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Where Does the Water Go?

Picture 27 empty Olympic-size swimming pools.  Every day the Regional District’s Westside Wastewater Treatment Plant treats enough wastewater to fill them.

That’s about 10,000 cubic meters (10,000,000 litres) of water that’s flushed or flows down the drain into sewers from homes and businesses in West Kelowna, Peachland and the Westbank First Nation reserves #9 and #10.  If you’re like most people, you never give a thought to where that water ends up.

To highlight the plant and its internationally-recognized Westbank biological treatment process, the Regional District’s produced a short video that anyone can watch to learn more about what happens to the water that flows into the plant 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

It also highlights the importance of not putting anything down your drain that can cause clogs in pipes and lead to potential sewer backups.  Things like food waste and fats; personal hygiene products (diapers, wet wipes, pills and medicine etc.); household items like toys and paper towels and hazardous wastes or banned substances, should be properly disposed of and kept out of the wastewater system.

You can see the video (www.facebook.com/regionaldistrict) and get more information about the plant, its process and annual reports for the facility located in West Kelowna, by visiting www.regionaldistrict.com/wastewater.

The first plant was commissioned in 1989 to service about 2,800 cubic meters of wastewater each day.  Since then, the plant has undergone several upgrades and expansions over the years, the most recent in 2012.  The present Gellatly Road facility is designed to treat 16,000 cubic meters per day within the three participating communities and ensuring best management practices and Provincial operating criteria are met before the treated effluent is put back into Okanagan Lake.

(January 20, 2017)

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Save Money, Burn Cleaner and Make Your Wood Last Longer

Many wood stoves and fireplace inserts likely received a workout with the recent cold temperatures in the Central Okanagan.

The Regional Air Quality Wood Stove Exchange Program could help homeowners with wood burning appliances save some money while burning more efficiently and creating less pollution.

With funding from the BC Ministry of Environment in partnership with the BC Lung Association, the Air Quality program is again offering a $250 rebate (while funds last) for people replacing and recycling their old wood burning appliance with a new cleaner burning EPA/CSA certified appliance (wood, pellet, electric or gas burning hearth product). Participating Central Okanagan retailers will take care of recycling your old stove and provide all the necessary paperwork for the rebate.

Many valley homes have inefficient conventional wood stoves or heat their homes with open hearth fireplaces. Air Quality Coordinator Nancy Mora Castro says “If homeowners replaced those with a newer, cleaner-burning certified technology appliance they could burn a third less wood while cutting smoke emissions by up to 90%.”

From November 2015 to April 2016 the Air Quality program lead a study to identify possible hot spots of Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5 – airborne particles with a mass median diameter less than 2.5 microns) across the Central Okanagan and found there were several areas that consistently had higher PM2.5 values than surrounding areas. (View the study and Clean Air Strategy at http://www.regionaldistrict.com/your-services/air-quality-program.aspx#Strategy)

She adds, “Through this new study, we identified certain neighbourhoods in Rutland, the upper Mission and Woodsdale area of Lake Country that consistently reached unhealthy levels of PM2.5 pollutants, due to smoke from wood stoves or emissions from vehicles.  They would benefit if older, polluting wood burning appliances were replaced with newer models.  Research has shown that there is no healthy threshold for smoke emissions.  We breathe these microscopic particles into our lungs which can lead to respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and various forms of heart disease.”

In addition to the $250 Wood Stove Exchange program rebate, during March and April participating retailers may offer an additional rebates of $150 or more off the suggested retail price of new wood burning appliances. Some retailers may extend the additional rebates, so be sure to check with your local retailer for more information.  To take part in the program, visit one of the participating Central Okanagan retailers, or contact the Regional Air Quality Program for more information.  A list of participating retailers can be found at regionaldistrict.com/airquality.

(January 16, 2017)

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Central Okanagan's Primary Resource for Business Launches New Website

The Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC) is pleased to announce the launch of its new website. As the Region’s Primary Resource for Business, InvestKelowna.com is the chief marketing and informational tool used in the Commission’s activities to attract businesses and investors from around the world and support local businesses.  The new site design was funded with 50% matching dollars from Invest Canada Community Initiatives, a federal program focused on the attraction, retention, and expansion of foreign direct investment. Along with a visually rich modern design, the navigation has been upgraded to help foreign investors, local businesses and individuals access pertinent information quickly and with ease. 

