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Ballot Candidates Confirmed for Electoral Area Director Election

The following individuals have been officially declared as candidates for the Saturday, November 15th Regional District of Central Okanagan election.  

Regional District Director - Central Okanagan West Electoral Area

(including Westbank First Nation Reserves #9 and #10)

(One to be elected) 

Wayne Carson

Marsali MacIver

Eric Von Krosigk

In addition to General Voting on Saturday, November 15th, advance polls will be open from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm on Wednesday, November 5th and Wednesday November 12th at the Killiney Beach Community Hall and new this year, the first floor Boardroom at the Westbank First Nation office, 301-515 Highway 97 South.

Voters in Central Okanagan West Electoral Area should visit the election section on the Regional District website (regionaldistrict.com/elections) before they head to the polls.  It explains where they can vote and what the qualifications are required for voting.  It’s also important to note that qualified electors living on Westbank First Nation Reserves #9 and #10 are eligible to vote in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area director election. 

Some people may choose to vote by mail ballot.   The same voting qualifications apply and application forms must be completed and submitted to the Chief Election Officer as soon as possible in order to allow enough time to receive and return completed mail ballot packages.  Mail ballots must be received before the close of voting at 8:00 pm on Saturday, November 15th.  Those received after that time will not be eligible and will not be included in the voting results.

Incumbent candidate Patty Hanson was unopposed at the close of the nomination period for the Central Okanagan East Electoral Area Director position and will return to represent the area for a four year term through the fall of 2018.

(October 20, 2014)

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RDCO Protected from POODLE Browser Security Issue


The Regional District of Central Okanagan has proactively disable SSL 3.0 as an encryption protocol on our website www.regionaldistrict.com due to the security vulnerability nicknamed 'POODLE'.

Most new browser versions are not affected by this risk as they default to newer TLS encryption protocols.

The Regional District anticipates that a limited number of customers wil be affected.

Customers with browsers set to only use SSL 3.0 encryption software will not be able to access the secured areas of our website until they take one of the following actions:

  • Internet Explorer versions can change the security protocol in the Advanced Security Settings and switch to TLS.
  • An add-on can be downloaded from Firefox to set the connection protocol to TLS.

We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause in order to maintain security for our website and customers.

(October 17, 2014)

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Get Ready for the 'Spooktacular Pumpkin Walk'

 Trick or Treating gets a dress rehearsal during the ‘Spooktacular Pumpkin Walk’ at the Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park. 

From 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Sunday, October 26th, carved pumpkins (with an LED candle light inside) can be dropped off at the regional park, located just off Whitworth Road in West Kelowna.  Between 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm, dress up in your Halloween costume and head to the park to view the lighted pumpkins lined up along the pathways in the nut orchard.  Bring along a donation for the West Kelowna Food Bank and while you’re there, vote for your favourite pumpkins.  View Poster

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says “Families, schools, businesses and sports teams that want to show off their pumpkin carving creativity can enter the ‘best of’ competition for various categories including Scariest, Cutest, Funny and Most Original pumpkin.  We’ve got some great prizes to award.  And after the event, visit the nearby Cove Lakeside Resort for some warm beverages and treats!”

Smith adds, “New this year is the free ‘Pumpkin Shuttle Bus’ to ease traffic and parking for the event.   Park and lock your vehicle at George Pringle Elementary School, 3770 Elliot Road in West Kelowna and approximately every half hour starting at 4:30 pm the decorated bus will shuttle you to the park then make a return trip to the school.  We’ll even have Halloween goodie bags to hand out for children riding the bus. The last bus will leave the Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park at 8:30 pm, returning to the school parking lot.” 

Traffic control attendants will be at the school and park to help direct traffic and vehicles into appropriate parking areas.  We’ll have a large parking area set up in a lot next to the Nut Farm and our attendants will direct you there.  Please don’t park on local streets as they are narrow and the vehicle congestion can pose a safety hazard for pedestrians and emergency personnel, especially with excited youngsters in costumes and others attending the event.

For more information about the Spooktacular Pumpkin Walk visit the Regional District website (regionaldistrict.com/parksevents) or call the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan at 250-469-6140.

(October 16, 2014)

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Breakwater Walkway Construction at Regional Park in Lake Country

Construction work is about to begin on a new walkway along the north breakwater at Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park. 

The 53-meter aluminum walkway and associated steel piling infrastructure will be installed in six sections along the 58-meter breakwater on Okanagan Lake.  The park and its main boat launch are located on Okanagan Centre Road West in Lake Country. 

Construction is slated to begin next week and will be complete by mid-December.

During construction, the boat launch will be available for use, although there could be short, temporary closures while equipment is being positioned.

Earlier this year, the new concrete panel/steel piling breakwater was constructed at the waterfront park, replacing the deteriorating wood structure in place since the mid-90’s.

