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Audio is available for Regional District Board and Governance and Service Committee meetings - MP3 files will be available in the days following a Regional Board and Governance and Services Committee meeting.  Please select the appropriate Board meeting date file or Governance and Services Committee meeting date file to link to the Audio MP3 file for that meeting.  To listen you may require the free Windows Media Player.


 

Volunteers in Parks Information Meeting

If you’re a people person and a regular visitor to our Regional Parks, you may want to consider becoming a VIP Trail Patroller.

Find out how you can become involved in the Volunteers in Parks program at an Information meeting Wednesday, May 11th starting at 7:00 pm at the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan (EECO), 2363A Springfield Road in Kelowna.

This program is starting its third year and is perfect for people who like being outdoors and like to learn and share interesting information about our regional parks as a park ambassador. Our VIP Trail Patrollers are additional eyes and ears in our parks and provide Parks staff with information to help them maintain trails and facilities so that everyone has the best experience possible every time they visit a Regional Park.

Training, identification and other materials will be provided for successful applicants who must be at least 19 years of age and willing to commit to visit a regional park at least once a week.

For more information on the May 11th meeting or the VIP Trail Patroller program visit regionaldistrict.com/parksVIP or drop-in or call the EECO at 250-469-6140.

(May 2, 2016)

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'Explore Your Parks'

Here’s a great opportunity to get outside and active and ‘Explore Your Parks’.

Join an interpreter as we learn about the special features of various regional parks.  Please wear appropriate clothing and sun protection and bring along some water and a snack.  These free outings 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

Each event require pre-registration and takes place on the following dates and locations:

  • Saturday, May 7th at 10:00 am and Thursday, May 12th at 1:00 pm we’ll ‘Discover Spring’ and note the flora and fauna living within Rose Valley Regional Park.  You’ll learn about the plants and animals that make the Okanagan their home!
  • Saturday, June 11th at 10:00 am and Thursday, June 16th at 1:00 pm we’ll learn about the fish habitat at the Hall Rd ponds. ‘Fishing Fun will be had by all as we explore the Hall Road area trails through Mission Creek Regional Park.  Fishing rods will be available for you to try your luck.

To register your family for these free events, or other ‘Explore Your Parks’ events, please stop by the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan, email eeco@cord.bc.ca or phone 250-469-6139.  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.

(May 2, 2016)

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'Families in Parks'

Get the whole family active and celebrating the season outdoors in one of your Regional Parks!

Join Regional Parks staff as they provide some free activities for the entire family at our ‘Families in Parks’ events.  Activities take place between 10:00 am and 11:30 am and require pre-registration.

  • Sunday, May 8th enjoy ‘Fish, Bugs and Flowers’ at Shannon Lake Regional Park, off Shannon Lake Road in West Kelowna.  Bring Mom along on her special day to experience spring in the park and see the bouquet of wildflowers that Mother Nature has on display.
  • Sunday, June 19th celebrate Father’s day and ‘Go Fishin’ at Shannon Lake Regional Park, just off Shannon Lake Road in West Kelowna.  It’s a final opportunity for youngsters age 15 and under to try catching a small rainbow trout stocked in the special fishing area in Shannon Lake, stocked by our friends at the Summerland Trout Hatchery and Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC!

To register your family for these free events, or other ‘Families in Parks’ events, please drop in to the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan, email eeco@cord.bc.ca or phone 250-469-6139.

(May 2, 2016)

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Glen Canyon Reopens -  Greenway Underpasses Closed

A portion of Glen Canyon Regional Park is open again now that water levels in Powers Creek have dropped.

The trail from Brown Road south to the parking area off Gellatly Road had been closed since April 20th because of flooding.   Minor damage to the trail has been repaired and the area is again accessible for visitors.

While Mission Creek water levels have also dropped slightly over the past week, for safety reasons the underpasses along the Mission Creek Greenway at the Casorso Road bridge and on the south side of Mission Creek at the Gordon Drive bridge remain closed until further notice due to the unpredictability of the spring runoff.   

Pedestrians and cyclists of the Greenway are asked to use caution and only cross Casorso Road and Gordon Drive when it is safe.  Motorists are also asked to watch for Greenway users who may be crossing the road in these areas while the underpasses are closed.

