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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.


  

Wild Walks for December - November 9, 2019

Join in on ‘Wild Walks’ and learn some secrets and natural features of various Regional Parks.   Our Park interpreter will turn an ordinary walk in the park into something extraordinary! 

Each ‘Wild Walks’ lasts approximately two hours, is suitable for all ages and range from easy to moderate.  Participants should dress for the conditions, wear appropriate sturdy footwear and consider poles and traction devices.

  • Saturday, December 7th at 10:00 am and Wednesday, December 11th at 1:00 pm learn about some of the forested features in Mission Creek Regional Park.  Meet at the parking area along Hall Road.  Poles and traction devices may be helpful.

To save a spot on these free ‘Wild Walks’ outings, please email eeco@rdco.com or phone 250-469-6140.

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

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

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More Time for Yard Waste Cleanup - November 4, 2019

You’ll have a little longer to get your yard cleaned up for fall. NEW this year, curbside yard waste collection continues until the end of December.

Bi- weekly fall yard waste pickup ends Tuesday December 31st.  That’s the last day in the Central Okanagan for the curbside yard waste pickup program until collection resumes again March 2nd, 2020. In previous years, yard waste was collected only until the end of November.

Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart with the Regional District says the additional service for local residents should come as welcome news to many. “Residents have been asking for extended yard waste service for many years now, especially in the fall where yard clean up can take a good deal of time and effort to complete. Dependent on the year and the weather, often those leaves don’t fall until very late in the season, so this will allow for a longer window to get your yard taken care of before winter.”

You’re reminded to put your yard waste out for collection by 7 am on the morning of your regular garbage day. To determine your yard waste collection week, you can refer to the Living Greener Calendar, download the handy Recycle Coach App or visit rdco.com/yardwaste

Stewart adds all the yard waste collected curbside is given new life by composting and reusing it, so it’s important to keep what you put in your cart to only yard waste. “Plastic bags, flower pots, rocks, sod, kitchen scraps or garbage, any of that will contaminate the final product and needs to be left out.  We collect close to 15 thousand tonnes of green material from the curb annually, all of that is composted and turned into the soil enhancer GlenGrow, which you can use in your garden come springtime.”

Accepted items include:

  • PUMPKINS
  • Leaves
  • Wood chips, bark
  • Pine or other tree needles
  • Garden plants
  • Grass clippings
  • Fruit droppings
  • Branches and pruning’s up to 5 centimetres (2 inches) in diameter and less than one metre (3 feet) in length

If you’re looking to upgrade your yard waste cart, contact your municipality or visit rdco.com/yardwaste.

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Central Okanagan Remembers November 1, 2019

Regional District offices and facilities will be closed Monday, November 11th in lieu of the Remembrance Day holiday.  Services resume at 8:00 am on Tuesday, November 12th.  All citizens are encouraged to pause and reflect on the sacrifices made to preserve our freedoms and to attend one of the many Remembrance Day ceremonies throughout the Central Okanagan. 

November 8th

Aboriginal Veterans Day
Please join Westbank First Nation (WFN) on November 8th from 10:30 am - 11:15 am, at the WFN Community Core, 1900 Quail Lane, as all Indigenous Veterans are honoured.

The event includes a welcome by Chief Derickson; Okanagan prayer by Councillor Coble; acknowledgement by Lt. Colonel Mead; 'Okanagan Song', 'In Flanders Field', 'Soldier Boy' and 'Woman's Warrior Song' by Sənsisyustən students; 'Amazing Grace' by Kim Smith-Jones; laying of wreaths (everyone welcome); minute of silence at 11:11 am; plus lunch reception to follow in the siya room at 11:15 am.

November 11th

Kelowna - City Park Cenotaph
Organized by the Royal Canadian Legion, Kelowna Branch #26

At approximately 10:30 am a parade of participating organizations and the Colour Party will march from Stuart Park along Bernard Avenue to Abbott Street and to the Cenotaph in City Park for the ceremony.  Following the ceremony, participating youth groups are invited to the Legion Branch, 1380 Bertram Street for lunch.  A period of social remembrance will be held in the Parkinson Recreation Centre, 1800 Parkinson Way from 12:00 pm to 3:30 pm with music from the Old Time Fiddlers and Pipes and Drums.

Rutland - Lions Park Cenotaph
Organized by the Army, Navy & Air Force Veterans Unit 376

The ceremony at the cenotaph in Lions Park will be preceded by a parade starting at 10:30 am from the Unit Clubhouse parking lot at 270 Dougall Road North to Gray Road and into the park.  Following the ceremony and parade dismissal, an Open House reception will be held at the Unit clubhouse, 270 Dougall Road North.

