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Burning Fire Hazard Debris Today
The Regional District of Central Okanagan advises that with good air quality and venting conditions today (Wednesday, March 29th) a controlled burn is underway in a portion of Black Mountain / sntsk‘il’ntən Regional Park (sinch-KEEL-en-tin). Open burning is allowed today for those eligible Central Okanagan property owners with permits from their local fire authority.
Fire hazard debris collected as part of a five-hectare fuel modification project in the park is being burned when weather conditions are favourable. The park located on the east slopes just outside Kelowna is closed to the public. The fuel management work is part of the ongoing effort to prepare it for future access.
Today’s burning has been authorized with appropriate permits for fire fuel hazard reduction. All local fire departments and local media have been advised of today’s activity in the park and will be notified when further burning takes place.
For more information visit the Regional District Parks Services webpage regionaldistrict.com/parks, email email@example.com or call 250-469-6232.
(March 29, 2017)
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Roll and Stroll
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, April 6th and continuing weekly until May 25th, 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.
The program is free, but registration is required by calling the EECO at 250-469-6139 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
(March 29, 2017)
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2017 - 2021 Financial Plan Adopted
The Regional Board has adopted the Five-Year Financial Plan for 2017 – 2021. The 2017 budget totals just over $64.7-million compared with $63.2-million during 2016. (Link to Budget Details)
- 45.77% is Operating Expenses ($29.7-million)
- 46.57% is Debt ($30-million including Municipal Finance Authority payments on behalf of partner municipalities and the Okanagan Regional Library)
- 7.66% is Transfers to Capital and Reserves ($4.95-million) for future infrastructure and capital projects
Board Chair Gail Given says, “There’s good news for most average homeowners in the region as the Financial Plan sees decreases in the Regional District portion of their tax bills. We’ve been able to accomplish this with an increase of less than 1.5% in total operating expenses over 2016 while including $15.9-million for important Capital and infrastructure improvement projects. We’re also preparing for the future by increasing the amounts transferred to Capital and Reserves by 14.5% over last year. It’s important that we continue building reserves to minimize debt. Since 2008, thanks to prudent financial planning and leveraging grants from our senior levels of government and other agencies the Regional District has overseen more than $98-million in capital spending requiring just $5.2-million in long-term debt.”
The tax impacts for general services on the average home that was assessed at $539,000 in 2016 are shown below. Market value increases varied by area from 2016 to 2017. The actual tax rate varies from neighbourhood to neighbourhood and municipality, depending on the local services provided by the Regional District.
Total Tax per House
Net Incr / (Decr) on the home from 2015
There’s a general decrease in the Regional District portion of taxes for the average property owner in Kelowna, Peachland, West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West electoral areas. The slight increase in the Regional District portion of taxes for the average Lake Country property owner is due to increased growth. If the home went up or down by more than the average market value, the change would be greater or lower than the average.
The Regional District does not collect taxes directly. It requisitions funds from each local government on behalf of their residents and the Province which collects property taxes in each Electoral Area.
Chair Given adds, “Preparing the Regional District budget is quite different from that of local municipalities. Regional District’s don’t have just one tax rate. There are more than 80 individual services provided and paid for by different combinations of taxpayers. Some services are region-wide, some are provided sub-regionally while others are only provided to property owners in the electoral areas. Each program budget’s revenue, expenses, reserves, surpluses or deficits must be kept separate. It’s a complex process that once again our Financial Services team has been able to easily explain. The Board is pleased that a number of people seized the opportunity to come forward and make their comments known during the three open, budget meetings held this year.”
The member municipalities of Kelowna, Lake Country, Peachland and West Kelowna receive regional services such as Economic Development, Regional Parks, Dog Control, 9-1-1 and Regional Rescue. These services account for a relatively small share (5.5-6%) of the total average tax bill for property owners ranging from just over $176 in Kelowna to almost $205 in Lake Country. (See table above – Total Tax per House)
The Regional District is also the local government for residents in the two electoral areas providing them with services such as Planning, four paid-on-call fire departments and six water systems that connect almost 1,000 properties.
