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No Dog License? Fine Increases January 1st
Starting January 1st, Central Okanagan dog owners will have an added financial incentive to license their pets.
The Regional Board has approved a substantially higher fine for dogs that are found without a license. The increased fine is in keeping with recommendations made in the 2012 Regional Dog Service Review and is designed to hold accountable, those dog owners that choose to violate the current Dog Regulation and Impounding Bylaw requirement to license their pet.
Effective January 1st, the fine for a dog found or impounded without a license will rise to $300 from the present $100. The Regional Board also supports a Zero Tolerance policy when it comes to unlicensed dogs in the Central Okanagan. That means the owner of any dog found without a valid dog license will be ticketed for the full fine amount.
Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “For months now we have been telling owners of unlicensed dogs to be prepared for a substantially higher penalty for choosing not to license their dog. Over the past year we’ve given licensed dog owners the benefits of the My Dog Matters Responsible Dog Owners Reward Program. With the participation of more than 35 local businesses, licensed dog owners can show their My Dog Matters rewards card for savings and special discounts in services listed on the mydogmatters.ca website. Dog owners using the card can more than recoup the annual cost of their dog license.”
“Knowing that a higher fine was in the offing” he says, “we also gave unlicensed dog owners an opportunity to make their dog legal. During October, we provided more than 3,600 free 2013 dog licenses to previously unlicensed dog owners through the ‘Are You Harbouring a Fugitive’ month long amnesty. That hugely successful program alone saw the number of dogs licensed increase by almost 30 per cent.”
Smith adds, “The good news is there’s still time for unlicensed dog owners to purchase a license and avoid the possible higher fine. If they come into either the Regional District office at 1450 KLO Road or the Regional Dog Pound at 890 Weddell Place in Kelowna, they can purchase a Permanent Dog Tag that will be good for the rest of this year and 2014. The cost is $20 for a dog that’s been spayed or neutered, $60 if it isn’t.”
Smith says, “The Regional District has been working very hard over the past year to encourage, support and reward dog owners who choose to do the right things and follow the requirements of the dog bylaw. We believe that we’re making good progress and appreciate the support that all residents have shown us in laying the groundwork for responsible dog owners.”
“We also believe,” Smith says, “that by having more compliant dog owners we’ll have more dog owners that are aware of their responsibilities and that will hopefully result in less enforcement. That’s certainly been the experience in other local governments that have focused efforts on encouraging and supporting responsible dog ownership.”
It’s expected at its meeting January 16th, the Regional Board will be asked to consider a new Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw to further encourage compliance. At that time an online survey will be available and an Information meeting will be scheduled and advertised for community input.
(December 10, 2013)
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New Boathouse Open and In Service
A new boathouse on Okanagan Lake is open and in service for the North Westside Fire Rescue department.
The new waterfront building, dock and marine lift is easily accessible in the southern portion of Killiney Beach Community Park, just off Hodges Road.
The facility houses the department’s 8.4-metre Marine Mobile Water Supply and Fireboat.
Construction of the boathouse and dock was completed earlier this fall by Burton Marine and Pile Driving Incorporated, after a public Request for Proposal process. The contract includes a full two year warranty on all materials and labour used to build the structures.
Fire Services Manager Dan Wildeman says “This fully enclosed boathouse on Okanagan Lake required extensive environmental approvals from the Provincial Government and complies with all federal, provincial and local regulations. It was designed and built at a total cost of $78,000. It includes an all-electric boat lift and gasoline powered generator that provides power for interior lighting and an electric roll-up garage door with a manual override.”
North Westside Fire Chief Doug Gardiner adds, “This facility means our community’s fireboat and Marine Mobile Water Supply will be easily accessible for trained members of our department in the event it’s dispatched for firefighting and protection along the waterfront, as a water supply.”
In dedicating the boathouse which is designated Station 103, members of the North Westside Firefighter Society recognized the memory of Regan Toker, a department member who lost his life in a West Kelowna workplace accident in 2011.