“With this new design, we are meeting the needs of both local and international businesses, investors and individuals. As the Region’s Primary Resource for Business, we are confident that the modern design, improved navigation and new features will help our many audiences access a wealth of resources and information about living, working and doing business in our region while promoting the exciting opportunities that abound in the Central Okanagan.” Corie Griffiths, Director, Economic Development Commission

The COEDC is a service of the Regional District of Central Okanagan dedicated to fostering sustainable economic growth in the Central Okanagan by supporting existing businesses and encouraging new investment.

(January 13, 2017)

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Form a Block Watch and Help Fight Crime

A simple concept with a little organization can help reduce crime and criminal activity in your neighbourhood.

The Regional Crime Prevention Coordinator says it’s called Block Watch and has for almost a decade helped residents in over two dozen neighbourhoods reduce crime throughout West Kelowna, Peachland, Lake Country, the two electoral areas and on Westbank First Nation reserves.

Roy Morgan adds the most recent addition to the program involves dozens of neighbours throughout Joe Rich, who came together to form a Block Watch area last year.

He says the success of the Block Watch is in its simplicity.  “It’s designed so that neighbours watch out for each other and get involved in discouraging and preventing crime at the street and neighbourhood level.”  He adds, “Neighbours are aware of the normal comings and goings in their area.  As a result they may be the first to know when someone or something suspicious and unusual is going on and then report it to the RCMP.  By working together, neighbours can actively prevent crime in the most effective way – before it happens.”

Block Watch participants not only learn how to be more aware of their neighbourhood surroundings, but also how to make their homes less inviting to thieves, how to prevent auto theft and how to recognize and report suspicious activity.  Morgan adds, “It’s easy to organize a Block Watch area and helps bring neighbours together for a common goal.”

Anyone living in the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West Electoral Areas or the municipalities of Lake Country, Peachland and West Kelowna that might be interested in receiving more information or a presentation on the Block Watch program are welcome to call 250-707-8021 or email crime.prevention@cord.bc.ca.

For more information on the Block Watch program visit the Crime Prevention pages in the Police Services section of Regional District website.

(January 11, 2017)

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How Does Kelowan and the Okanagan Stand Up Against Other Regions in North America?

The Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission’s (COEDC) Okanagan Young Professionals Collective (OYP) is pleased to launch new tools to promote the Central Okanagan region to young professionals. The OYP Collective has a mission to attract and retain young professionals to the Central Okanagan. On this mission, the OYP Collective has created a visually rich fact sheet answering some of the most pertinent questions asked by young professionals considering relocation, as well as launched the first of a series of video “Chair Chats” with local young professionals.

The infographic was created in support of the local tech industry’s efforts to recruit skilled workforce to the region.  The Okanagan is the third largest and fastest growing tech hub in BC and offers many professional opportunities in addition to an unparalleled lifestyle. The infographic provides a snapshot of the career and lifestyle opportunities in the region and how they compare to other markets in Canada and the United States.

“Young professionals in the Okanagan enjoy growing career opportunities, short commutes, access to great skiing, a booming local food, wine and craft beer scene and many other fun and professional perks, but it is the combination of all these things rather than any one factor that makes living and working in the Okanagan so great. We wanted to create a snapshot that shows why the Okanagan excels as a whole package” Drew Vincent, OYP Collective Officer.

While the infographic was created in response to demand from the technology industry, the OYP Collective and the COEDC believe that it will be useful to any company or organization looking to attract professionals as well as companies seeking to relocate.  Companies, community organizations and individuals are urged to share and use the infographic for recruitment or promotional purposes. The infographic can be found on the COEDC website here.

In addition to the infographic, the OYP Collective is releasing a series of rapid-fire Q&A video interviews throughout 2017. Chair Chats will feature real Okanagan young professionals, mentors and community leaders discussing what they love about living and working in the region. The first Chair Chat, featuring Jenna Stasuk, a UBCO student and Accelerate Okanagan’s program coordinator, can be found on the OYP Collective’s Facebook Page. Follow the OYP Collective on Facebook to see future Chair Chats and stay up to date on events and news for young professionals in the Okanagan.

The COEDC is a service of the Regional District of Central Okanagan dedicated to fostering sustainable economic growth in the Central Okanagan by supporting existing businesses and encouraging new investment.

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Check Out the New Regional Parks Guide

Find out what’s happening in our Regional Parks with the new Winter-Spring edition of ‘Your Guide to Regional Parks 2017’.

It’s available online at regionaldistrict.com/parksguide, or you can pick up a printed copy at the EECO in Mission Creek Regional Park; at the Regional District office (1450 KLO Road) in Kelowna or over the next few weeks at other local government offices and visitor information centres.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says “We’ve given the Parks Guide a new look but inside the 12-page colour foldout you’ll still find everything you need to know about all the activities, events and programs in our Regional Parks during the first five months of the year.  We’ve revamped our At a Glance program calendar and we have a map showing Regional Park locations along with short descriptions of their amenities.”