Regional Parks staff is monitoring creek levels along the entire length of the Mission Creek Greenway Regional Park recreational corridor and throughout other regional parks. 

People are reminded that water levels in area creeks may rise unexpectedly and they, children and pets should stay safely back from creek banks, which may be slippery or subject to erosion from the spring runoff.

Boaters and those using Okanagan Lake boat launches are advised to watch for floating debris that may enter the lake as a result of the runoff.

(April 29, 2016)

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Emergency Preparedness Week - Is Your Family Ready?

What are you doing this Sunday, May 1st?  That’s the first day of Emergency Preparedness Week across the country.  It would be a good opportunity for your family to update or make a plan for how you’d deal with a large scale emergency.

Experience has shown it’s only a matter of time until you or someone you know will be impacted by an emergency.   Last year, wildfires forced several hundred property owners from their homes in the Joe Rich and north Westside Road areas.   Some were prepared, while others were left to scramble when evacuation orders were issued. 

The Central Okanagan’s Regional Emergency Program Coordinator says preparing in advance, helps to reduce the inevitable stress that rises should you get a knock at the door advising to leave your home.

Deputy Kelowna Fire Chief Travis Whiting adds, “Know the Risks, Make a Plan and Get a Kit.  We continue to promote three steps to preparedness.  In our area, with the risk of interface fires, it’s important for you and your family to know what you would do if you have to evacuate your home.  The better you are prepared, the better we can support you and any resident that is impacted.”

Says Whiting, “Emergency Preparedness Week is the perfect opportunity to sit down and talk about what you’ll do if you’re affected by an emergency.    Review your family emergency plan and think about how your family will communicate with each other if you are in different locations or are separated.” 

“You should” he says, “be prepared to cope on your own for at least 72 hours during an emergency, as emergency responders and rescue workers will be dealing with the immediate threats.  Update and refresh your family’s emergency ‘Grab and Go’ kit.  It should be easy to carry and contain important documents, medications, clothing and personal equipment to meet the basic needs for each member of your family.  And don’t forget to include your pets or family members requiring special considerations.”

Start by visiting the Central Okanagan Regional Emergency Program website www.cordemergency.ca.  You can subscribe to receive email information updates whenever the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) is activated.  Whenever any new information is released including detailed maps showing areas under evacuation alerts and orders, subscribers receive real time notices.  You can also follow us on via Facebook (www.facebook.com/CORDEmergency) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/CO_Emerg).

The cordemergency.ca website also has links to the wealth of emergency planning information available through the provincial Prepared BC and federal GetPrepared.ca programs.  A selection of emergency preparedness pamphlets is available at the Regional District of Central Okanagan office (1450 KLO Road in Kelowna) and the main Kelowna Fire Hall (2255 Enterprise Way).

(April 28, 2016)

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`Go Fish` Youth Urban Fishery Celebrates 10th Year

The Regional District’s ‘Go Fish’ program is celebrating its 10th anniversary each weekend until June 12th at Shannon Lake Regional Park, just off Shannon Lake Road in West Kelowna and the Hall Road pond in Mission Creek Regional Park.

From 10:00 am to 3:00 pm each Saturday and Sunday, youngsters 15 years of age and under will be able to fish at each location for 25 - 30 centimeter long rainbow trout and are allowed to keep one each day, without a fishing license.   Staff from the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC will be at the fishing locations each Saturday while on Sunday’s RDCO Parks Services staff will be on hand.  Staff from the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC will be at the fishing locations each Saturday while on Sunday’s RDCO Parks Services staff will be on hand.  Volunteers from the two local outdoor recreation partners will also help, with equipment and expert fishing guidance for youngsters as they try their luck.

Again this year the ‘Families in Parks’ program offers a ‘Go Fishing with Dad’ event on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 19th from 10:00 – 11:30 am at Shannon Lake Regional Park.  The same regulations apply as the ‘Go Fish’ program.

RDCO Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “The ‘Go Fish’ program may be the first opportunity many youngsters have to experience what can become a lifelong pastime.  This program is one of the best attended and garners incredible participation each and every year.  Thousands of youngsters from across the Central Okanagan have had the exhilaration of catching their first fish through ‘Go Fish’.  None of this would be possible without the tremendous support and dedication over the past decade from our partner volunteers with Peachland Sportsmen’s Association, the Kelowna and District Fish and Game ClubFreshwater Fisheries Society of BC, the Summerland Trout Hatchery and the Ministry of Environment.   Thanks to them, a new generation has had the opportunity to experience this lifelong sport.”

