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Regional District hopes to join Emergency, Disaster Management Act committee

Regional District of Central Kootenay looks to join Local Government Advisory Committee
Regional District of Central Kootenay office.


Rachael Lesosky

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Area D Director/RDCK Chair Aimee Watson, along with RDCK staff, will submit expressions of interest to be considered for the Local Government Advisory Committee on the Emergency and Disaster Management Act (EDMA) Regulations. Only 10 local government representatives province-wide will be appointed to the committee, with a term ending December 31, 2025. 

The committee was established by the Union of BC Municipalities and the Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness (EMCR).

“Recognizing that local governments are partners in emergency management and have important powers and responsibilities under the new Act… the committee will act as a forum for meaningful engagement and consultation with local governments throughout EMCR’s process to develop and implement regulations associated with the EDMA,” reads Dan Séguin’s report from May 3. Séguin is the RDCK Manager of Community Sustainability. 

The RDCK and many other local governments have expressed concerns to the Province about the downloading of responsibilities to local governments in the new Act.

No to curbside collection

No further action will be taken to establish curbside garbage and recycling collection in the southern Slocan Valley, Area F or Area J. Voters in the areas for the proposed service gave an unequivocal ‘no’ in the recent referendum.

“Democracy in action,” said Area J Director Henny Hanegraaf. “The turnout was good, and the decision was clear. I’m glad for those two things… I do thank the staff for the work they did on this, but at the end of the day, I believe that with everything going up, up, up, people just couldn’t absorb one more cost and that’s what it really came down to in this case. Now it’s over.”

There was a 30% voter turnout for Areas H and F, and a 39% turnout for Area J. In the Areas H and F referendum, there were 1,023 ‘no’ votes and 131 ‘yes’ votes. In the Area J referendum, 830 people voted ‘no’ and 103 voted ‘yes’ to the service. 

Prioritization matrix

Area D Director/Chair Watson brought forward a motion directing staff to prepare a report on a ‘workload prioritization matrix.’

The document will outline strategies to help the board determine whether or not to proceed with a project. The matrix would help the board to prioritize projects based on strategic priorities, human resource capacity, and financial resource constraints, among other considerations.

Parkland dedication

The board adopted a new Parkland Dedication Policy, effective January 1, 2025. 

Parkland dedication at the time of subdivision is a mandatory requirement of the Province.

Under the policy, when a subdivision creates three or more new lots smaller than two hectares each, part of the land must be dedicated to the RDCK for park purposes. Generally, this is about 5% of the land proposed for the subdivision. 

As lands become more expensive, the policy ensures the RDCK is proactive in supporting a community’s need for parkland. 

In a few cases, dedicating parkland may be impractical: the community already has sufficient parkland; the lands being subdivided are not suitable for a park; or the RDCK doesn’t have the resources needed to maintain a park.

As an alternative, property owners can make a payment of cash-in-lieu of parkland. The property owner will pay 5% of the land’s assessed value to the RDCK, which goes into a parkland dedication reserve account for the electoral area where the subdivision is located. 

The board rescinded the old policy from 2010 before adopting the revised one. The amendments align the new policy with the Local Government Act, reduce the tax burden for residents who pay into the park services, reduce staff time, and increase revenue for park services.

911 service agreement

The Regional District of Fraser-Fort George (RDFFG) will continue fire/rescue dispatching services for the RDCK after the board directed staff to renew the 911 service agreement. The agreement costs $95,735.57 annually and ends December 31, 2028. 

“I truly believe they’re the model of the province,” said CAO Stuart Horn. 

911 calls are forwarded by E-Comm (Emergency Communications for British Columbia) to the RDFFG, which then provides dispatch services for RDCK fire departments. 

“The dispatching services provided by RDFFG are an integral component of every emergency response made by RDCK Regional Fire Services, while also enhancing safety through precise and effective communications,” reads the April 23 staff report from Regional Fire Chief David Zayonce, 

SCBA for Crescent Valley Fire Department

Crescent Valley Fire Department will be getting a new Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and a compressor upgrade.

The RDCK will borrow $150,000 from the Municipal Finance Authority equipment financing program to fund the upgrades. The loan must be repaid within five years. 

South Slocan Commission alternates

The board appointed various individuals as alternates to the South Slocan Commission of Management, for a term ending December 31, 2024: Christie Mentz for Kathy Loxam; Greg Veenstra for Peter Wood; Ian McGovern for Mandy Chutskoff; Jen Howton for George Mentz; Derek Leven for Stacey Throop; and Wendy Niminiken for Ben Euerby.

Grants approved

Six community groups will receive funding from the Community Development Grant program.

Kaslo Jazz Etc. Society will receive $5,000 to contract BC Transit to provide free, accessible shuttle services for the Kaslo Jazz Etc. Summer Music Festival. The shuttle will run throughout the village during the festival. 

Argenta Community Association will use its $4,000 grant to cover special expenses for the Argenta Community Hall, such as replacing old couches, installing outdoor safety lighting, refinishing the hall flooring, an annual Zoom subscription, and an emergency phone using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

Jewett Elementary School’s Parent Advisory Council will receive $1,200 for its weekly hot lunch program, which serves 14 students and two teachers. The PAC outsources cooking to local caterers due to a lack of parent volunteers, so costs are higher.

Sandon Historical Society will receive $1,700 to hire an experienced heritage planner. The planner will create a set of documents – including a statement of significance and scale drawings – to guide the rehabilitation of the historic laundry building in Sandon. 

Lower Arrow Lakes Conservation Association will put its $500 grant towards the annual Whatshan Lake Kid’s Fishing Derby.

Burton Community Association will receive $6,789.08 to get a compound to securely store a recently purchased wildfire response trailer for the Burton Volunteer Fire Department. The 6 foot by 10 foot enclosed storage trailer holds wildfire equipment to allow for quick, organized responses from the department.