He says, “Our free ‘Wild Walks’ program offers a monthly Saturday morning and Thursday afternoon opportunity to join a park interpreter and learn about special features of the park that’s being visited.  These outings are available for everyone thanks to the volunteers from the Community Recreational Initiatives Society, who provide barrier-free access to our parks.  To discover more about or request CRIS services, check out adaptiveadventures.ca.”

Smith adds, “While most of our programs are offered for free, we do encourage people to pre-register by contacting the staff at the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan or EECO at 250-469-6139 or email eeco@cord.bc.ca.  During the winter months, please make sure you’re properly prepared for the conditions with appropriate clothing, sturdy shoes and traction or anti-slip devices.   Some participants find poles help with their balance and stability and provide an additional workout.”

Smith says, “The winter-spring guide also has details about the ‘Families in Parks’, ‘Roll and Stroll’ and ‘EECO After School’ programs as well as the spring ‘Tracks Walking Club’ program in Mission Creek and Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Parks. Parents will be interested in our ‘Nature Detectives Spring-Break Camps’ in March for youngsters age five to 10.  Pre-registration is required for each of these popular programs.”

For more information about any Regional Parks program and our detailed online section for Regional Parks including our new park tour maps, visit regionaldistrict.com/parks or call the EECO at 250-469-6140.

(January 6, 2017)

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New App Makes Dog License Renewal Quick and Easy

It’s easier for dog owners in the Central Okanagan to save when they purchase or renew their dog license for 2017.  And renewing can be quicker than ever!

That’s thanks to the ‘My Dog Matters’ App created for the Regional District of Central Okanagan.  The App is believed to be the first developed for local governments in Canada and brings the opportunity to renew a dog license right to an owner’s mobile device.

Any dog owner with a current license who has provided their email address has received a welcome email that provides information on how they can download the ‘My Dog Matters’ App for free at the Google and iTunes app stores.  They can also go online with their favourite web browser and download the App.

Approximately 19,000 dog owners in the Central Okanagan have licensed their pet and are now able to access the free App—that’s over 23,000 dogs that are licensed in the Central Okanagan.

Not only does it allow them to renew their license for 2017, but the App also contains their digital ‘My Dog Matters’ Reward Program card. Showing it at more than 50 participating businesses gives dog owners special discounts and services. Those with the new App can easily check participating retailer’s offers.

Of course, dog licenses can be renewed or new licenses purchased anytime online at www.regionaldistrict.com/doglicense. Dog owners may also renew in person at the RDCO office in Kelowna, the Regional Dog Pound (890 Weddell Place), at any local government office or the Kelowna branch of the SPCA.

Some dog owners have given early positive reviews to the new App including:  “Excellent, this is awesome.”, “Great ideas and service.” and “This makes licensing so easy.”

Communication Officer Bruce Smith says, “We’ve been working for the past few years to make dog licensing as easy and convenient as possible.  This is especially good news for those owners who want to use electronic devices to renew, or who might head south early each year and are concerned about renewing their license before the February 28th deadline.   Now, with the’ My Dog Matters’ App, they can do it right on their mobile device or renew online through the Regional District website.”  This makes it easier for the Regional District to communicate directly with licensed dog owners, saving taxpayers thousands of dollars in mailing costs.

February 28th is the last day for license renewals and new license purchases at the discounted rate of $20 for a dog that’s spayed or neutered and $60 if it isn’t.  Starting March 1st owners renewing or purchasing a new license pay the regular fee of $40 for dogs that are spayed/neutered and $80 if not.

There’s plenty of information available about dog licensing and Responsible Dog Ownership in the Central Okanagan.  Check out regionaldistrict.com/dogs for information about the Regional Dog service and what to do if you lose or find a dog.

(January 5, 2017)

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'Wild Walks'

It’s a new season, a new view and a new opportunity to discover your Regional Parks.  So dress for the conditions, bring along some anti-slip/traction devices and join ‘Wild Walks’. 

Our Park interpreter will share some secrets and point out the natural features of various Regional Parks.  Turn an ordinary walk in the park into something extraordinary! 

Each ‘Wild Walks’ lasts approximately 90 minutes, is suitable for all ages including families with young children and range from easy to moderate.

