combat recycling contamination.

Engineering Manager Travis Kendel says the Recycling Ambassador Student Program, now heading into its third season, has been extremely helpful in raising proper residential recycling awareness. “Our Ambassadors will once again be reaching out to residents through direct education and curbside cart checks. We are happy to have them back, as direct resident engagement seems to be one of the most valuable and well received educational tools to encourage residents on how to recycle effectively.”

“We understand that sorting waste and recycling can sometimes be confusing. Most residents are doing a pretty good job including only what’s acceptable to put in the carts. But recycling audits show there are still a significant number of unacceptable items going into our recycling stream, especially plastic bags and other plastic films, and that’s a big problem,” says Kendel.

In addition to cart checks, the students will also be placing a handy reference guide sticker right on the carts to highlight what goes in and what stays out. Kendel says, when in doubt, don’t toss it in is an important thing to keep in mind, as placing the wrong materials in your cart, things that do not belong or should be recycled at a depot, leads to a contaminated recycling stream.

“Plastic bags, garbage, books, food waste, garden hoses, electronics, scrap metals, clothing, even yard waste—items that have never been accepted in our curbside recycling program are still showing up and contaminating the recycling stream,” says Kendel.

“If we don’t significantly reduce and eliminate these unacceptable products from our recycling loads, we face financial penalties from Recycle BC. We need to do a better job and that requires continuous education and monitoring.”

Kendel says the Recycling Ambassadors will have a quick look at the contents in recycling carts, and if they find items that don’t belong they’ll leave information explaining what went wrong.  In some cases, if there is significant contamination, carts won’t be picked up until the offending material is removed.

Here are some of the items Ambassadors will be looking for:

  • Garbage
    • Garden hoses, landscape edging and tarps
    • Paper towels and tissues
    • Non-packaging plastics such as toys, Tupperware type containers, laundry baskets
  • Items recyclable at depots and other locations (but not in the cart)
    • Plastic bags including bagged recyclables
    • Styrofoam
    • Glass
    • Soft plastics such as cling wrap, bubble wrap, chip and snack bags, zipper bags
    • Electronics and small appliances
    • Textiles such as clothes, fabric and pillows
    • Soft cover novels and hard cover books and textbooks
  • Hazardous waste
    • Hazards such as syringes, propane tanks, oil jugs

In 2019 the Regional District inspected over 12,500 recycling carts and sent approximately 2,500 letters to residents when the wrong materials were found in the recycling, garbage and yard waste carts – to help encourage future compliance. “Due to COVID-19, contamination letters and cart checks were temporarily halted. As of late 2020, those programs are back online and we’re actively addressing recycling contamination throughout our community.”

To find out more about what to recycle in your curbside cart or at a depot, visit rdco.com/recycle, or download the free Recycle Coach App.

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Bears are back, take responsibility for your trash - April 29, 2021

Central Okanagan residents have a role in reducing potential wildlife conflicts.

The Regional Waste Reduction Office encourages everyone to keep neighbourhoods safe by managing everything that attract bears and other wildlife around your home, including your household garbage.  

Facilitator Rae Stewart says with a warmer spring, Conservation Officers already report that bears are out earlier than normal, with many sightings in neighborhoods throughout the Central Okanagan. “That means it’s time to be extra vigilant. As always, when the bears come out of hibernation they’re hungry, and looking for food. The best advice if you live in an area susceptible to wildlife is reduce your risk of conflict, and take responsibility for your trash.”

  • Store waste and recycling carts inside a shed or garage
  • Only put your carts out the morning of pickup, not the night before.

She says “bears in particular, but other animals as well, have a keen sense of smell.  The idea is to not attract them to your garbage unnecessarily.  If they find your waste, they can make a real mess, but also become food conditioned. Then they can pose a risk to you, your family, your pets, neighbours, and themselves. And that’s totally preventable.”

Stewart says the Regional Waste Reduction Office and waste contractor E360s are in the final phase of a pilot project.  Various models of bear-resistant garbage carts are being tested in select neighborhoods throughout the region.  Depending on the results and how the carts perform for residents and stand up to bear activity, there could be new cart options for residents late this year.

But Stewart stresses, the biggest takeaway from cart manufacturers and testing programs is no model or design is deemed is 100 percent bear proof, only bear resistant. So managing your attractants carefully is still critical.