The Westbank First Nation (WFN) also receives several services from the Regional District such as Regional Parks, Regional Rescue, Economic Development and the Okanagan Basin Water Board. Cost sharing for Regional District services is based on the assessed value of properties.
The Financial Plan also outlines proposed operating budgets for the following four years:
- 2018 - $62.9-million
- 2019 - $55.9-million
- 2020 - $52-million
- 2021 - $51.3- million
The Five-Year Financial Plan for the Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District (CORHD) was also adopted. Each year, ratepayers within the Hospital District contribute 40% of the funds for approved capital and equipment services. Chair Given says, “The good news is there’s no increase for the average homeowner in the Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District budget this year. They’ll contribute $180.29 towards capital improvements and new health equipment in order to ensure continued quality healthcare.”
She adds, “By leaving the tax rate at zero and increasing the requisition to account for growth, we’re able to position the Hospital Board to respond to future needs that might arise and leave a legacy by reducing the future debt load. That makes a difference to the health of our community and benefits the economy by helping to attract people to live and work in the Central Okanagan.”
Central Okanagan property owners may be eligible for the Provincial Homeowner Grant. Information will be available on your Property Tax Notice or you can visit the Ministry of Finance website: www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/individuals/Property_Taxes/Home_Owner_Grant/hog.htm
Some property owners may qualify for assistance through the BC Property Tax Deferment Program. Information about this program and who qualifies is available on the BC Government website: www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/individuals/Property_Taxes/Property_Tax_Deferment/ptd.htm
(March 28, 2017)
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Volunteers Tackle Backwoods Mess for Community Clean Up
This weekend marks the kick off to Community Clean-Up Month-- and to mark the occasion a crew of enthusiastic volunteers will head to a popular recreation corridor to clean up garbage-- left behind by a careless few. And they’re challenging you to do the same—to take even a small portion of your day to do a clean-up in your own neighborhood.
The clean-up kickoff event is an annual one, organized in a new locale each year by the Regional District Waste Reduction office. Every spring it offers bags and gloves for clean ups, plus will pick up the garbage you collect when you’re done with your cleanup project.
Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart says Community Clean Up has been held every April for over 20 years, and is used to highlight the problem of illegal dumping plus act as a springboard for positive clean up initiatives for groups or individuals. ”The clean- up planned for this weekend will tackle a lot of debris that should not be there in the first place, even a few burned out camper trailers. We’ll be putting out a lot of elbow grease to leave the great outdoors the way it should be, pristine. And sending a message to those who dump and litter, that it’s not ok.”
Stewart adds, “Over the years, literally thousands of residents have participated in Community Clean ups in our Region, logging thousands of volunteer hours-everyone from school and church groups, to Brownies, Cubs, service organizations, businesses, families, co-workers, and friends. It’s a remarkable outpouring of community pride and spirit!”
The Saturday morning clean-up blitz will target Bartley Road in West Kelowna, near the trail head to the McDougall Rim Forestry Trails, a popular area for local recreationists. Saturday’s cleanup crew will consist of a number of different groups and organizations, including over 50 volunteers from Shaw, a handful of residents from the area, as well as dozens of members on the newly formed Okanagan Forestry Task Force who have come to specialize in backwoods clean-up efforts. Dumpster services for the day are being provided free of charge by “The Dump Truck Disposal” and ABC Recycling is assisting with metal recycling of some burned out hulks left behind in the bush.
Shaw Spokesperson Brittany Preston says, “As a company, we wanted to give back to the community that supports us, while making a positive impact on the environment. We pride ourselves on building meaningful relationships within the communities that we support and teaming up with the RDCO for this community clean-up is one exciting way that we’d like to give back. The Shaw Team finds the rewards from volunteering for an initiative like this tremendous. Our local Community Investment Team identifies opportunities for Shaw volunteers to engage with their communities and this clean-up will be a great way to kick off 2017!”
Groups already signed up for clean- up initiatives in the month ahead include: Inter Mountain Enterprises, Uptown Rutland Assocation, Northwestside Road Community Association, District of Lake Country and City of West Kelowna, and the Oyama Community Club.