During the walkway installation, park users, boaters and other visitors are asked to be aware of construction activities for their safety and that of workers.

(October 10, 2014)

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Agri-Tourism Business Planning Program

Do You Have a Concept for a New Agri-Tourism Business in the Central Okanagan?   Do You Need Help Taking Your Existing Agri-Tourism Business to the Next Level?

The Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission is accepting applications for its Agri-Tourism Business Planning Program that will provide assistance to up to eight new or early-stage agri-tourism operators in the Central Okanagan Region. The project is focused on providing assistance to the participants in developing a detailed business plan in preparation for the 2015 tourism season.

This is a four month program beginning November 3, 2014 and ending February 28, 2015. The program is subsidized, making significant professional and technical expertise available and timely information relevant to tourism industry activity in the Central Okanagan. The result is a highly customized business planning process delivered through group sessions, speaker presentations and extensive one-on-one coaching/mentoring. Topics addressed include market research and planning, financial management, hiring and managing employees, and customer service – with programs tailored to the needs of the participants accepted.

Selected participants will meet the following criteria:

• Own or have the goal of operating an agri-tourism business on land zoned for agricultural use and located within the boundaries of the Central Okanagan Region;

• Have a basic concept for the type of agri-tourism business they are considering and why it would be successful in the Central Okanagan;

• Willing and able to commit up to 10 hours per week between November 2014 and February 2015 to attend education programs, conduct market research activities, and write their plans, as well as spend one-on-one meeting time with the business planning specialist.

• A fee of $500 is required to cover basic costs (education programs, resource materials, workbooks, meeting space, etc.)

• Please view the short video to hear what past participants have to say about the program.

• Applicants may also wish to review the rationale for this project and research conducted into agri-tourism opportunities in the Central Okanagan.

Interested Applicants: Please provide a brief description of your agri-tourism concept and business background by Monday, October 27, 2014.

Applications may be made by Email to info@investkelowna.com or mailed/dropped off to the COEDC, 1450 KLO Road, Kelowna, BC, V1W 3Z4
labelled “Agri-Tourism Program”. Phone inquiries: (250) 469-6280

(October 8, 2014)

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Trail Expansions Planned for Two Regional Parks

A well utilized recreational corridor is in for some future expansion as a result of two announcements from the Regional District of Central Okanagan.

With funding from the Friends of Mission Creek Society work will begin soon on extending the Mission Creek Greenway Regional Park trail upstream beyond the present end in Scenic Canyon Regional Park.  The Society is providing $223,000 for a small pedestrian bridge over KLO Creek, sections of crib steps and over two kilometers of new and upgraded trails on the east side of KLO Creek.  Work on the trail that will lead to a destination site (picnic/rest/swimming) along Mission Creek is scheduled to begin this fall.  View Map

Regional District Vice Chair Gail Given says, “We’re extremely grateful to have such a dedicated group of volunteers in the Friends of Mission Creek that have been working for many, many years to preserve, upgrade and improve this well used recreational corridor.  Their vision and fundraising since in the 1990’s has resulted in a more than 16.5-kilometer trail that’s used year round by pedestrians and runners, cyclists and horse riders from across the region.  We’re excited that this new trail work will extend the Greenway even further upstream.”  Given adds, “this is the first step in a future Greenway connection to Mission Creek Falls.”

In the past, the Friends of Mission Creek have financially supported upgrading of the Grasslands section of the Mission Creek Greenway and creation of a picnic area that leads to the park ovens located along Phase two of the recreational trail.

The second announcement is that a five year sub-lease agreement has been reached between the Regional District and a private landowner for access to lands along KLO Creek for future connection to the Mission Creek Greenway.  The access will connect the existing trail from McCulloch Road, upstream to Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park.  View Map

Vice Chair Given says, “This connection will assist our Regional Parks in building a new partnership with another non-profit organization, the Friends of the South Slopes, which along with the Friends of Mission Creek have a goal of connecting the Greenway to Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park and beyond to the Kettle Valley Rail corridor.”

In 2008, the Regional Board unanimously agreed to establish a special tax requisition over five years to build the Parks Legacy Fund in order to leverage the purchase and protection of important properties for the Regional Park system.  Since that time, along with funding from the Park Land Reserve Fund, $22.7-million in property purchases have been made.   Along with land donations and Crown tenure agreements valued at $11.5-million, over 920 additional hectares (2,300-acres) of land has been added to the Regional Park system worth over $33.4-million.

2014 is the 40th anniversary of the Central Okanagan Regional Park system.  Since it began in the fall of 1974 and with the purchase of the almost four-hectare Kaloya Regional Park in Lake Country in early 1975, it’s grown to protect more than 1,900-hectares of land in 31 Regional Parks.