Lake Country - George Elliot Secondary School, 10241 Bottom Wood Lake Road
Organized by the Royal Canadian Legion, Oyama Branch #189

Please be seated inside George Elliot Secondary School by 10:30 am.  A sign language interpreter will be providing translation services during the ceremony.  Following the ceremony a Public Open House will be held at the Legion Branch, 15712 Oyama Road.

Peachland - Peachland Community Centre, 4450 6th Street
Organized by the Royal Canadian Legion, Peachland Branch #69

Fall in at 10:20 am at the Peachland Community Centre.  Following the ceremony, adults and children are welcome at the Peachland Legion on 2nd Street, where refreshments will be served.

West Kelowna - Royal LePage Place, 2760 Cameron Road, West Kelowna
Organized by the Royal Canadian Legion, Westbank Branch #288 

Please arrive by 10:00 am as a parade involving participating organizations and the Colour Party precede the 11:00 am ceremony with music from the Vox Forte Youth Choir of Grace Lutheran Church.  Following the ceremony, lunch will be served at the Branch for members and invited guests.

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Pumpkin Toss! October 22, 2019

Once Halloween is over, why not take a moment to rethink how you can make your colorful jack-o-lantern work for you. There are a number of options to give your pumpkin a whole new life.

The Regional District Waste Reduction Office encourages you to toss your pumpkin in your backyard compost bin for great results come spring. “Pumpkins are high in nitrogen, an excellent material to add to your backyard compost bin,” says Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart with the RDCO Waste Reduction Office. “If you chop your pumpkin up into small pieces with some fall leaves, it will break down just that much faster. Next spring you’ll have a great nutrient rich soil amendment to add to your flower beds or veggie patch,” says Stewart.

If you don’t compost, you can also put your pumpkin in your yard waste cart for your next pickup. Check your Living Greener Calendar, the Recycle Coach app, or rdco.com/recycle for cart pickup schedules in your area. A reminder that new this year, yard waste pick- up season runs until the end of December.

And of course, if your pumpkin is still in good condition and free of debris or damage from the elements, consider using it in baking or soup making. Pumpkins when toasted or baked can be rich in potassium and protein.

Another Halloween tip: while the candy wrappers your little ones bring home can’t go into your recycling cart, they can be returned to your nearest recycling depot as part of the flexible packaging recycling program.

For more information on composting, yard waste or recycling collection programs, visit rdco.com/recycle or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250.

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Regional Board Highlights from October 28th Meeting - October 29, 2019

Business Watch Crime Prevention Program Launched October 22, 2019

What could potentially be the largest crime prevention program in the Central Okanagan has kicked off on the westside of Okanagan Lake.

Business Watch is a partnership involving the RDCO Crime Prevention service and Greater Westside Board of Trade, City of West Kelowna, Westbank First Nation and RCMP.  Greater Westside businesses interested in joining can get information at rdco.com/businesswatch.

Business Watch is modeled after the highly successful residential Block Watch and brings business owners and their employees together to be the eyes and ears in their community, to watch for and report any suspicious or criminal activity to each other and when required to the RCMP, while stepping up their safety and security measures.

Crime Prevention coordinator Roy Morgan says “The Business Watch program is specifically designed for businesses within the City of West Kelowna and Westbank First Nation.  Businesses that register have the opportunity to utilize our specialized crime prevention expertise at no cost.  We offer security assessments, target hardening tips and ongoing access to information to help employees and customers continue to feel safe and secure.”

Greater Westside Board of Trade President Craig Garries says, “When our members are challenged while doing business in any way, it is the job of the Board of Trade to advocate on their behalf to the city, the province or even at the federal level. It is also important that we encourage our members to work with each other, as a team, in order to build a positive and economically stable community. The Business Watch program has been in the works for a long time and we are very thrilled to be partnering with the city, Westbank First Nation, the RCMP and the RDCO on this initiative.”    

RCMP Staff Sergeant Duncan Dixon adds, “The West Kelowna RCMP is looking forward to the roll out of this valuable initiative that will provide an opportunity to improve community safety and to connect the Police to local business."

Morgan concludes “Business Watch encourages partnering businesses to communicate, cooperate and be involved in their community.  This proactive involvement is integral to assist RCMP in its efforts to prevent and reduce criminal activity.”