To arrange your own 20 Minute Make Over or Community Clean Up event, get free litter bags and gloves, and arrange to have the garbage you collect picked up when you’re done; contact the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250 or email email@example.com.
If you wish to report illegal dumping on the RDCO website visit www.regionaldistrict.com/reportillegaldumping.
(March 28, 2017)
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Last Week For Composter Deals!
Here’s your chance to cut your garbage in half, be extra nice to your garden – and save money. For one more week you can pre order a backyard composter, food digester, or worm cycler-- at a reduced rate!
Until Friday March 31st, the Regional Waste Reduction Office is offering subsidized backyard composters for $35 (tax included), a big savings from the regular $80 retail price. Green Cone food digesters ($99) and worm cyclers ($80) are also available. (A limited supply of Rain barrels for sale at $75 have since sold out!)
Rae Stewart with the Regional Waste Reduction Office says backyard composting is easy, fun, and an inexpensive way to create your very own soil enhancer. “All you need is greens (nitrogen based materials, veggie or fruit scraps), browns (carbon-dry leaves or grass, even shredded newspaper), air, a little water, and eventually you get compost by letting it rot and virtually without lifting a finger. If you want to work at it a little more, you can make your own compost in a few short months!”
Stewart adds one third to one half of household waste is easily compostable. “If you recycle and compost you could be putting as little as one or two grocery bags worth of garbage out for collection a week, which equals far less waste heading to our landfill. And by adding nutrient rich compost to your garden, your soil comes alive – creating more robust plants, flowers, fruits and veggies that also require less water. Add it to your lawn for the same effect!”
Stewart says offering three varieties of composter’s increases waste reduction options for residents. “The food digester is the perfect alternative to the backyard composter if you don’t need finished compost and you’re looking for something really low maintenance. Its hassle free, can even handle pet waste, and takes all types of food waste, including fruit and vegetable scraps, cooked and uncooked meat, fish, bones and dairy products, rice, bread and pasta! The worm cycler is an ideal alternative for condo and apartment dwellers that don’t have the space for a backyard composter.”
For details on the composter sale, to place your order, view your payment options, including online, or find out more about which model is best for you, visit http://www.regionaldistrict.com/compostersale or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250.469.6250.
(March 24, 2017)
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Spring's Sprung - Time to Get 'Active Okanagan'
With the arrival of the spring season, everyone in the Central Okanagan is encouraged to get outside and explore our fantastic Regional Park system.
Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “We’ve got trails suitable for people of any age, fitness and mobility. And in support of our region’s aging demographic, we’ve created a new booklet: ‘Active Okanagan – Be outside; be involved; be engaged’.”
The 40-page, full colour publication fits easily into a backpack and highlights outdoor parks and trails for people of any age.
Smith says, “The user-friendly ‘Active Okanagan’ booklet showcases 15 regional parks in every area of the Central Okanagan. Each offers easily accessible amenities, activities and opportunities for seniors and people with reduced mobility to get out and enjoy the outdoors. It also has information about our Visitor Services program and the non-profit Community Recreational Initiatives Society or CRIS, whose volunteers provide inclusive, accessible recreational opportunities for many of our Regional Park programs.”
He adds, “This newly created age-friendly program compliments efforts undertaken in many Regional Parks over the past few years to improve accessibility and trail conditions; the addition of wayfinding trail signage and clearly marked trail elevation and difficulty ratings.”
The ‘Active Okanagan’ guide is available online at www.regionaldistrict.com/parks or you can pick up a copy at the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan (EECO) in Mission Creek Regional Park (Springfield and Durnin Roads), the RDCO office (1450 KLO Road) and visitor information centres.
The publication was made possible by a $20,000 grant from the Union of BC Municipalities for an Age-friendly Community Planning and Projects program through the Seniors Housing and Supportive Initiative. This assists local governments to prepare for an aging population and create age-friendly communities.
For more information about Regional Parks programs including our new park tour maps, visit regionaldistrict.com/parks or call the EECO at 250-469-6140.
(March 20, 2017)
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A Good Time To Prepare
The best time to create or revisit your family emergency plan is when there’s no emergency. It’s too late when there’s a knock at the door and you’re asked to leave your home.