(October 2, 2014)

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Glen Canyon Regional Park Expansion and Enhancements

A new property purchase and two key partnerships will enhance the trail network in Glen Canyon Regional Park. 

A 1.59-hectare (3.9-acre) property at 2240 Scharf Road in West Kelowna was purchased for $132,000 and will allow completion of trail through the upper section of Glen Canyon Regional Park.  When complete, the continuous trail will run along the west side of Powers Creek, upstream from Highway 97 to Smith Creek Road.  View Map

Funding for the property acquisition comes from the Regional Parks Legacy and Park Land Reserve funds.

As well, work is underway on upgrading upstream trails, installation of staircases and improvements to the trailhead and parking area located just off Gellatly Road south.  This work, with a cost of $167,000 is being funded through the BC Community Recreation Initiative Trails to Health Program and is possible with the recent approval of a Joint Management and Regulation Agreement between the Regional District and District of West Kelowna.   This partnership has the Regional District upgrading trails and managing parkland that was donated by the Canyon Ridge development to the District of West Kelowna, as a part of Glen Canyon Regional Park. 

The Regional District also celebrates the long-standing partnership it has had with the Gellatly Bay Trails and Parks Society.  Over the past number of years, it’s worked with the Society volunteers to support ongoing trail enhancements in various areas of West Kelowna and more recently saw the Society assist with the installation of a pedestrian bridge over Powers Creek.   This links the trails on both sides of the creek with a property on Brown Road that was purchased by the Regional District and added last year to Glen Canyon Regional Park.  View Map

Regional Board Chair Robert Hobson says, “These important and ongoing partnerships with West Kelowna and the Gellatly Bay Trails and Parks Society, show how much we can accomplish.   By working together, we can create even more recreational opportunities for the benefit of all Central Okanagan residents.” 

Work on the new Gellatly Road trailhead and parking area and upstream trail improvements is underway and should be complete by the end of October. 

In 2008, the Regional Board unanimously agreed to establish a special tax requisition over five years to build the Parks Legacy Fund in order to leverage the purchase and protection of important properties for the Regional Park system.  Since that time, along with funding from the Park Land Reserve Fund, $21.7-million in property purchases have been made.   Along with land donations and Crown tenure agreements valued at $11.5-million, over 900 additional hectares (2,300-acres) of land has been added to the Regional Park system worth over $33.4-million.

2014 is the 40th anniversary of the Central Okanagan Regional Park system.  Since it began in the fall of 1974 and with the purchase of the almost four-hectare Kaloya Regional Park in Lake Country in early 1975, it’s grown to protect more than 1,900-hectares of land in 31 Regional Parks.

(October 1, 2014)

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Open Burning Season Begins in the Central Okanagan

In light of the current weather conditions, open burning season in the Central Okanagan will begin on October 1st.  

Under Regional District and local fire bylaws, permitted open burning may start October 1st and must be complete by April 30th.  Fire chiefs may change the dates depending on the fire hazard in their area. 

Starting Wednesday, October 1st, those people with properties greater than one hectare will be allowed to burn outdoors, but only after receiving a permit from their local fire authority and only after confirming that burning is allowed on a particular day.  Farmers and large lot owners must also follow any regulations before lighting any fire. 

Eligible property owners within the Central Okanagan East or the Central Okanagan West electoral areas may obtain a permit by calling the Regional District at 250-469-6223 (Long Distance Collect Calls are accepted) weekdays only between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, excluding holidays. All other eligible property owners must obtain a permit from their municipal fire department.

Before lighting any fire, eligible property owners with a valid permit must call the toll-free Outdoor Burning Hotline:  1-855-262-2876 (BURN).   It will tell them if open burning is allowed on a particular day.  Both the Venting and Air Quality conditions must be good in order for burning to occur within Central Okanagan fire jurisdictions.  This information is also available each day after 7:15 am at regionaldistrict.com/airquality.

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, District of West Kelowna and 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.

All Central Okanagan property owners regardless of property size are encouraged to take advantage of other options to dispose of their yard waste.   The bi-weekly curbside yard waste collection program is underway through the end of November and residents are reminded to only place leaves, grass, pine needles and small prunings inside their wheeled yard waste cart with the green lid closed.  Residents may also choose to use the year-round free yard waste program at either the Glenmore landfill (Open seven days a week 7:30 am to 4:45 pm) or at the Westside Residential Waste Disposal Centre (Open 7:30 am to 4:00 pm Friday through Monday).  Yard waste and pruning’s weighing up to 250 kilograms (550 pounds) and 20 centimeters or less in diameter may be dropped off for free at either location.  When transporting loads for disposal, please make sure they are covered.  As long as yard waste is separated from regular garbage, loads exceeding the maximum weight up to 20 centimeters in diameter will be charged $40.00 per tonne while those with a larger diameter will be charged $65 a tonne.  As well, a number of private companies offer wood chipping and grinding services or rent portable chippers.  Some may also pick up yard waste for disposal.