Wildeman says, “The Society members are an integral part of their community and are dedicated to helping their neighbours with medical first response, fire prevention and fire protection services. The Regional District thanks the Society for its generous contribution of $20,100 which helped in part to construct and equip the new boathouse.”
View Photos from the event at www.facebook.com/regionaldistrict
(December 7, 2013)
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Watch for tree decorating Elves!
This holiday season, the Regional District of Central Okanagan and Kelowna Community Resources are teaming up to share some joy and perhaps bring a smile to all visiting Mission Creek Regional Park - those on two legs, four legs and even those who fly!
On December 4th, staff from Kelowna Community Resources (KCR) decorated several trees in the park under the guidance of the Regional Parks Services staff. (View RDCO Facebook for photos) All the decorations will be environmentally friendly and even edible for those species that live in the park. They’ll remain in place through January 5th.
Come down with your family to Mission Creek Regional Park, located at Springfield and Durnin Roads, take a relaxing walk on the trails and along the Mission Creek Greenway and see if the young ones can spot the specially decorated Christmas trees!
For more information on KCR, we invite you to visit www.kcr.ca.
(updated December 5, 2013)
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Create Memories, Not Garbage
What do dog walking, cooking classes, baby-sitting help and tickets to the theatre all have in common? They’re all great gift ideas that create memories, not garbage.
The Regional District Waste Reduction Office is encouraging residents to ‘be green’ while celebrating the festive season. That will help to reduce the amount of material you’ll have to put into your curbside garbage and recycling carts after the holidays. Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart says, “The best way to ‘Create memories, not garbage’ this holiday season is to think about buying higher quality, more durable gifts that last. Or, give experiences as gifts instead. Often when we think back to our favourite Christmas memories, our fondest ones are of time spent doing something and sharing with family and friends. Why not give ‘gifts’ that create long-term memories for those we love.”
Here are some memory-making ideas to get you started…
- Choose classic toys that are made locally and can be passed on.
- Board games last and bring family and friends together for a night of fun
- Organize a family skate.
- Host an amazing dinner for all your friends using locally grown food.
- Treat someone to a live performance.
- Sign someone up for a cooking, art or photography class. Join them for a fun night out together.
- Tickets to a local sporting event.
- Support local businesses by purchasing locally made items.
- Treat someone to the spa or passes to fitness classes.
- Purchase gifts that are durable and will last.
- Consider joining or creating your own gift registry, focused on less stuff and more on family, friends and fun.
Stewart says there are also great ways to wrap your gifts to reduce or even eliminate all that wrapping paper. “It’s a great time to get creative with your wrapping, you could even make the wrapping part of the gift, like a tea towel or shirt. Maps, comics, magazines, brown bags, can all be reused into wrapping paper. The options are endless.”
‘Create Memories, Not Garbage’ is the Regional Waste Reduction Office’s seasonal campaign to reduce the volume of waste coming into our homes. The campaign includes gift giving ideas that make memories, information on buying a Christmas tree, a website link to send your family and friends an e-card and other ways to reduce your holiday waste.
For information on how you can Create Memories, Not Garbage this holiday season, visit regionaldistrict.com/recycle, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250.
(December 2, 2013)
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New Fire Chief for North Westside Fire Rescue Department
The Regional District didn’t have to look far to find a new full-time Chief for the North Westside Fire Protection Service Area.
Effective December 1st, Doug Gardiner takes on the full-time management position for the paid-on-call fire department. It provides fire protection and medical first response to residents living in the communities of Killiney Beach, Westshore Estates, Fintry Delta, Valley of the Sun and La Casa resort along the north end of Westside Road within the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area.
Gardiner has been acting as the department’s Interim Chief since early August.