“If you plan to join us during any of the ‘Go Fish’ or special fishing event weekends” Smith says, “please respect our park neighbours by parking only in the designated areas or where directed by staff. While participants age 15 and under are not required to have a fishing license for this program we ask that they bring their own fishing equipment if possible, as a limited number of rods and reels are available to borrow at each site.”

(Updated May 2, 2016)

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Water Quality Advisory for Falcon Ridge Customers

The Regional District of Central Okanagan has issued a precautionary Water Quality Advisory for residents served by the Falcon Ridge Water System in the Central Okanagan East Electoral Area.

The advisory affects approximately 55 properties connected to the community water system off Highway 33.   Increased turbidity in the water system source has resulted in water quality that might impact children, the elderly or those with weakened immune systems.  Roadside sign notices are in place to let residents know about the precautionary Water Quality Advisory.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “While the health risk is modest and no bacteria have been found in any of the water from the system tested, after consulting with Interior Health, Regional District staff recommends as a precaution that Falcon Ridge water customers follow Interior Health guidelines especially for those with weakened immune systems, the elderly, children and those wishing additional precautions.   All water intended for drinking, washing fruit and vegetables, making beverages, ice or brushing teeth should be boiled for at least one minute or customers should use a safe alternative to water from the tap such as bottled or distilled water.”

This precautionary water quality advisory affecting the Falcon Ridge Water System will continue until further notice.

For more detail and information visit the Regional District website water system webpage (regionaldistrict.com/water) or contact RDCO Environmental Services at engineer@cord.bc.ca or 250-469-6241.  To subscribe online for Regional District water quality advisories or alerts by email visit regionaldistrict.com/water.

(April 22, 2016)

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Boil Water Notice for Star Place Water Customers

After consulting with Interior Health, the Regional District of Central Okanagan is upgrading a previously issued Water Quality Advisory and has issued a Boil Water Notice for residents served by the Star Place Water System in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area off Trepanier Road.  The system services approximately eight properties.

Due to higher water levels and flows from spring runoff, turbidity in the water system source has resulted in a poor turbidity water rating.  The health risk posed to particularly at risk populations such as newborns, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems increases as turbidity levels rise.  Turbidity can interfere with disinfection, limiting chlorine’s ability to remove or inactivate viruses, bacteria and parasites.  Current turbidity levels exceed the standard recommended in the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.

Until further notice it’s recommend that all Star Place water customers drink boiled water or a safe alternative. Water intended for drinking, washing fruit and vegetables, mixing baby formula, making beverages or ice, or brushing teeth should be brought to a rolling boil for at least one minute.

Until the Boil Water Notice is rescinded Interior Health recommends the following water purification procedures:

  1. Bring water to a rolling boil for one minute or,
  2. Disinfect water by adding two drops (.1 ml) of unscented household bleach per litre of warm water (double the bleach for cloudy water) and let stand for at least 30 minutes before drinking.  You should notice a slight chlorine smell after 30 minutes.  If you don’t, add another two drops and let the water stand for another 15 minutes.

This Boil Water Notice will be rescinded when turbidity levels return to normal operating levels within acceptable Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water quality.

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

(April 21, 2016)

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Spring Runoff Safety and Flood Precautions

Creeks throughout the Central Okanagan are on the rise thanks to the sunshine and high daytime temperatures.   While the low and mid-elevation snowpack has pretty much melted the higher than normal upper elevation snow levels are starting their descent.

At the present time there are no areas of concern, however if the warm weather is combined with heavy rains, the risk of above average creek levels and potential flooding could rise.  

Local governments and the BC Ministry of Environment continue to monitoring water levels and weather conditions connected to the annual spring runoff and if needed the BC River Forecast Centre will issue advisories, watches and warnings. 

In the meantime, Central Okanagan property owners who’ve had flooding issues in the past should consider protecting their property and reducing the risk of damage from potential flooding.

Those living near creeks, streams and low-lying flood-prone areas and with lakefront properties are responsible for having a plan as well as the tools and equipment necessary to protect their properties from possible flood damage.