Most of the burning permits that are issued in the Central Okanagan are for agricultural burning, which is allowed under Provincial Right to Farm legislation.   However, before starting any fire farmers must also call 1-855-262-2876 (BURN) or visit regionaldistrict.com/airquality to ensure burning is allowed.  The Regional Air Quality Program is working with farmers to encourage the use of the Agricultural Chipping Program as an alternate disposal method.   In addition, the program offers a Best Management Practices handbook and DVD to help farmers.

Central Okanagan residents are reminded to check with their local fire jurisdiction regarding regulations and restrictions regarding campfires, chimineas and other outdoor wood fire burning devices.

(September 29, 2014)

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North Westside Marine Water Supply Accredited

A successful Fire Underwriters Survey challenge by a Regional District fire department could help some homeowners with their private insurance rates. 

In late August, the North Westside Fire Rescue department put its Marine Mobile Water Supply Vessel through its paces before officials of the Fire Underwriters Survey (FUS).  The goal was to gain accreditation for its ‘portable marine fire hydrant’ as a high-flow marine water supply, the first accreditation of its kind in Canada.  View Photos

The department recently received word that the marine vessel has been accredited as an Alternative Water Supply for Public Fire Protection.  While private insurance carriers are not required to recognize the accreditation or adjust individual premiums, the Fire Underwriters Survey recommends that they do. 

As a result, this means that some property owners with detached buildings within an eight kilometer road travel distance of the North Westside fire halls in Killiney Beach and Short’s Creek and within 300 meters of the shoreline, may be eligible to receive reduced fire insurance premium rates.  These affected areas serviced by the Marine Mobile Water Supply Vessel qualify as if they were protected by a fire hydrant.  Property owners with questions about whether the accreditation will affect their individual homeowner insurance should contact their insurance provider.

The FUS recognition is based on several elements including written operational guidelines for the marine vessel, proper training records for those members of the paid-on-call department that use the mobile water supply boat, ongoing training and skill levels of boat operators and housing the vessel in a boathouse on Okanagan Lake.

The Regional District and North Westside Fire Rescue will continue to investigate other possible FUS challenges to assist property owners within the fire district with insurance rate adjustments.

(September 25, 2014)

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Nut Tree Seedlings for Sale

A grant from the Tree Canada Edible Trees Program is helping to spread the work of Jack Gellatly beyond the boundary of the Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park.

The program, supported by Loblaw Inc., Silk and TELUS, provided a $4,000 grant to the Regional District of Central Okanagan to expand the nursery compound in the park where nut tree seedlings are germinated, grown and now available for sale to the public and interested growers. 

Here’s your chance to start your own nut tree legacy by growing one of the unique Gellatly Family bred nut tree species.  Two gallon potted seedlings are now available for $20.  Funds raised from the sale of seedlings will assist the Gellatly Nut Farm Society for park enhancements and continuation of the seedling program.  Seedlings will be on sale during the annual Nut Farm Harvest Fair, Saturday, September 27th from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm in the park, 2375 Whitworth Road in West Kelowna.  They’re also available for purchase from Society volunteers at Gellatly House in the park from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm daily until early November.

The nut orchard at Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park produces walnuts, tree hazels, butternuts, buartnuts, heartnuts, chestnut and hazelnuts from hardy tree stock.  These mature trees are a valuable seed and scion source for producing local nut trees and to promote the unique nut trees developed in the 1920’s and 1930’s by Jack Gellatly.

The Tree Canada Edible Trees Program supports municipalities, schools and community gardens to purchase, plant and maintain nut and fruit trees enhancing community access to fruit and nut trees.

(September 24, 2014)

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New 'Repair Cafe' Aims to Cut Waste! 

Are you handy with a wrench, great at sewing, a whiz when it comes to repairing a bike, or fixing a broken toaster?  Want to volunteer a few hours of your time to share your special skills with others? If so, the Regional Waste Reduction Office wants to hear from you as they gear up to host their first ever Repair Café, slated for this fall at Okanagan College.

Cynthia Coates, Waste Reduction Facilitator for the RDCO says the Repair Café reduces unnecessary waste and builds community.  “We want to bring together craftspeople that have the knowledge to fix everyday items such as small appliances, bikes, clothing and more, with people who have items that need to be fixed.  It’s a great way for people to learn a new skill, get more use out of their item, save it from the landfill and meet their neighbours’'.” 

Coates adds many people no longer think about the possibility of repairing an old product and most people no longer know how to repair things.” This type of knowledge is noticeably on the decline and people still in possession of this practical fix-it know-how are often not adequately appreciated or utilized.  What if we could find these knowledgeable, skilled repairers and put them in a room together.  Then invite the community to bring in their items in need of repair?  What if that knowledge could be passed down and people could learn how to fix their own things?  That’s the Repair Café in a nutshell!”