Regional District Fire and Inspection Services Manager Dan Wildeman says, “Over the past few months as Interim Chief, Doug has displayed a combination of excellent performance and management of the paid-on-call department and along with the continued support of his leadership by the Officers and members of North Westside Fire Rescue, we’re pleased to confirm he’s accepted an offer to serve full-time in the Fire Chief’s position. Doug has 27 years of experience as a professional firefighter and superior credentials as he retired as the Assistant Chief in charge of Training for the Saanich Fire Department. He also has experience in marine rescue and has worked during his career with paid-on-call fire departments.”
North Westside Fire Rescue is one of four paid-on-call fire departments of the Regional District which also provides medical first response and fire protection services for the Ellison and Joe Rich Fire Service Areas and fire protection for the Wilson’s Landing Fire Protection Area.
(November 27, 2013)
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Regional District and Water Board Team Up for Huge Savings
Reclaiming and reusing water at the Westside Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant is saving water and money.
Since a water reclamation project was completed this summer, there’s been a dramatic reduction in the amount of potable drinking water needed for everyday use around the Gellatly Road plant which treats a daily average of nine-million litres of wastewater from homes and businesses in West Kelowna, Peachland and the Westbank First Nation Reserves #9 and #10.
Last spring, the Regional District of Central Okanagan, which maintains and operates the plant, received a $25,000 Water Conservation and Quality Improvement program grant from the Okanagan Basin Water Board. The grant along with just over $10,000 from the Regional District was used for a major upgrade to a small water reclamation system that was in use at the plant.
Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “We’ve always used a small amount of treated plant effluent water around the facility but were using a vast amount of treated, potable drinking water. With the grant, we were able to substantially upgrade our system by retrofitting two existing pumps; purchasing and installing new filters that use minimal electricity and water for backwashing and converting plumbing from the treated drinking water system to use the newly filtered treated plant water in appropriate areas of the plant.”
He adds, “As a result, we’ve significantly decreased our use of regular quality drinking water and we’ve seen our water bill plummet.”
For example, last summer the Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant used 3,212 cubic metres of potable drinking water, a drop of 67% from the same period in 2012, before the water reclamation project. Now that the expanded water reclamation system is in place, over the course of a year, the plant’s total water consumption is expected to drop by at least 25,000 cubic metres, saving about $12,000 a year.
Reclaimed water is used throughout the Westside Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant to cool pump bearings, flush mechanical seals, wash-down equipment and through spray nozzles to control foam and the build-up of solids. It’s also used during the spring and summer months for outdoor irrigation. Regular quality drinking water isn’t needed for these operations around the plant.
You can learn more about the plant by visiting www.regionaldistrict.com/wastewater.
(November 13, 2013)
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EECO Story Time
Little ones will love ‘EECO Story Time’ a free drop-in program for children aged three to five and their caregivers.
This one-hour program features nature-themed stories and songs followed by an art or craft project. The program is an excellent way for younger children to interact with others while learning more about the natural world.
‘EECO Story Time’ runs each Tuesday morning at 10:00 from November 12th until December 17th. It breaks for the Christmas – New Year’s holidays and runs again Tuesday mornings from January 7th to February 25th.
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.
(November 1, 2013)
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Regional Grant-in-Aid Applications Available
Application forms are now available for community organizations that would like to be considered for Regional Grant-in-Aid funding. Forms are available for download on the Regional District website:
Completed applications and supporting documentation must be received by Friday, January 10, 2014. Late applications will not be received or considered.
(October 31, 2013)
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Open Burning Season Begins October 1st
For the first time since the fall of 2010, open burning season in the Central Okanagan will begin as it normally does on October 1st. During the past two years, dry conditions caused a delay in the start of open burning for those eligible property owners.
Under Regional District and local fire bylaws, permitted open burning may start October 1st and must be complete by April 30th. Fire chiefs may however change the dates depending on the fire hazard in their area.
Starting Tuesday, 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 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.
(September 27, 2013)
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Electoral Area Building Projects Require Permits
There’s been a marked increase in the number of illegal building projects underway in the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West Electoral Areas.
So far this year, the Regional District has placed Stop Work Orders on 27 construction projects it has found underway in the two electoral areas.
Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “Even though we were down to one Inspector for six months in 2012, that’s more than three times the number of Stop Work Orders issued during the same time last year. In many cases, it’s simply the oversight by the property owner, who has undertaken the work themselves. Our staff proactively enforces the Building Bylaw and administers the BC Building Code. They also respond to complaints from residents about unpermitted construction and renovation projects.”
Smith adds, “Basically, building permits are required for construction and renovations of any structure, including fireplace installations, sewer systems, fences and outbuildings and Inspections are required to approve various stages of construction. The fees for building permits range according to the size and type of structure.”
“Ensuring compliance with the BC Building Code and Regional District Building Bylaw” Smith says, “is in everyone’s best interest. It makes sure that all structures, construction and renovations are done in a safe manner. Homeowners that don’t follow the permitting process could find themselves facing insurance and other issues down the road.”
Any property owner in either electoral area that has questions about building permits, new construction or renovations and inspections, should contact the Regional District Fire and Inspection Services staff at 250-469-6211 who will guide them through the process or visit regionaldistrict.com for information and links to the Building Bylaw and related information including a detailed checklist of items that will be reviewed during building inspections.
(September 19, 2013)
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Fuel Modification Continues in Rose Valley Regional Park
Over the coming months a small fuel modification project will continue in a section of Rose Valley Regional Park.
During the past year, as crews have been available, the BC Wildfire Management Branch has been working in a two-hectare portion of the park off 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 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 and 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 email@example.com or call 250-469-6232.
(September 12, 2013)
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'My Dog Matters' - Licensing Your Dog Brings Rewards
There are rewards in store for dog owners in the Central Okanagan that have licensed their pet.
Each owner of a dog with a valid 2013 Regional District dog license will be automatically enrolled in the new ‘My Dog Matters’ Responsible Dog Owner Rewards program.
Once you receive your special ‘My Dog Matters’ rewards card in the mail, you can start using it to receive various discounts and benefits offered by participating businesses.
The variety of businesses and links to their rewards can be found on the MyDogMatters.ca website. That`s also where you`ll find a link to licence information for dog owners have haven`t yet purchased a dog tag. And we`ll continue to add new businesses that wish to take part in the program.
Communications Officer Bruce Smith says “The first principle of being a responsible dog owner in the Central Okanagan is licensing your pet. We believe that most dog owners in our region are responsible and don`t require much interaction with our Dog Service staff. Since these dog owners are doing the right thing and following our bylaw requirement for purchasing a licence and renewing it each year, they will have an opportunity to receive rewards and get something back from the businesses participating in the program.”
Over the course of a year, these benefits can add up to savings for a dog owner, compared with the $20 fee to licence a spayed or neutered dog and $60 if the dog hasn`t been fixed.
Smith adds, “Besides the benefits of `My Dog Matters', licensing your dog can be your dog`s ticket home in the event that it gets away. If your licensed dog is found or reported to Dog Service staff at the Weddell Place pound, they may be able to facilitate a reunion without you having to make a trip to the facility.”
As well as providing funds for the Dog Service and operation of the pound, license fees contribute to the $60,000 in funding provided by the Regional District to the Kelowna branch of the BC SPCA for its spay/neuter and public education programs.
Smith reminds Central Okanagan dog owners that starting in January 2014, the Regional District will follow a zero tolerance for any dog found without a licence. “We’re currently reviewing and revising our Dog bylaw and one of the changes that will be recommended to the Regional Board will be increased fines for unlicensed dogs. That will make the annual cost of a licence and the ‘My Dog Matters’ rewards card that much more of a benefit.”
This is one step in a multi-faceted program underway by the Regional District to encourage and support responsible dog ownership and licensing in the Central Okanagan.
Dog licenses may be purchased in person at any local government office in the Central Okanagan and the SPCA branch in Kelowna. Locations are available in the Dog section of the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/dogs. That’s where you’ll find other information about the Regional Dog service and what to do if you lose or find a dog.
(August 1, 2013)
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org