Stockpiles of sandbags are available at many local fire halls in the Central Okanagan for residents experiencing a flood on their property.  At this time, property owners are responsible for providing their own sand to fill the bags.  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 Be Prepared page of the Regional District Emergency Program website www.cordemergency.ca and on the Prepared BC website.

Residents should be aware that area creeks are rising and water is flowing faster.  At this time of year, please use caution around all local water bodies.  People are reminded that water levels may rise unexpectedly and they and their pets should stay safely back from creek banks, which may be slippery or subject to erosion from the spring runoff.  Boaters are also advised to be on the look-out for floating debris carried into area lakes from rising and faster flowing tributaries.

In the event of an emergency and activation of the Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), the latest information will be available online at the EOC Public Information website www.cordemergency.ca and via Facebook (www.facebook.com/CORDEmergency) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/CO_Emerg).   Central Okanagan residents are encouraged to subscribe on the website to receive email notifications from the Emergency Program.

(April 19, 2016)

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Crime Stoppers Launches New, Mobile-friendly Website

Thirty years ago on April 13th, 1987 the internationally recognized community-based crime solving Crime Stoppers program was launched in Kelowna. Over a year later, on September 15, 1988 the program was expanded to encompass all of the Central Okanagan laying the groundwork to become the program it is today.

How tips are anonymously reported and information is shared from and with the public has evolved over the last three decades. Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers new website provides more crime prevention, crime solving and community awareness options for the visitor. We encourage you to explore www.crimestoppers.net

Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers empowers citizens to fight back against crime without fear of reprisal. To date, the local program has received over 23,526 completely anonymous tips by phone, text or online web tip. The new mobile-friendly website offers quick access to Report an Anonymous Tip; view or share those who are Most Wanted; read Unsolved Crimes; review Missing Persons or Volunteer and Donate to the Crime Stoppers Society. On the Hot Rec’s page, you can check the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on a potential purchase to ensure it is legitimate.

Gerry Guiltenane, Crime Stoppers Coordinator says, “We’re very pleased with how the new website has developed. It’s more interactive and will enable the public to see what crimes are occurring in their community and share that information with others. The new features on our website will allow residents to report anonymously on unsolved crimes and wanted persons and contribute to help stop, solve and prevent crimes”.

Provincially, Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers is recognized as a successful, award winning community-based crime solving program working in conjunction with the police, the media and the public to help make our communities safer places to live. Locally, Crime Stoppers is supported by two core partners: the Regional District of Central Okanagan and the Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers Society. Weldon LeBlanc, 1st Vice President with the Society adds, “The new website is very refreshing and enables Crime Stoppers to get messaging out to our citizens so that they can contribute in keeping our homes and communities safe from crime”.

We invite you to check-out www.crimestoppers.net and be inspired to help prevent and solve crimes within the Central Okanagan.

(April 15, 2016)

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2016 - 2020 Financial Plan Approved

The Regional Board has adopted the Five-Year Financial Plan for 2016 – 2020.  The 2016 budget totals just over $63.1-million compared with $59.4-million during 2015. 

  • 46.34% is Operating Expenses ($29.2-million)
  • 47.03% is Debt ($29.7-million including Municipal Finance Authority payments on behalf of partner municipalities and the Okanagan Regional Library)
  • 6.64% is Transfers to Capital and Reserves ($4.2-million) for future infrastructure and capital projects

Board Chair Gail Given says, “The Regional Board fully supports our new Financial Plan which provides the continued effective and efficient delivery of high quality services on behalf of all Central Okanagan residents.  The Regional District budget is a complex process, quite different from that of local municipalities.  This year’s budget was much easier to understand and has been presented in a way that’s more friendly and useful to the public.  We’re also proud of the increased opportunities that were provided to residents this year to share their comments and thoughts with the Board.”