Repair Café is new for our area, but not a new concept says Coates. “Repair Café or Fix-it type events are very popular in Europe.  They started in the Netherlands in 2009, and bring together people for a day of repairing and learning as well as socializing.  The idea is spreading and repair events have taken place in Vernon, Calgary, Nanaimo, Edmonton and several cities across the United States. “   

If you are able to fix one or two things or a whole bunch of things and would like to volunteer an afternoon of your time repairing and teaching others we would like to hear from you.  You can call the Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250 or email recycle@cord.bc.ca

Look for information on the first annual Repair Café coming this fall at www.regionaldistrict.com/recycle

(September 24, 2014)

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Largest Ever Regional Park Purchase Announced

It’s an ecological gem; a unique, geological landmark that towers over Kelowna’s eastern boundary.  Now it is protected. 

Black Mountain/Sntsk‘il’ntən Regional Park has officially been announced at a ceremony with Regional District Chair Robert Hobson, Westbank First Nation Chief Robert Louie and the Honourable Steve Thomson, BC Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

The creation of the 510-hectare (1,260-acres) Regional Park comes with $7-million in funding from the Regional Parks Legacy and Park Land Reserve funds, a $2.3-million donation through the Federal Government Ecological Gift Program and a co-tenure/management agreement between the Regional District and Westbank First Nation for a License of Occupation on 121.5-hectares (300-acres) of Crown Land, with a sponsorship value of $1,024,350.

This 31st Regional Park includes the purchase of 259-hectares (640-acres) of private land; the donation of 129.5-hectares (320-acres) of land through the Ecological Gifts Program and the joint Crown Land tenure with Westbank First Nation.  The new park will be co-managed by the Regional District and Westbank First Nation.

Regional Board Chair Robert Hobson says, “The unique geological formation of Black Mountain is often the first thing many people see when they arrive by road or by air.  It offers spectacular views but more importantly, preserves and protects a critically valuable dry grassland ecosystem, that’s under-represented and increasingly threatened and disappearing from the Okanagan valley landscape.  This area supports a rich and diverse wildlife population, of which many species are endangered or threatened.”

He adds, “I’m extremely pleased that the Westbank First Nation is partnering with the Regional District in the tenure and management of important Crown Land parcels that are a key part of the new regional park.  As well, on behalf of the Regional Board I thank the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations for approving our tenure agreement and seeing the value in the creation of Black Mountain/ Sntsk‘il’ntən Regional Park.”

The inclusion of the syilx/Okanagan word Sntsk‘il’ntən (sinch-KEEL-en-tin) in the Black Mountain park name is fitting as it translates to “the place where arrowheads/flint rock is found”.  The property has additional First Nations cultural significance as there is quite an array of plants and medicines found in the area. 

“Anytime an area within our traditional territory is protected, we are pleased,” says WFN Chief Robert Louie.  “Lythics found in the area demonstrate it was a significant gathering place for our ancestors to make the necessary survival tools and, we can assume, it was a vantage point from which the valley below could be scoped out for wildlife and intruders."

“The provision of the Crown land grant to this new regional park is just one example of how Crown land can be used for the greater good of the community. It is also wonderful that the regional district and Westbank First Nation are able to partner on managing this park for the benefit of residents and tourists,” says Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

The new park will remain closed to the public while a management plan is created and trails and signage are developed that will ensure education and awareness and the protection of the sensitive grassland environment. 

In 2008, the Regional Board unanimously agreed to establish a special tax requisition over five years to build the Parks Legacy Fund in order to leverage the purchase and protection of important properties for the Regional Park system.  Since that time, along with funding from the Park Land Reserve Fund, $22.1-million in property purchases have been made.   Along with land donations and Crown tenure agreements valued at $11.3-million, almost 900 additional hectares (2,200-acres) of land has been added to the Regional Park system worth over $33.4-million.  Parkland Acquisitions

2014 is the 40th anniversary of the Central Okanagan Regional Park system.  Since it began in the fall of 1974 and with the purchase of the almost four-hectare Kaloya Regional Park in Lake Country in early 1975, it’s grown to protect more than 1,900-hectares of land in 31 Regional Parks.

(September 23, 2014)

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Fall Flushing Underway on RDCO Water Systems

The Regional District is about to begin its fall water main flushing program.  This ensures continued optimum water quality and removes any sediment deposits that may accumulate over time throughout the six RDCO water systems.

The work starts the week of September 15th and is expected to be finished by October 31st.  Over the seven week period, Environmental Services staff will be going from system to system flushing mains Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 am and 3:00 pm.  