Participating businesses will display a Business Watch emblem to let everyone know they’re a supporter of the program.

For more details visit rdco.com/businesswatch.

The RDCO Crime Prevention program provides a variety of services to residents and businesses in West Kelowna, Lake Country, Peachland, Westbank First Nation and the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West electoral areas.

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Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission Releases Strategic Plan October 16, 2019

The Regional District of Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC) has released Moving Forward to 2025.

The strategy identifies priorities and recommended tactics for the COEDC to foster growth and sustainability in the economy up to 2025. The COEDC works in partnership to facilitate and encourage the development of a healthy and dynamic sustainable community economy by supporting existing businesses and encouraging new business investment within the Regional District of Central Okanagan.

In order to Retain, Grow, and Attract investment in the region Moving Forward to 2025 defines the region’s Strategic Pillars, Sectors in Focus and an Action Plan for implementation. The Action Categories defined in the Action Plan of the strategy will direct annual objectives while the Strategic Pillars and Sectors in Focus will guide rationale, tactics and metrics used in the program areas of Business Retention and Expansion, Investment Attraction, and facilitating of Coordination and Connection in the Region.

A 50% funding match from Global Affairs through the CanExport Community Investments program, which provides financial support to communities for their foreign direct investment (FDI) initiatives and activities, supported the project completion.

Corie Griffiths, Director of Economic Development and Bylaw Services says “The strategy development process provided an occasion to reflect on successes, identify opportunities and innovative areas for growth that leverage the Region’s core competencies, and, with extensive stakeholder consultation and business community input, set the course for the Economic Development Commission’s work over the coming 5 years. Moving Forward to 2025 is ambitious in vision and grounded in the diverse strengths of the Region’s economy – we have an exciting road ahead. “

Moving Forward to 2025 is based in extensive community and business engagement, research and analysis, building on the success of past EDC programming, initiatives and activities.  This detailed work is included in the Economic Base Analysis and the Strategic Development and Engagement Results Report.

The Moving Forward to 2025 strategy provides a roadmap for building on past success, effectively leveraging the region’s strengths and encouraging a strong and sustainable regional economy for the future.

The COEDC as the Region’s primary business resource is well positioned to implement the Moving Forward to 2025 strategy to facilitate and encourage the development of a healthy and dynamic sustainable community economy by supporting existing businesses and encouraging new business investment within the Regional District of Central Okanagan. 

Read the full report.

To learn more about the COEDC and what we do visit www.investkelowna.com.

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Stair Replacement Closes Section of Mission Creek Greenway October 7, 2019

Starting tomorrow, (Tuesday, October 8th) a short section of the Mission Creek Greenway will be closed each weekday until approximately late November.

Crews will be replacing five sets of aging crib stairs along a steep, half-kilometre section of the recreational trail upstream from the Smoothing Stones Bridge to make it safer for use.  This requires the section to be closed each Monday morning through Friday afternoon, including evenings.

While the stairs are being replaced, this section of the Greenway will be open for visitors from late Friday afternoon through each weekend including the Thanksgiving and Remembrance Day holidays.

Other areas of the 16.5 kilometre Greenway trail are not affected and remain open for use.  And residents are encouraged to explore any of the 30 regional parks that protect over 2,100 hectares of land across the Central Okanagan.

For information visit: rdco.com/pickapark.

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Open Burning Changes with new Provincial Regulations - September 23, 2019

Starting October, 1st, open burning will be allowed for those eligible property owners with permits from their local fire department.

As in the past, fire departments in the Central Okanagan will issue permits to those who qualify and meet the requirements of local fire protection bylaws.  If necessary each department enforces its own bylaw regulations.

However, as of September 15th, with the introduction of the Provincial Open Burning Smoke Control Regulations by the BC Ministry of Environment, before lighting any fire, anyone with a permit issued by their local fire department is also required to separately ensure compliance with those new regulations.

The new BC regulations divide the province into zones:  the Central Okanagan is within the High Sensitivity Zone which means many new requirements must be met including new setbacks near neighbouring properties, hospitals, schools and health care facilities. As well, they must make efforts to reduce the amount of vegetative debris to be burned through alternative methods (reducing, reusing or recycling).  The BC Ministry of Environment has detailed information available on its website to assist any property owner to comply with its regulations.  Property owners should contact the Ministry if they have questions about the Open Burning and Smoke Control Regulations.