There’s no cost to take part but please pre-register for ‘Wild Walks’ on the following dates and locations:

  • Saturday, January 14th at 10:00 am and Thursday, January 19th at 1:00 pm join us as we visit Mill Creek Regional Park, just off Spencer Road in the Ellison area.  Explore the changes that winter brings as we walk to the frozen waterfall on Mill Creek. 
  • Saturday, February 11th at 10:00 am and Thursday, February 16th at 1:00 pm we’ll check out Scenic Canyon Regional ParkSetting out from the Hollywood Road south parking lot, we’ll walk upstream along the Mission Creek Greenway, pointing out some of the unique features of this creekside trail.

To save a spot for your family on these free ‘Wild Walks’ outings, please drop in to the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan, email eeco@cord.bc.ca or phone 250-469-6139.

These free events are held in conjunction with the Community Recreational Initiatives Society (CRIS) to provide barrier free access to our regional parks.  To request the services of CRIS volunteers visit www.adaptiveadventures.ca

For more information about this or other Regional Park programs please visit the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/parks or contact the EECO at 250-469-6140.

(January 4, 2017)

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'Story Time at the EECO'

Tuesday mornings are ‘Story Time at the EECO’.  The free, weekly one-hour drop-in program for children aged three to five and their care-givers returns for the winter months.

The younger ones love the nature-themed stories and songs followed by an art or craft project. The program is an excellent way for preschoolers to interact with others while learning more about the natural world. 

‘Story Time at the EECO’ runs each Tuesday morning .  

The EECO or Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan is located in Mission Creek Regional Park, Springfield and Durnin Roads. For more information please visit www.regionaldistrict.com/parks, drop-in or call the EECO at 250-469-6140.

(January 4, 2017)

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Eco Art at the EECO

Let your creative juices flow during ‘Eco-Art at the EECO’.  

Each Saturday morning at 11, every member of your family may create a work of art using recycled and natural materials.

There’s no need to pre-register for this free program.  Just drop into the EECO a few minutes early.   All ages are welcome to take part!

The Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan is located in Mission Creek Regional Park, Springfield and Durnin Roads.

For more information please visit www.regionaldistrict.com/parksevents, drop-in or call the EECO at 250-469-6140.

(January 4, 2017)

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Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission Advisory Board Appointments

A service of the Regional District of Central Okanagan, the COEDC has a 40+ member advisory body including key industry leaders representing various sectors including:  Aerospace, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Professional Services, Development, Technology and Tourism. 

The Advisory Board acts as a conduit of community and business information; this information provides staff the ability to identify tactics and partnerships in order to facilitate a healthy, dynamic and sustainable community economy.

Five new members have been appointed to the Advisory Board and join dozens of other dedicated volunteers representing sectors across the Central Okanagan.  View News Release

Further information about the COEDC and its programs can be found on the COEDC website at www.investkelowna.com

(December 16, 2016)

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Chip It, Don't Chuck It

When you take down your Christmas tree after the holidays, keep in mind you can dispose of it in an environmentally friendly way and have it chipped, not chucked.

“You can give your tree another life after the holidays by dropping it off at any one of the convenient Chip It locations,” says Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart with the Regional District. Your tree will then be chipped down and composted into a nutrient rich soil enhancer called GlenGrow. It’s perfect for top dressing your lawn, landscaping, mixing in your vegetable garden and is available at various locations around the area including the Glenmore landfill in the spring.”

If you don’t want to haul your tree to a drop off location, you can also cut it down to size and put the pieces in your yard waste cart for pick up once yard waste collection resumes March 1st, 2017. Keep in mind the prunings and branches need to be no longer than 5cm (2in) in diameter and less than 1 meter (3ft) long.

Please remove all decorations and tinsel before recycling your tree, plus any plastic bags or other materials used for transporting--all of these interfere with the composting process.”

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Roll and Stroll Returns in January

Join our free weekly walking club for moms and caregivers with babies and little ones.

‘Roll and Stroll’ is a great opportunity to meet other parents and spend time casually exploring Mission Creek Regional Park (Springfield and Durnin Roads) during the winter months. 

Starting Thursday, January 5th and continuing weekly until February 23rd, participants meet at 9:30 am the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan (EECO). Enjoy a leisurely 45 minute walk through the park, before returning to the EECO for refreshments.   Participants are encouraged to use strollers and baby carriers that are suitable for rough terrain and winter conditions.  Sturdy boots with traction aids are recommended.

The program is free, but registration is required by calling the EECO at 250-469-6139 or email eeco@cord.bc.ca.

For more information about this or other Regional Park programs please visit the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/parksevents or contact the EECO at 250-469-6140.