Roadside notice boards will be put up in advance of crews working in a particular system area. 

Communications Officer Bruce Smith adds, “When flushing is taking place, water pressure can vary slightly and there may be some slight discoloration in the water.   Please check your water prior to use. We recommend that you avoid doing laundry when flushing is taking place on your system. If you experience discoloration, run the cold water tap until the water runs clear.”

Customers will find more information and answers to questions they might have about the Regional District Water Main Flushing Program on the Water Systems webpage www.regionaldistrict.com/water.

The Regional District water systems service approximately 900 properties in the following areas: Falcon Ridge, Killiney Beach, Sunset Ranch, Star Place/Trepanier, Westshore and Upper Fintry - Shalal Road - Valley of the Sun.

For information visit regionaldistrict.com/water or contact RDCO Environmental Services at engineer@cord.bc.ca or 250-469-6241.  To subscribe online for Regional District water quality advisories or alerts by email visit regionaldistrict.com/water.

(September 12, 2014)

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Regional Park Protects Significant Area of Goat's Peak 

The protection of a sizable portion of environmentally important Okanagan Lake waterfront is ensured with creation of Goat’s Peak Regional Park.  

The Regional District of Central Okanagan purchased a 52-hectare (128-acre) property along the West Kelowna shoreline to establish the new regional Park.  The property includes almost 900-meters (2,955-feet) of waterfront, which has extremely high spawning habitat value for Okanagan Lake kokanee salmon.

The $5-million purchase comes from contributions of local governments to the Regional Parks Legacy and Park Land Reserve Funds.

Regional Board Chair Robert Hobson says, “For many years, residents and various community groups have called on local governments to protect the important waterfront and upland ecosystem of the Goat’s Peak area.  Today through the two Regional Park funds, on behalf of all Central Okanagan residents, I’m pleased to announce that we’re delivering with the creation of Goat’s Peak Regional Park saving this land for the enjoyment of future generations.”   View RDCO Youtube Channel Video

Hobson adds, “The purchase of this property for the new regional park fills a significant gap in the Okanagan Trail 2000 vision for a continuous recreational trail between the Bennett Bridge and Peachland.  It, along with the existing Kalamoir and Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Parks remain in their natural state which helps to preserve accessible areas along the Okanagan Lake shoreline for the enjoyment of all Central Okanagan residents.” 

He says, “The new Goat’s Peak Regional Park is close to existing and potential residential areas and is critical to preserving the long term sustainability and character of the Okanagan Valley.  It has high ecological conservation value and supports a low-impact recreational/interpretive potential in order to protect the natural landscape.”

The new park will remain closed until at least next summer as the Regional District prepares a management plan and develops trails and signage.

In 2008, the Regional Board unanimously agreed to establish a special tax requisition over five years to build the Parks Legacy Fund in order to leverage the purchase and protection of important properties for the Regional Park system.  Hobson adds, “With today’s announcement, $14.2-million in property purchases have been funded, adding more than 91-hectares (225-acres) to the Regional Park system.

2014 is the 40th anniversary of the Central Okanagan Regional Park system.  Since it began in the fall of 1974 and with the purchase of the almost four-hectare Kaloya Regional Park in Lake Country in early 1975, it’s grown to protect more than 1,400-hectares of land in 30 Regional Parks.

(September 10, 2014)

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Mail Ballot Applications Available for Regional Director Election

Some Central Okanagan Electoral Area voters unable to cast a ballot during regular voting opportunities for the November election may still have their ballot counted!  

Mail-in balloting is available as an option for voters in the November 15th Local Government Election for Central Okanagan West Electoral Area Director.

“There are a number of reasons that qualified voters may wish to vote by mail-in ballot” says Communications Officer Bruce Smith.   “Those expecting to be absent from the jurisdiction and unable to vote on either Advance voting days, November 5th and 12th, or on General Voting Day, Saturday, November 15th or electors who may not be able to vote due to physical challenges, illness or injury, are eligible to vote by mail ballot.  Those who are out of the area and are voting by the mail ballot must ensure they allow enough time to receive and return their ballot in order to be counted.”

In order to vote by mail, resident and non-resident electors must meet the same qualifications as any person voting at a polling location.  They must be a Canadian Citizen, 18 years of age as of the date they vote, have resided in BC for six months immediately before registering to vote and have lived in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area for 30 days immediately before registering to vote and they must not otherwise disqualified from voting. 

Smith adds, “Electors who wish to vote by mail must complete and return the application form before November 13th to the RDCO Elections Office at 1450 KLO Road; by email elections@cord.bc.ca; or by regular mail to the Regional District of Central Okanagan, 1450 KLO Road, Kelowna, BC V1W 3Z4.  A non-resident property elector must complete and include two additional forms and they must provide an address they wish to have the mail ballot package mailed to.  If you are a qualified elector and your application has been completed correctly, once we receive the ballots in early November, we will send you a mail ballot package.  You must allow the appropriate amount of time to receive and return your ballot.  If time doesn’t permit mailing, you should arrange to pick up a package from the Chief Election Officer or have it couriered.”