Burning permits issued under Central Okanagan bylaws are available from local fire departments.*  Those eligible to burn within the four Central Okanagan East or Central Okanagan West electoral area fire protection areas (Ellison, Joe Rich, North Westside, Wilson’s Landing) may call the Regional District at 250-469-6223  to obtain a permit.  (Long Distance Collect Calls are accepted weekdays only between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, excluding holidays).  Residents with questions about the burn permit process in the Central Okanagan should contact their local fire jurisdiction.

Property owners with a valid permit from their local fire service and meeting all of the Provincial Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation must call the toll-free Outdoor Burning Hotline:  1-855-262-2876 (BURN) before lighting any fire to determine if open burning is allowed on a particular day.  In order for burning to take place, both the Venting and Air Quality conditions must be good.  This information will also be available each day after 8:00 am at rdco.com/airquality.

Under the Regional District Smoke Control Bylaw, nuisance smoke from open burning is not allowed in the City of Kelowna, the District of Lake Country, City of West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West Electoral Areas or under the bylaws of the District of Peachland.  Yard waste such as leaves, pine needles, grass clippings, weeds and other garden waste are not allowed to be burned.

Violators of local bylaws could receive a fine or be charged with the cost of putting out the fire by their fire service.  Residents are encouraged to report anyone violating local bylaws by burning on a non-burning day by calling the Regional Fire Dispatch Center at 250-469-8577.  Potential violations of the Provincial regulations should be reported to the BC RAPP line (1-877-952-7277).

Under Regional District and local fire bylaws permitted open burning must be complete on April 30th although the date may be adjusted depending on the local fire hazard.  Central Okanagan residents should check with their local fire jurisdiction regarding regulations and restrictions on campfires, chimineas and other outdoor wood burning devices.  Campfires are not allowed in the City of Kelowna.

* Fire Department Jurisdictions for Permits

  • Central Okanagan East or Central Okanagan West Electoral Areas 
    (Residents of Ellison, Joe Rich, Wilson’s Landing, North Westside fire departments):
    • Call the Regional District 250-469-6223 weekdays only 8:00 am – 4:00 pm excluding holidays
      • Note:  North Westside residents may call ‘Collect’
  • City of Kelowna residents - Kelowna Fire Department  250-469-8801
  • District of Lake Country residents - Lake Country Fire Department  250-766-2327
  • District of Peachland residents - Peachland Fire Rescue Service  250-767-2841
    • Weekdays only 8:00 am – 4:00 pm excluding holidays
  • City of West Kelowna residents – West Kelowna Fire/Rescue  778-797-3200
    • All burning permits are issued from Lakeview Station 32, 2708 Olalla Road

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Open Burning Alternatives and Best Practises - September 23, 2019

With open burning season set to resume in the Central Okanagan October 1st, the Regional Air Quality program encourages all residents to consider cleaner air alternatives.

Coordinator Nancy Mora Castro says many options exist that don’t require outdoor burning. 

  • Starting this year the bi-weekly curbside yard waste collection program runs an extra month through December.  Please only place leaves, grass, pine needles and small pruning’s inside the yard waste cart with the green lid closed. 
  • The yard waste drop off program is available at the Glenmore landfill and Westside Residential Waste Disposal and Recycling Centre (Asquith Road in West Kelowna). Fees apply.  When transporting loads for disposal, please make sure they are covered.
  • Mow-Chip Rent-it Rebate program - Qualifying participants must have a property one hectare or greater in size with a small volume of wood for fuel reduction and/or agricultural activities that can’t be served through the regular Agricultural Chipping Program. The Regional Air Quality Program provides up to 80% of the cost of renting mow/chip equipment or services up to a $500 maximum. Visit the Mow-Chip Rent-it program for more information and an online application. Depending on your needs, you can hire a contractor or rent your own machine. Search online (wood chipping, stump grinding, tree service, machine rentals, etc.) to find a company that suits your needs.
  • Air Curtain Burning uses forced air to burn wood faster and with less smoke. Contact your local Fire Department to learn more about forced air incineration options for agricultural or land clearing wood waste
  • A number of private companies offer wood chipping and grinding services or rent portable chippers.  Some may also pick up yard waste for disposal.

She says “If a property owner cannot use any of these alternatives and they have a permit to burn under local bylaws from their fire department and they meet the new BC Environment Open Burning Smoke Control Regulations they should follow the Best Practices for open burning” including:

  • On days when conditions allow for open burning, light fires after 10:00 am when venting conditions are usually more favourable;
  • Pruning’s, branches and stumps 10 centimetres diameter or greater should be dried for a minimum of two years or have a moisture content less than 30%;
  • Smaller piles (3 metres wide x 3 metres long and 2 metres high) allow better control of fires and help reach proper dryness.