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Winter Curbside Waste Collection

During snowy/icy road conditions, your garbage and recycling collection may be delayed. If your collection day is missed, leave your carts out until collection occurs, and please be patient, safety comes first.

The Regional Waste Reduction Office reminds you slippery roads, especially on sloped or more challenging streets are not safe for large collection vehicles, workers, or residents. The first priority is to clear roads to make them safe, and make collection possible. Residents whose garbage or recycling has not been picked up should continue to leave it out for collection, and the waste haulers will pick it up as soon as possible. (Do not bring your carts back in until they have been emptied to ensure your collection is not missed.)

In winter months, it may be necessary to alter the regular placement of your carts to ensure the collection vehicle can reach them. Find or clear an unobstructed site to put your carts out for collection.

• Put carts as close as possible to the street, without obstructing the street, sidewalk or bike lane. (Often placing your carts on either side of your driveway allows for greater ease for the collection trucks and for you.)
• Keep carts off the travelled portion of the roadway so as not to interfere with snow plows- do not place carts in a location where the snow plow will hit them.
• Please have your carts out for collection by 7 a.m. (Avoid placing your carts out the night before collection and bring them away from the road as soon as possible, to avoid interfering with snow plows often working late)Clear your cart of snow and ice to ensure the lid opens when cart is tipped.
• The cart should be no closer than three feet from any obstacle, parked car, or other cart - an arm’s length spacing is required between each cart.
• Do not place carts behind or on top of snow banks.
• General Safety: As the waste collection carts are equipped with wheels, please use extra caution when wheeling them in snowy and icy conditions.

Here's where to find more information on proper placement and how to handle your carts in winter conditions, and our short You tube video.

(December 12, 2016)

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Regional District Business License Renewals

Renewal notices are in the mail for businesses operating in either of the Regional District of Central Okanagan electoral areas. 

Any business that is either based in or works in the Central Okanagan East or Central Okanagan West electoral areas must have a business license with the Regional District.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “This includes communities such as Joe Rich, Ellison, south Lakeshore Road, Brent Road, Trepanier/Paradise Valley, North Westside, Traders Cove, Fintry and Wilson’s Landing.”

Business owners renewing their Regional District license before December 31st pay a reduced rate of $85.  Starting January 1st, an additional $25 late fee will apply to any business license renewal.

Smith adds, “Businesses operating in the Electoral Areas that also work in any of the communities involved in the Inter-Community Business License program may wish to purchase that additional business license.  They must first have a Regional District business license before applying to purchase the Inter-Community Business License for an additional $150.   The inter-community license allows qualifying businesses the flexibility to work in one or more of the participating municipalities without having to purchase a business license for each.”

Renewing or applying for your RDCO business license may be done in person at the Regional District Kelowna office (1450 KLO Road) or by mail.

Online payments for Regional District Business License renewals and new applications can be made using a Visa or MasterCard through the Regional District website www.regionaldistrict.com/payments.  Select the Business License and Pay Online options and type in the account number and private access code provided on your renewal notice.  For a new license click on the New License menu option and fill out the online form.  Businesses may also pay through online banking (Search payee list for Central Okanagan and look for listing similar to CENTRAL OKANAGAN (REG DIST) BUSINESS LIC.

For more information regarding business licensing in the Regional District visit www.regionaldistrict.com/businesslicense.

(December 1, 2016)

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Recycle That Cooking Oil

Do you deep fry your turkey, or make a ton of French fries and you’re just not sure how to handle all the leftover oil or kitchen grease drippings? Don’t pour it down the drain, recycle it!

The Regional Waste Reduction Office reminds you there’s a place for you to get rid of all that leftover household cooking oil and congealed grease-- at either the Westside Residential Disposal and Recycling Center in West Kelowna, or at the Glenmore Landfill in Kelowna. The grease collection program is a partnership with McLeod’s Byproduct’s of Armstrong.

Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart says cooking oils and grease from roasting, frying and baking can collect in and clog your drains-and harm the environment in the process.“ You don’t want to pour this stuff down your drain, it can congeal , block your pipes, and create a real mess. Dumping it in your yard isn’t a good option either, it’s harmful to the environment -- when it rains the oily residue runs off into the storm drain, eventually reaching our waterways without treatment.”

If you have large volumes of cooking oil, you can pour it into the receptacles provided at the Westside Recycling Center or Glenmore Landfill. If you have congealed  grease, it’s recommended you put it in a metal can or container and drop the whole metal container into the recycling receptacle provided. As a reminder, please do not place anything other than cooking oil and kitchen grease into the recycling containers provided, no petroleum oil such as motor oil, food items, plastic containers, or garbage.