In order to be counted, those using the mail-in ballot option must ensure the completed ballot package is received by the Chief Election Officer no later than the close of regular polling at 8:00 pm on General Voting Day, Saturday, November 15th.

The Regional District website has links for more information regarding mail ballots and the application form along with other details on Who Can Vote, Where To Vote and When To Vote.  Just visit regionaldistrict.com/elections.

(updated October 14, 2014)

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Lower Glen Canyon Regional park Closed for Upgrading Work 

The lower portion of Glen Canyon Regional Park off Gellatly Road in West Kelowna will be closed starting September 2nd for up to eight weeks for trail upgrades. (See map)

The trails between Gellatly Road and the new bridge span upstream will remain closed until approximately the end of October. Please obey any signage and barricades directing visitors around the closed area.  Other areas of the park will still be open and accessible, including the loop trail that links with the District of West Kelowna’s Westbank Centre Park, just off May Street.

Much of this work is being funded as part of a grant through the Provincial Government’s Community Recreation Program Trails to Health project.  In addition to trail improvements, information and signage, the work will see existing staircases and crib steps replaced and a new parking area established off Gellatly Road.  As a part of this project and a recent parkland management agreement with the District of West Kelowna, the Regional District will upgrade trails through a portion of West Kelowna municipal parkland that will be maintained as a part of Glen Canyon Regional Park trail system.

The Regional District thanks park users for their patience and understanding while this park access enhancement work is done.

(August 28, 2014)

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It's A Wild-life in Regional Parks!

Part of the attractiveness of our Central Okanagan Regional Parks is that visitors experience wild, untouched, natural settings.  That also means they may encounter wildlife at any time.   And as summer draws to a close, visiting our more natural Regional Parks requires more bear awareness.

Across the Okanagan Kokanee salmon are starting to spawn and orchard crops are ripening.   With that there’s increasing evidence of bear activity as they leave the higher elevations in search of food in the valley.

Evidence that bears are around is already occurring along the Mission Creek Greenway, in Mission Creek, Scenic Canyon and Hardy Falls Regional Parks.  Each year, evidence of their presence is also often found in other more natural regional parks like Bertram Creek, Glen Canyon, Johns Family Nature Conservancy, Kalamoir, Mill Creek, Rose Valley and Woodhaven Nature Conservancy.

“Usually around this time of year, our parks staff and visitors start seeing more signs of bears in some of our Regional Parks.  As sightings increase, we post signs advising that the animals may be active in the area” says Communications Officer Bruce Smith.

He says “to reduce your chance of an encounter, if possible travel in a group, make noise or carry something that makes noise.  During the fall fish spawning season local creeks and rivers can be teaming with spawning salmon.  As a result, visitors may encounter bears taking advantage of this plentiful food source.  Bears fishing for food may not hear you over the noise of the creek water.   If you see a bear, give it plenty of space and stay well away from it.”

People should respect all bears and anticipate and avoid encounters with them whenever possible.  Bears can be aggressive, especially when defending their food or their cubs.  They also have excellent senses of smell and hearing, and better sight than you might believe.  Dog owners are reminded when in Regional Parks that their pets must be leashed and kept on trails at all times.  It’s not only the law, but will help avoid any potentially serious wildlife encounter.

Residents also have a role to play in preventing animal confrontations on their property by keeping any garbage securely stored and wheeling their garbage cart out only on the morning of their regular curbside collection.  That helps to reduce the potential temptation for bears or other wildlife.

 Useful Bear Links

British Columbia Conservation Foundation (WildSafe BC) Bear Aware program  - www.bearaware.bc.ca

Ministry of Environment Bear Smart program  - www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/bearsmart/bearsmintro.html

(August 27, 2014)

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Interior Regional Districts Moving 9-1-1 Call Answer to E-Comm

This fall, 9-1-1 call answer services for nine interior regional districts will move to a new service provider. 

Starting November 18th, 9-1-1 calls placed from the Regional District of Central Okanagan, North Okanagan, Okanagan-Similkameen, Thompson-Nicola, Columbia-Shuswap, Squamish-Lillooet (North), Central Kootenay, East Kootenay and Kootenay-Boundary Regional Districts will be answered through E-Comm, the emergency communication centre located in the Lower Mainland.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) provides initial 9-1-1 call response services to the nine regional districts throughout the B.C. Interior.  The RDCO currently has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for initial Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) service, which is provided out of the Southeast District Operational Communications Centre (OCC) in Kelowna.  That is where all 9-1-1 calls placed within the nine regional districts are answered by a Telecommunications Operator who determines the nature of the emergency call and quickly transfers the caller to the appropriate first responder agency (Police, Fire or BC Ambulance).