The tax impacts on the average home assessed at $499,000 in 2015:

Member

2016
Assessment

 

Total Tax per House

 

Net Incr / (Decr) on the home from 2015

Kelowna

$537,000

$178.10

$2.87

Peachland

$517,000

$198.65

($9.59)

Lake Country

$524,000

$197.14

($3.95)

West Kelowna

$528,000

$192.18

($0.23)

C.O. West

$512,000

$619.02

 $96.73

C.O. East

$536,000

$506.37

 $45.28

The general decreases in the Regional District portion of taxes for the average property owner in Kelowna, Lake Country, Peachland and West Kelowna is based on each municipality’s adjusted participation in the new Five Year Fringe Area Planning agreements resulting in reductions in funding for the Electoral Area Planning function.  As a result, there is a substantial increase in requisitions for this service for the average property owner in each of the electoral areas as the municipalities are reducing their share of the costs of providing this service.  Partial contributions to Electoral Area Planning provides the municipalities with the ability to vote on some defined land use applications within a determined Fringe Planning Area adjacent to each municipality.  It should be noted that in 2015, the Electoral Areas benefitted from a large decrease in taxes when the municipalities opted in as full participants in Electoral Area Planning.

The Financial Plan provides $11.5-million in various Capital project spending this year including just over $3-million for a major upgrade to the Killiney Beach Water System of which $1.9-million is funded through a Canada-BC Small Communities Fund grant.

The Financial Plan also outlines proposed operating budgets for the following four years: 

  • 2017 - $61.5-million
  • 2018 - $61.7-million
  • 2019 - $55-million
  • 2020 - $51- million

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. 

The Regional District provides approximately 80 different services across the Central Okanagan.  The actual tax rate varies from neighbourhood to neighbourhood and municipality, depending on the local services provided by the Regional District.

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 in those municipalities. (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 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.  The owner of an average home assessed at $533,000 in 2016 ($499,000 in 2015) will contribute $177.44 towards capital improvements and new health equipment.  That’s the same amount as last year.

The Regional Hospital District is funding more than $13.3-million this year in capital projects.  More than $3.9-million is being contributed towards the new Interior Heart and Surgical Centre including 100% of the construction costs of the 4th floor Perinatal unit which opened earlier in March.  As well, an additional $1.5-million will be spent this year to purchase of new equipment for the laboratory at Kelowna General Hospital.  In addition, the Hospital District will contribute $2-million for improvements to the Community Health Services Centre in Kelowna.    

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 31, 2016)

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Dog Owners - Don't Leave Anything Behind

Parks, pedestrian corridors, sidewalks and boulevards across the Central Okanagan are busy places now that winter is moving towards spring.

As the days get longer, dog owners preparing to head out the door to exercise with their best friend are reminded to leash up and put a poop bag or two in their pocket, just in case!

Regional District of Central Okanagan Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “There’s no snow to hide any dog poop and even though no one may be watching, you still have to pick it up.  Picking up and properly disposing of your dog’s poop is your responsibility and is just doing the right thing in public areas we all share.”

“Dog feces can be a health hazard,” Smith adds “and it only takes a few dog owners not picking up in public places to negatively reflect on all dog owners.  As well, please don’t leave your bagged poop beside park trails or sidewalks or hanging in a bush.  That’s just doing half the job.  Please drop it in the nearest garbage can or take it home and properly dispose of it there.” 

Some parks and walkways offer ‘take a bag, leave a bag’ dispensers for dog owners. Dog owners are encouraged to keep an eye out for them, contribute bags to them if they can and if needed, take bags from them, then toss the bagged contents into the garbage.  

Dog owners caught failing to pick up after their pet could face a fine of $150. 

All dog owners in the Central Okanagan are reminded that they must have a 2016 license or they’ll be subject to a fine of $300 under the Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw.  There is Zero Tolerance for unlicensed dogs in the Central Okanagan.

Licenses can be purchased online at regionaldistrict.com/doglicense or at the Regional District office (1450 KLO Road); at the Dog Pound (890 Weddell Place); each municipal government office and at the Kelowna branch of the SPCA (3785 Casorso Road).

One of the benefits of licensing a dog is the My Dog Matter rewards program.  The card can be used for discounts and special services at more than 50 businesses listed on the mydogmatters.ca program website.  Another incentive is that dogs with a current license get a one-time, free ticket home, should they end up at the Dog Pound.

Owners are reminded that if their dog gets away they should contact the Dog Pound as quickly as possible as the Regional District is only required to hold a dog for up to 72 hours.

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.

(March 10, 2016)

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Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw Changes

For the first time since it was adopted in early 2014, some changes have been made to the Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw. 

The bylaw encourages and supports dog owners to be responsible by licensing each year and controlling their dog at all times in order to reduce potential conflicts with people and other animals. 