Dave Ward, Plant Manager with McLeod’s Byproducts’ says your repurposed kitchen leftovers will end up as a food source all over again. “Once the cooking oils and grease are collected, we mechanically remove the solids and moisture, heat the oils at a very high temperature, then stabilize them with an antioxidant.  We then sell the finished product to feed mills where they formulate it into various feeds for chicken, turkey and hogs.” 

If you must toss your kitchen oils and grease, here are a few simple tips to follow:

  • make sure to put them in a heat resistant container with a sealable lid, then throw in the trash
  • or mix with unscented kitty litter, sawdust or sand to solidify the oil first and then dispose
  • or store the oil for later use, oil can be kept for up to six months and reused. First strain then store in the freezer

For more info on recycling your household fats, oils and grease, visit regionaldistrict.com/recycle, or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250.

(November 25, 2016)

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Multi-Million Dollar Water System Upgrade Underway

Crews are about to break ground on a multi-million dollar upgrade to the Killiney Beach water system. 

As weather allows through next spring, approximately three kilometers of aging water main will be replaced with new pipe along five roads in the upper area of the system which serves more than 280 connections throughout the subdivision along the north area of Westside Road.

Residents along Winchester Road will be the first affected as construction takes place weekdays between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm starting November 28th.  They’ve been notified by the contractor, who’ll also provide advance notice when the project moves to other streets.

Information on this and other projects is available at www.regionaldistrict.com/waterprojects.

RDCO Chair Gail Given says, “This and two additional projects are going ahead thanks to significant financial support from the Federal and Provincial Governments.   The new water main along with construction of a replacement reservoir and new control building received $1.9-million from the New Build Canada Fund – Small Communities Fund.  It would be a huge burden for customers of the system to fund such expensive infrastructure work, without the support of the senior governments.”

Construction on the Hope Creek reservoir replacement and Winchester control building along with improvements to the Westshore Estates Water System Mountain and Upper Reservoirs is scheduled to start next spring running through the fall of 2017.  The Westshore project is estimated at $1.3-million with an $870,000 contribution from the Community Works Fund Gas Tax program.

When complete, customers on the two water systems will benefit from improved water quality and storage and fire protection while the improvements will help to reduce interruptions during power outages.

Given adds, “As these are two of our oldest water systems, the significant funds provided for this critical infrastructure is greatly appreciated.  The upgrades will ensure the continued effective and efficient operation of these RDCO water systems.”

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “With construction projects of this magnitude, residents and motorists in affected areas may experience some minor inconveniences.  Please obey flag people and signage that you encounter along roads in the area during construction.”  Updated information about the projects and construction schedules can be found at regionaldistrict.com/waterprojects.

The Regional District currently operates and maintains six water systems servicing more than 950 properties in the Sunset Ranch, Killiney Beach, Westshore Estates, Upper Fintry-Shalal Road-Valley of the Sun, Falcon Ridge and Trepanier areas.

(November 25, 2016)

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July - September 2016 Video Highlights

This past summer was another busy one in the Central Okanagan.  From two wildfires forcing residents from their homes, to the battle to keep mosquitoes in check and an earlier than anticipated return of kokanee resulting in a move in the start date for parks interpretation programs, we hope you enjoy this short video of Regional District highlights during the third quarter of 2016 showing some of the RDCO programs and services at work!

The video was presented to the Regional Board at its meeting October 24th.

View Video

(November 2, 2016)

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October 1st Start for Open Burning in the Central Okanagan

Open burning season in the Central Okanagan will begin this Saturday, October 1st when air quality and venting conditions are good for those property owners obtaining a permit from their local fire authority

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

Eligible property owners must obtain a burning permit from their local fire department.   Those eligible to burn within the four Central Okanagan East or Central Okanagan West electoral area fire districts 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.

Before lighting any fire, property owners with a valid permit must call the toll-free Outdoor Burning Hotline:  1-855-262-2876 (BURN) to determine 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 will also be available each day after 8:00 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, City of West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan East and West Electoral Areas or under the bylaws of the District of Peachland.  Yard waste such as leaves, pine needles, grass clippings, weeds and other garden waste are not allowed to be burned.

Violators 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.

Those property owners eligible to burn should follow this Best Practices Guide to reduce smoke:

  • If conditions allow open burning, ignite fires after 10:00 am when venting conditions are usually more favourable;
  • Pruning’s, branches and stumps must be dried for a minimum of two years;
  • Make smaller piles with good air ventilation for more efficient burning.