Earlier this week, the Regional District and WildSafeBC announced a pilot program expanding WildSafeBC program coverage in the Central Okanagan. In addition to the existing Okanagan Westside WildSafeBC program, there will be a Central Okanagan WildSafeBC program this season.

WildSafe BC has tips you can follow to keep wildlife wild and communities safe:

  • Only put garbage out for collection on the morning of pickup, not the night before
  • Encourage neighbours to do the same, offer to help if they are not able to put garbage out at appropriate times
  • Secure your garbage on non-collection days; store it securely in your home or in a garage or shed
  • Consider freezing your kitchen scraps until the morning of collection day
  • Keep your barbeque clean and covered
  • Pick ripe or fallen fruit immediately; if composting, or putting in yard waste cart, ensure they are secured from wildlife access
  • Use bird baths and houses to attract birds, rather than bird feeders

Please report human-wildlife conflicts and sightings of bears, cougars or coyotes in the community to the BC Conservation Officer Service at 1.877.952.7277.

For more information on deterring bears from your garbage, visit wildsafebc.com. For additional inquiries, visit rdco.com/recycle, email recycle@rdco.com or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250.469.6250.

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Grant to help planning to protect Okanagan Lake - April 28, 2021

A substantial grant will help with the multi-year collaborative planning effort to protect the environmental and cultural values of Okanagan Lake and its watershed.

The Vancouver Foundation is providing $300,000 to the partnership that is developing the Okanagan Lake Responsibility Strategy:

  • Okanagan Nation Alliance
  • Regional District of Central Okanagan
  • Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program
  • South Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program

The strategy will enhance the ways of caring for, protecting, and restoring the values and interests of the Okanagan Lake shoreline and watershed tributaries. When complete, the strategy will provide the knowledge and expertise to assist with new land-use planning decisions that support common, consistent, and collaborative approaches to protect shoreline natural areas, prepare for and mitigate climate impacts, and promote sustainable development.

The partnership is key to the projects' success and holds the greatest potential for finding solutions to complex land use issues. This initiative plans to shift the existing planning processes and outcomes through the support of project partners that include differing perspectives, a collective understanding, and a shared approach to the issues in the watershed.

It’s envisioned that communities across the Okanagan region and all levels of government will benefit from this unique, unified - Syilx led framework that aims to:

  • Address cumulative impacts of shoreline and upland development
  • Promote Best Management Practices and leadership in watershed governance
  • Provide learning and knowledge sharing opportunities

The initiative has received support from the Syilx Okanagan Nation, three Okanagan Regional Districts, and seven local governments. Other active partners include the Province of BC, the Okanagan Basin Water Board, the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, UBC Okanagan, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Environment and Climate Change Canada.

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Be prepared for anything - April 28, 2021

Emergencies can happen at anytime and when we least expect it. However, there are ways to reduce the risk and impact of whatever emergency might come our way.

May 2-8 is Emergency Preparedness Week. The Central Okanagan Emergency program encourages everyone to set aside some time during the week to become better prepared and emergency ready. This time of year, a common emergency might include high water and flooding near creeks, streams and lakes across the region. Then, as we move into the drier, summer months, the risk of wildfire increases. Other potential emergencies include destructive windstorms, gas leaks, noxious fumes or structure fires that see people evacuated from their homes.

Emergency Program Coordinator Sandra Follack reminds everyone that a few simple steps can make the difference for families and individuals to be prepared for the range of emergencies they could face – anytime, anywhere.

  • Know the risks. Although the consequences of disasters can be similar, knowing the risks specific to our community and our region can help you better prepare.
  • Make a plan. It will help you and your family know what to do.
  • Get an emergency kit. During an emergency, some basic supplies may be required. We may need to get by without power or tap water. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours in an emergency.

Visit the Regional Emergency program webpage  at www.cordemergency.ca and click on the ‘Be Prepared’ link for information and links relating to a variety of potential emergencies.  With the spring freshet underway and the upper elevation snow still to melt, any property owner that has had flooding or high water issues in the past, should have the tools and equipment to protect against possible damage.

Follack says, “Experience has shown that individual preparedness goes a long way to help people cope better - both during and after a significant emergency event.”

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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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - April 28, 2021

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Monday, April 26. 

Here's where you can view a recording of the:

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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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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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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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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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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)