This is the perfect opportunity to involve every family member in talking about how you’ll handle a potential evacuation. Where are important documents? What special medication will you need? What will you do with your pets? How will you communicate or meet should family members be separated? What basic supplies will you require to be self-sustaining for at least 72 hours?
These are a few of the things that will help your family respond to and cope with an emergency.
The good news is it doesn’t take long to prepare or update your family emergency plan. There are plenty of resources available to get you started. You’ll find links through the new look Central Okanagan Emergency Operations website www.cordemergency.ca. Just click on the Be Prepared image and you’ll be on your way with links to the federal or provincial emergency programs.
There you’ll find information on how to assess potential emergency risks; how to make a plan and prepare a family emergency kit that’s ready to ‘grab and go’ if needed.
For those people who’ve prepared emergency kits, this is a good time of year to make a check of everything inside. Remember to replace any water, food or special medications that may have expired. And ensure everything you’ll need for your family is in place.
While you’re on the www.cordemergency.ca website, sign up to receive email updates directly from the Emergency Operation Centre, whenever it’s activated.
March is also an opportunity for property owners who might have had issues with flooding in the past, (next to creeks and streams or with lakefront properties) to review and update their plan to prepare and protect their property from potential damage should water levels rise.
The Central Okanagan Emergency Program reminds property owners in flood prone and low-lying areas that they are responsible for having a plan as well as the tools and equipment necessary to protect their properties from possible flood damage.
Local governments and the Province are monitoring water levels and weather conditions in advance of the annual spring runoff. If needed, the BC River Forecast Centre will issue advisories, watches and warnings.
Information and pamphlets on flood preparedness including a recommended method for sandbag diking are available from the Regional District of Central Okanagan office (1450 KLO Road) and the main City of Kelowna fire hall on Enterprise Way as well as on the Prepared BC website.
Later in the spring, stockpiles of sandbags will be available at local fire halls throughout the Central Okanagan. Property owners are responsible for providing their own sand to fill the bags.
In the event of an emergency and activation of the Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), the latest information will be available online at www.cordemergency.ca and via Facebook (www.facebook.com/CORDEmergency) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/CO_Emerg).
(March 10, 2017)
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4th Quarter Video Highlights
The final three months of 2016 saw the Regional District of Central Okanagan saw many programs and activities underway.
This short video provides highlights of various services including the start of construction on a multi-million dollar water improvement project, completion of two projects to increase safety in two regional parks and crime prevention efforts to reduce rising bicycle thefts across the region. View on the RDCO Youtube Channel
The video was presented to the Regional Board at its meeting February 23rd, 2017.
(February 27, 2017)
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March 1st - Yard Waste Pickup Back
Gardening may be far from your mind with all the snow still covering the ground, but nevertheless, yard waste collection is back on! The first pickup of the season is also a great opportunity for anyone who may have stockpiled leaves and garden pruning’s’ from last fall to get them into the yard waste bin and out to the curb for disposal.
Starting next Wednesday, March 1st all residents on municipal curbside garbage collection will benefit from yard waste pick up every two weeks until the end of November.
Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart says, “All the yard waste collected curbside is then composted, and used again as a valuable soil enhancer--so it’s important to keep it free of any plastic, garbage or other foreign matter.” Stewart adds last year alone the program collected over 15,000 tonnes of yard waste at the curb and turned it into high quality compost instead of it being buried at the landfill.
You’re reminded to put your yard waste out for collection by 7 am on the morning of your regular garbage day. Please make sure the lid is closed, and that you don’t put any garbage, plastic bags, rocks, sod, flower pots, landscape cloth, or kitchen scraps into the yard waste cart.
Accepted items include:
- Leaves, needles
- Wood chips, bark
- Garden plants
- Fruit droppings
- Grass clippings
- Branches and pruning’s up to 5 centimetres (2 inches) in diameter and less than one metre (3 feet) in length
Up to two additional 360 litre yard waste carts can be purchased from your municipality. For additional yard waste carts and collection options, contact your municipality or follow the links at regionaldistrict.com/recycle.