All Central Okanagan property owners regardless of property size are encouraged to use other clean air 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 pruning’s inside their wheeled yard waste cart with the green lid closed.  Residents may also use the year-round free yard waste drop off program at the Glenmore landfill (Open seven days a week 7:30 am to 4:45 pm - up to 250 kilograms (550 pounds) and 20 centimeters or less in diameter may be dropped off for free – fees apply to yard waste loads exceeding the free maximum weight and diameter). Fees apply for yard waste disposal at the Westside Residential Waste Disposal Centre (Open 7:30 am to 4:00 pm Friday through Monday).  When transporting loads for disposal, please make sure they are covered.  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.

Agricultural burning is allowed under Provincial Right to Farm legislation and accounts for most of the burning permits issued in the Central Okanagan.   However, before starting any fire farmers must also call 1-855-262-2876 (BURN) or visit regionaldistrict.com/airquality to ensure burning can take place on a particular day.  The Regional Air Quality Program is working in cooperation with farmers to encourage the use of the Agricultural Chipping Program as an alternate disposal method.   The program offers a Best Management Practices handbook and DVD to help farmers.  Funding is still available for farmers who wish to participate this year in the chipping program.   As well, registration is underway for those who would like to take part in the program during 2017.  Please contact the Regional Air Quality Coordinator at 250-469-8408 or email airquality@kelowna.ca.

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.  Campfires are not allowed at any time within the City of Kelowna.

(September 26, 2016)

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Specialized 9-1-1 Text Service Now Available for Deaf and Speech Impaired Residents

Today regional districts in BC’s central and southern interior announced the availability of a specialized text service that allows people who are Deaf/Deaf-Blind, Hard-of-Hearing or Speech Impaired (DHHSI) to communicate with 9-1-1 call-takers by text.

This service is called Text with 9-1-1 (T9-1-1) and is being delivered by E-Comm—the emergency communications centre responsible for answering 9-1-1 calls in the central and southern interior—in partnership with local emergency service agencies. The service is now available throughout the Central Okanagan, North Okanagan, Central Kootenay, Columbia-Shuswap, Okanagan-Similkameen, Thompson-Nicola, East Kootenay, Kootenay-Boundary and Squamish-Lillooet regional districts.

“T9-1-1 is a vital connection to police, fire and ambulance and enables quick communication between a Deaf caller and emergency services,” remarked Gordon Rattray, Treasurer of the Okanagan Valley Association of the Deaf (OVAD). “In the past Deaf people were limited by communication barriers and would have to use phone relay or TTY (telephone typewriter) which would take five or ten minutes longer. The OVAD is very excited to have T9-1-1 in the interior regional districts and we look forward to helping promote the availability of this service with the DHHSI community. We’re proud of this enhancement to emergency services that E-Comm provides.”

T9-1-1 allows any DHHSI person who has pre-registered their cellphone with their wireless carrier to communicate with police, fire and ambulance call-takers via text during an emergency. Callers must first place a voice call to 9-1-1 in order to establish a voice network connection and initiate the special messaging technology.  

“This new enhanced level of service is something we’ve eagerly anticipated being able to provide for residents with hearing or speech impairments who need help from police, fire or ambulance services,” said Gail Given, Chair of the Regional District of Central Okanagan. “It is important for people in the Central Okanagan DHHSI community who have not yet registered for this service to do so now, and for them to learn more about how the service works and what to expect should they need to use T9-1-1 during an emergency.”

When E-Comm receives a 9-1-1 call from a DHHSI person who has pre-registered for the service, an alert will trigger at the 9-1-1 centre to indicate there is a DHHSI caller on the line. The 9-1-1 call-taker will then launch the special messaging system, allowing them to communicate with the caller through a special text session. This will ensure they get the emergency service they need.

“Being able to communicate with 9-1-1 using this technology allows for greater access to important 9-1-1 lifelines in the event of an emergency,” added David Guscott, E-Comm president and CEO. “E-Comm is proud to be able to offer this enhanced level of service to our partners in the central and southern interior of B.C.”

It is important to emphasize that this service is only available to the DHHSI community.

Voice calling remains the only way to communicate with 9-1-1 services for a person who is not Deaf/Deaf-Blind, Hard-of-Hearing or Speech Impaired. Text messages sent directly to the digits “9-1-1” do not reach emergency services anywhere in Canada. Text with 9-1-1 for the public-at-large is anticipated in the future as the nationwide 9-1-1 infrastructure evolves.