There are alternatives to open burning for agricultural producers in the Central Okanagan.  The Regional Air Quality Program is working with farmers to encourage use of the Agricultural Chipping Program.   The program offers a Best Management Practices handbook to help farmers.  Agricultural producers who wish to participate in the free chipping program should register online preferably one year in advance due to high demand and limited annual budget or contact the Regional Air Quality Coordinator at 250-469-8408 or email airquality@kelowna.ca if they have any questions.

A reminder that under the Regional District Smoke Control Bylaw, nuisance smoke from open burning is not allowed in the City of Kelowna, the District of Lake Country, City of West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan East and West Electoral Areas or under the bylaws of the District of Peachland.  Yard waste such as leaves, pine needles, grass clippings, weeds and other garden waste are not allowed to be burned.

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EECO Closed for Renovations - updated October 16, 2019

As of  September 26th, the EECO is closed until early in 2020 for a major renovation.

During that time, the main floor of the building will not be accessible.  Parks Visitor Services staff will be available by phone or email.  In addition, while construction is underway, no public group bookings will be accepted for the EECO. 

Our Parks Services staff will continue to offer programs previously scheduled at the EECO including ‘Nature Power Hour’ outside the EECO’ on Saturday mornings and Tuesday morning ‘Story Time at the EECO’ in the downstairs meeting area of the facility.

It’s anticipated the EECO will reopen early in the New Year.  When it does, there will be a new smaller space for exhibits showcasing our Regional Parks and programs.  As well, our Visitor Services and interpretive programming staff will be located in offices at the facility and able to provide more centralized services.

The Regional Board has identified in its Strategic Priorities, an environmental goal of providing residents with more opportunities to connect with nature.  Over the past year, our interpretive programs have encouraged residents to get outdoors and spend time in a wider variety of our parks.  We hope with the renovated Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan to provide even more inspiration for outdoor exploration in our amazing regional park system.  We’ll continue offering fun and engaging activities, programs and learning opportunities for all residents and visitors to the Central Okanagan.

Learn more about the Regional District’s 30 regional and 20 community parks protecting over 2,100 hectares for the enjoyment of all Central Okanagan residents by visiting rdco.com/pickapark.

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Keep Bears Out of your Trash - September 9, 2019

The Regional Waste Reduction Office is reminding-please do your part to keep your neighborhood safe by managing all things that attract wildlife around your home, including your household garbage.

Conservation Officers confirm bears have already been spotted in several neighborhoods from South East Kelowna to West Kelowna and Peachland. Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart says that means it’s time to be extra vigilant. “This is the time of year bears amp up their foraging to build fat stores for winter denning. The best advice if you live in an area susceptible to wildlife is to reduce your risk of conflict and take responsibility for your trash.”

Stewart reminds residents to securely store their trash and only put garbage out the day of pickup, not the night before. “Bears in particular, but other animals as well, have a keen sense of smell. The idea is not to attract them to your garbage unnecessarily.  If they find your waste, not only can they make a real mess, but they can become food conditioned. Then they can pose a risk to you and your family, your neighbors, and themselves. And that’s totally preventable.”

Stewart adds the Regional Waste Reduction Office in conjunction with their waste contractor E360s will be conducting a pilot project of new fully automated bear resistant garbage carts in select neighborhoods this fall. “Dependent on the results of the pilot and how those carts stand up to bear activity, there may be new bear resistant cart options for residents in the future.”

Wildsafe BC has tips you can follow to keep wildlife wild and help prevent conflict:

  • Only put garbage out for collection on the morning of pickup, not the night before
  • Encourage neighbors to do the same, offer to help if they are not able to put garbage out at appropriate times
  • Secure your garbage on non- collection days- store it securely in your home or in a garage or shed
  • Consider freezing your kitchen scraps until the morning of collection day
  • Keep your barbeque clean and covered
  • Pick ripe or fallen fruit, mix well into your compost bin, or put in yard waste cart
  • Use birdfeeders only in the winter

Please report human-bear conflicts to the BC Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277

For more information on deterring bears from your garbage, visit the WildsafeBC website: https://wildsafebc.com/about/.    For additional inquiries, visit rdco.com/recycle, email recycle@rdco.com or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250.

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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@rdco.com
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 4:00 pm (Closed Holidays)