Regional District of Central Okanagan Chair Robert Hobson says, “For almost two years, we have been exploring various options for 9-1-1 call answer services on behalf of all nine interior regional districts.  In 2012 we were advised by the RCMP that we would be facing significant increases for provision of 9-1-1 services.   After an extensive review and negotiations, we’ve recently signed a five year contract with E-Comm in Vancouver.  The transition from the RCMP OCC to E-Comm will take place November 18th.”   View Frequently Asked Questions

Hobson adds, “By contracting our 9-1-1 service to E-Comm, over the five year agreement the regional districts will see a 25% reduction in overall program operating costs. That translates into total savings of more than $2.1-million for the program, proportionately shared by the regional district partners.  

“Public safety remains our top priority” says Hobson.  “E-Comm’s outstanding track record of high quality and reliable 9-1-1 answering services, means all residents in the affected regional districts can be assured there will be professionally handled, quick response to their initial emergency calls.”

In addition, by having E-Comm provide initial emergency call handling service, the regional districts believe they’ll be in a better position to take advantage of Next Generation 9-1-1 technology.

Until the change this fall to E-Comm, 9-1-1 PSAP calls will continue to be answered by staff in the Southeast District Operational Communications Centre.   Within the service area of the nine regional districts during 2013, a total of 226,796 9-1-1 calls were received and answered by the OCC based in Kelowna.   

“We are pleased to partner with the Regional District of Central Okanagan and are committed to ensuring residents of all nine regional districts continue to receive high-quality, responsive 9-1-1 public safety answer point service 24-hours a day,” says E-Comm President & CEO David Guscott.  “E-Comm is focused on helping to create safer communities in B.C. through excellence in public-safety communication, and we believe that an integrated approach is a key element in achieving that vision.” 

E-Comm’s integrated multi-jurisdictional call taking and dispatch centre provides economies of scale by providing 9-1-1 service for Metro Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast Regional District, Whistler, Squamish, the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (South).  It recently agreed to begin providing 9-1-1 service this fall to the North Island 9-1-1 Corporation which is comprised of six regional districts in addition to the regional districts of Fraser Fort-George, Cariboo, Bulkley-Nechako and much of the Kitimat-Stikine RD.  E-Comm utilizes top tier technology in a Vancouver building that is secure and purposely designed and built to resist a major earthquake (7+) and be self-sufficient for 72 hours.   It has a number of backup provisions to ensure the continuity of 9-1-1 call answer services for a variety of scenarios.  In 2013, E-Comm received 861,694 emergency calls, answering 98% of them in five seconds or less. The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) standard is to answer 90% of all calls within ten seconds.

(July 2, 2014)

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Fuel Modification Work Continues in Rose Valley Regional Park

The third year of a staged fuel modification project is continuing in a section of Rose Valley Regional Park. 

During the past two years, as crews have been available, the BC Wildfire Management Branch has been working in a portion of the park north of Bowes and Pettman Roads.  Crews are brushing, thinning and removing fire hazard trees and ladder fuels as part of a multi-year fuel modification project on a ten hectare section in the north end of the park above Bear Creek Road.  View Map

While BC Wildfire Management Branch crews are working in this area of Rose Valley Regional Park, visitors should be aware that some trails may be temporarily closed.  For their safety and that of the workers, please stay out of any closed area.

Collected wood debris will be piled for disposal when open burning is allowed next fall and winter, on days when both air quality and venting conditions are favourable.   This work has received approval by West Kelowna Fire Rescue and will be conducted in accordance with Regional District Air Quality and Open Burning regulations.

Prior to any decision to proceed with burning on a particular day, local fire authorities and media will be advised.

For more information visit the Regional District Parks Services webpage regionaldistrict.com/parks, email parks@cord.bc.ca or call 250-469-6232.

(June 16, 2014)

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Document Download Problems? 

Recently the Regional District has become aware of periodic problems regarding the inability of some users of our website to open Adobe PDF documents that had been previously accessible.  They've received an error notice saying that the document they were trying to open is not available. 

We understand that the problem has been caused by a recent Microsoft Internet Explorer Security update.  This update on the user's computer has broken the ability of the Adobe Acrobat Reader program to open and access previously downloadable PDF documents in Internet Explorer. 

Should this problem occur on your computer system, please download and install the latest free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.  You can find this by following this link:  http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html or by clicking on the Adobe Reader icon on the bottom right corner on each page of our website. 

We thank you for your patience and appreciate your continued support of the Regional District of Central Okanagan website. 

For information or queries about our website please contact:  webmaster@cord.bc.ca

 

 

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