Members of the DHHSI community should visit www.TextWith911.ca to register their cellphone with their wireless service provider and to learn more about how the system works.

(September 21, 2016)

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January - June 2016 Video Highlights

From a new mobile-friendly Crime Stoppers website, to Parks activities and events and successful events organized by the Regional Waste Reduction Office.   We've created a short video of Regional District highlights during the first half of 2016 to show you some of the RDCO programs and services at work!

The video was presented to the Regional Board at its meeting August 22nd.

View Video

(August 24, 2016)

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Convenient Paperless Utility Billing Now Available

The Regional District of Central Okanagan is offering customers the option of having their utility bills delivered electronically.

Property owners in the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West Electoral Areas will be receiving a letter and authorization form with their next utility bill.  By completing the information and returning the form, they’ll receive future invoices directly to their email inbox, rather than through regular mail.  For those who wish to save paper and a stamp, they can fill out an online authorization form available at www.regionaldistrict.com/paperlessbill.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “This new paperless e-billing delivery is certainly more convenient for our customers and helps the environment by generating less paper.  And for those seasonal residents or snowbirds who may head out of the area for extended periods of time, electronic delivery will ensure they receive their billing notice so that they can pay by the due date and won’t be subject to any late payment penalties.”

Smith adds, “By offering a more convenient paperless invoice delivery, we’ll see cost savings through reduced mailing costs.”

If they wish, customers who choose not to take advantage of the email utility invoice option will continue to receive a paper invoice through the mail.

The Regional District invoices its utility customers four times a year.  This includes customers of the six water systems operated by the Regional District; customers of the sewer system that services the Sunset Ranch strata communities and those receiving garbage and recycling services from the RDCO.

Central Okanagan East and West Electoral Area property owners have an incentive to keep their utility billing account balance paid on time.   A four per cent late payment fee (compounded quarterly at 16.99% per year) is assessed on all outstanding balances not paid by the quarterly due date.   This helps reduce the number of customer utility accounts that are in arrears, requiring additional costs for mailing late payment reminder notices.

Payments can be made by direct withdrawal, by mail, in person at the RDCO office or any Financial Institution or they can be made securely and conveniently online at: www.regionaldstrict.com/payments.  Customers can also access their account information there.

Any utility accounts that aren’t paid by December 15th will be transferred for collection on the next year’s tax roll as arrears of taxes and will be charged interest at the rate authorized by the Local Government Act.  Payments must be received by December 15th to ensure adequate processing prior to the end of the calendar year.

For more information or to have questions answered please contact the RDCO Finance Services staff at 250-469-6239 or email utilities@cord.bc.ca.

(July 7, 2016)

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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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News Release

 

1450 K.L.O. Road

Kelowna, B.C.  V1W 3Z4

Telephone: (250) 763-4918

Fax:  (250) 763-0606

www.regionaldistrict.com

www.facebook.com/regionaldistrict

www.cordemergency.ca

 

 

RDCO logo (mar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


November 3, 2016

 

Community Donations Support North Westside Fire Services

 

Members of the North Westside Fire Rescue department already have a winter project lined up!

 

While the snow is falling, they’ll be busy adding shelving and storage bins to a new enclosed, 14-foot utility trailer that was just purchased by the non-profit fire society for just over $7,400.

 

Society President Shawn Barnes credits the ongoing support from residents throughout the North Westside communities for helping it put those generous donations made over the past year to good use.  A record amount was raised during last summer’s annual Community BBQ and through participation in events like the Fintry Fall fair.

 

The new trailer will house the fire department’s sprinkler and forestry equipment.  The refitting of the trailer will be done to the provincial type 3 Sprinkler Protection Unit (SPU) standard.

 

North Westside Fire Rescue Chief Jason Satterthwaite says, “The sprinkler and forestry equipment is designed to protect 15 homes from a threatening wildfire.  The department has been training for several years now in sprinkler deployment.  Having this equipment stored in a properly set up trailer will be a big help in training our members to a higher level as well as providing a speedy response and defense in the event of a large wildland urban interface fire that threatens the community.”

 

All active firefighters are members of the independent, non-profit Society, which determines where the funds raised will be spent in order to benefit the North Westside communities through the purchase of additional, often specialized pieces of equipment that is outside the regular fire department equipment budget.  This equipment is then donated by the Society and becomes part of the regular fire department equipment inventory.

 

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Contacts:

 


Jason Satterthwaite

North Westside Fire Rescue Chief

250-260-0044

 

 

 

 

 

Bruce Smith

RDCO Communications Officer

250-469-6339

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