To determine your yard waste collection week, please refer to the Living Greener Calendar at regionaldistrict.com/recycle, or download the convenient free app at regionaldistrict.com/mywasteapp. This gives you the information of the Living Greener Calendar in the palm of your hand!
If you are interested in purchasing the finished compost GlenGrow from the Glenmore landfill please, visit Okanagancompost.ca or call 250-469-8868.
(February 23. 2017)
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Young North Westside Firefighter Receives Scholarship
An 18-year old North Westside Firefighter has been awarded a scholarship for his outstanding work and contributions to the community.
Nicolass Cantryn has been selected as the 2016 recipient of the North Westside Fire Rescue Society scholarship because of his outstanding talent. He began with North Westside Fire Rescue at the age of 16 as a Junior Firefighter while attending high school in Vernon. He graduated high school last spring and to coincide with that he also completed his Firefighter Recruitment training at the Vernon Fire training center.
Fire Chief Jason Satterthwaite says “Nic has proven to be a dedicated Firefighter and community member.” He adds “on his days off you will often find him at the hall cleaning up and washing fire trucks. We are very proud of this young man! He has shown a talent for first medical response and serving his community.”
“Without hesitation or delay, he has quickly put the scholarship funds to good use.” says the Society’s President Shawn Barnes. “Firefighter Cantryn has recently completed his EMR Certificate through the Justice Institute of BC. We are all proud of him at North Westside Fire Rescue as he finished top of his class!”
The non-profit North Westside Road Firefighters Society mandate is to ensure the betterment of the department and community. The group conducts fundraising activities throughout the year. Its members decided to set up a $1,000 Annual Scholarship for members of the department who are considering a professional emergency services career and wish to further their education.
Candidates provide a written application to the Society and must give a presentation to department members to explain why they should be selected. The recipient is chosen by all department members in a private ballot vote.
The North Westside Road Firefighters Society would like to thank its community and supporters for their generosity and support as this Scholarship would not be available without them. Members look forward to seeing another strong show of community support at the 2017 fundraising events at Fintry Provincial Park and La Casa’s Annual 2017 BBQ, the Society’s biggest event of the year!
(February 22, 2017)
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Financial Plan Preparations Underway - Let's Hear From You
The Regional District of Central Okanagan is preparing its 2017 – 2021 Financial Plan.
A final opportunity for your input will be provided during the Regional Board meeting at 7:00 pm Monday, March 27th prior to final consideration and adoption of the 2017 – 2021 Financial Plan.
Visit regionaldistrict.com/budgets for all meeting dates and times.
(updated March 17, 2017)
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Regional Parks Fuel Modification Projects
Over the next several months, residents may notice two fuel modification projects underway in a couple of Regional Parks.
Contracted crews have started removing dead and hazardous trees, ladder fuels and are brushing vegetation and spacing trees on a five hectare portion of Black Mountain / sntsk‘il’ntən Regional Park (sinch-KEEL-en-tin) (map). This work is taking place in cooperation with the Westbank First Nation which is partnering with the Regional District in managing the 510-hectare regional park on the eastern slopes of Kelowna and the peak of Black Mountain. The park is closed to the public and the fuel management project is part of the ongoing effort to prepare it for future access.
Collected debris for this project will be burned in accordance with Air Quality and Open Burning regulations when either open burning is allowed in the region or venting and air quality are favourable with a custom site venting forecast from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.
Once a decision is made to proceed with burning on a particular day, local fire authorities, media and neighbourhood organizations will be advised. The information will also be available on the Regional District website and Facebook page.
As well, residents are also reminded that during the winter months, when open burning is allowed, the BC Wildfire Service may burn collected debris piles in a portion of Rose Valley Regional Park above Bear Creek Road off Bowes and Pettman Roads (Map). Its crews removed hazard trees and brushing last year as part of a larger, ten-hectare multi-year fuel modification project. Please be aware that trails in this area may be temporarily closed while crews are working.
For more information visit the Regional District Parks Services webpage regionaldistrict.com/parks, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-469-6232.
(February 10, 2017)
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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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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 email@example.com.
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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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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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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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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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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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: email@example.com
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