The Regional Board adopted amendments to the bylaw at its meeting Monday evening.

Updates to the bylaw include an increase in the number of dogs allowed per dwelling.  Owners may now have three licensed dogs.  Previously they were restricted to a maximum of two.  Many other jurisdictions allow more than two dogs (Fraser Valley Regional District, Capital Regional District, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Calgary) and since the bylaw was adopted, some Central Okanagan residents have requested an increase for a variety of reasons.

In addition, there is now an opportunity for owners of nuisance and aggressive dogs to have a second chance and have those designations removed after a period of time.  A nuisance dog without any infractions for a year will have the designation eliminated, while an aggressive dog without any incidents for three years will have the designation removed.  

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “We recognize that in some cases where an incident has occurred resulting in either a nuisance or aggressive designation, the owner has taken steps to better understand their dog’s behaviour and control their pet.  As better informed dog guardians, these owners have become more responsible and are ensuring further incidents don’t take place.”

Other amendments to the bylaw include increased annual license fees for dogs deemed nuisance ($40 spayed/neutered - $80 unaltered), aggressive ($100 spayed/neutered - $140 unaltered) and dangerous ($500) and increased fines for dogs at large or failing to leash in public places and in parks that are not designated off-leash.  As well, fines and impound maintenance fees have been increased for violations affecting owners of dangerous dogs.

“Dogs at large and unleashed cause the majority of complaints” says Smith, “including attacks on people and other animals.  Enforcement and holding the owner responsible is critical to ensuring public safety.”

Smith adds, “We’re encouraged by the actions shown by dog owners across the Central Okanagan.  They are recognizing the benefits of licensing their dog each year.  Heading into 2016, more than 21,700 dogs were licensed.  That’s up more than ten thousand from 2011.  And we’re continuing to see more dog owners take the first step in responsible dog ownership by licensing their dog each year.”  All dogs in the Central Okanagan must be licensed.

“As was identified in the detailed Dog Control Service Review in 2012 and since the introduction of the Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw two years ago,” Smith says, “we’re continuing to encourage and support responsible dog owners, while holding them accountable for fulfilling their responsibilities by not creating difficulties for others in the community or placing anyone at risk of harm.”

Dog licenses can be renewed until February 29th without a $20 late fee online at www.regionaldistrict.com/doglicense.  New licenses can also be purchased online or in person at any local government office, the Regional Dog Pound (890 Weddell Place), any local government office or the Kelowna branch of the SPCA.

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

(February 24, 2016)

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Burn Cleaner, Reduce Smoke and Save Money

A $250 rebate is a great incentive for anyone planning to replace their old wood burning appliance with a new cleaner burning unit.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan Air Quality Wood Stove Exchange program is once again offering rebates thanks to a grant from the B.C. government in partnership with the BC Lung Association.  The $250 rebate is available while funds last for those people purchasing a new, cleaner burning EPA/CSA certified appliance (wood, pellet, electric or gas burning hearth product) and recycling their old, polluting wood burning appliance. Participating Central Okanagan retailers will take care of recycling your old stove and provide all the necessary paperwork for the rebates.   View Program Poster

Air Quality Coordinator Nancy Mora Castro says, “Through the program over the last five years, we’ve exchanged 244 old, inefficient, smoke-belching wood stoves in the Central Okanagan.  That’s resulted in 61 fewer tons of particulate matter (PM) and more than 88 tons of carbon monoxide (CO) from polluting our air each year.”

She adds, “Smoke from residential wood burning produces particulate matter that affects the health of our residents and contributes to poor local air quality. Those particulates are small enough to get into our lungs leading to respiratory diseases such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema and to various forms of heart disease. Many valley homes are still equipped with inefficient conventional wood stoves or heat their homes with open hearth fireplaces. Replacing those with a natural gas unit will be ideal, but if they have to burn wood then a newer, cleaner-burning certified technology is the right choice,” she says “homeowners could burn a third less wood while cutting smoke emissions by up to 90%.  That’ll help us all breathe a little easier.”

In addition to the $250 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 for the entire year, so be sure to check with your local retailer for more information.  To take part in the program, visit one of the participating retailers in the Regional District of Central Okanagan, or contact the Regional Air Quality Program for more information.  A list of participating retailers can be found at regionaldistrict.com/airquality.

(January 19, 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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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)