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Biofilter replacement at Westside Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant - May 11, 2021

This week there may be periods when more odours than normal are noticeable in the area around the Westside Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.

That’s because from tomorrow through Friday, new filtering materials will be installed in the Biofilter at the facility off Gellatly Road in West Kelowna. Wastewater treatment plants commonly use the open bed Biofilter to biologically treat odourous gases that are collected throughout the wastewater treatment process helping to reduce emissions of foul air. Following the installation, there may be periods of additional odour as it takes a few days to get the new Biofilter up to 100% performance.

In order to ensure optimum efficiency, the Biofilter material must be periodically replaced.   This was last done in October 2018.

The Regional District apologizes for any short-term inconvenience this important work may cause and will work as quickly as possible to minimize any potential impact. 

In 2020, the facility received and treated an average of just over 11,700 cubic meters (11.7 million litres) of wastewater each day from businesses and households in West Kelowna, Peachland and Westbank First Nation Reserves #9 and #10.

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Q1 2021 Economic Indicators show early signs of recovery - May 10, 2021

The Central Okanagan Economic Indicators for quarter one of 2021 were released today and provide a snapshot of the Region’s economy from January to March 2021.

“The Q1 2021 Economic Indicators show signs of economic recovery and rising business confidence in many sectors. The number of business licenses issued in the region increased 4.7% over the past year and many businesses have shown strong hiring growth with an increase of 14.5% in job postings compared to pre-pandemic levels in Q1 2020. At the same time, many sectors of the economy continue to experience significant impact and long term recovery challenges with airport passenger traffic down 80.4% and job postings in the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation sector down 91% compared to Q1 2021” Krista Mallory, Manager COEDC

While the long term economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic remain unclear, the Central Okanagan region saw a 0.64% growth in the number of people in the labour force in Q1 2021 with 1.05% more people actively employed. The Q1 2021 unemployment rate (5.37%) has returned to levels relatively consistent with Q1 2020 (5.77%). 

Viewed as a leading indicator of activity in the construction and development industry by Statistics Canada, the 251% increase in building permits issued in Q1 2021 in the Region reflect rising confidence in the sector. Housing starts have increased 5.75% in the first quarter of 2021.

As recently shared by demographer Andrew Ramlo at the April 2021 COEDC Advisory Council meeting, “The Okanagan region is expected to add more people in the coming 2 decades than it has in the past two; growth will be driven by a growing and diversifying economy set within one of the most amenity rich settings in the province”.

About the Economic Indicator Report:

In an effort to keep the public and business community informed on the economy of the region, the COEDC - the Region’s primary business resource – collates and distributes statistics of economic indicators for the Central Okanagan.  The Q1 2021 Economic Indicators report provides a snapshot of the Region’s economy and January to March 2021.

The Commission sources the above third party statistical data from BC Stats, Statistics Canada, CMHC, Vicinity Jobs, and local governments in the Central Okanagan. Caution should be used in the interpretation of month-to-month statistics, in particular the Labour Force Survey, a monthly sample survey which provides unemployment rates of the Canadian labour market.

The Economic Indicator’s are publically available on the Resources page in the COEDC website.

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

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Recycling Ambassadors return with recycling education - May 4, 2021

Are you putting the right things in your recycling cart? The Regional District Recycling Ambassadors are back on the streets this spring and summer, randomly checking what’s under the blue lid and inside curbside recycling carts. This is part of the ongoing RDCO cart education and inspection campaign to combat recycling contamination.

Engineering Manager Travis Kendel says the Recycling Ambassador Student Program, now heading into its third season, has been extremely helpful in raising proper residential recycling awareness. “Our Ambassadors will once again be reaching out to residents through direct education and curbside cart checks. We are happy to have them back, as direct resident engagement seems to be one of the most valuable and well received educational tools to encourage residents on how to recycle effectively.”

“We understand that sorting waste and recycling can sometimes be confusing. Most residents are doing a pretty good job including only what’s acceptable to put in the carts. But recycling audits show there are still a significant number of unacceptable items going into our recycling stream, especially plastic bags and other plastic films, and that’s a big problem,” says Kendel.

In addition to cart checks, the students will also be placing a handy reference guide sticker right on the carts to highlight what goes in and what stays out. Kendel says, when in doubt, don’t toss it in is an important thing to keep in mind, as placing the wrong materials in your cart, things that do not belong or should be recycled at a depot, leads to a contaminated recycling stream.

“Plastic bags, garbage, books, food waste, garden hoses, electronics, scrap metals, clothing, even yard waste—items that have never been accepted in our curbside recycling program are still showing up and contaminating the recycling stream,” says Kendel.

“If we don’t significantly reduce and eliminate these unacceptable products from our recycling loads, we face financial penalties from Recycle BC. We need to do a better job and that requires continuous education and monitoring.”

Kendel says the Recycling Ambassadors will have a quick look at the contents in recycling carts, and if they find items that don’t belong they’ll leave information explaining what went wrong.  In some cases, if there is significant contamination, carts won’t be picked up until the offending material is removed.

Here are some of the items Ambassadors will be looking for:

  • Garbage
    • Garden hoses, landscape edging and tarps
    • Paper towels and tissues
    • Non-packaging plastics such as toys, Tupperware type containers, laundry baskets
  • Items recyclable at depots and other locations (but not in the cart)
    • Plastic bags including bagged recyclables
    • Styrofoam
    • Glass
    • Soft plastics such as cling wrap, bubble wrap, chip and snack bags, zipper bags
    • Electronics and small appliances
    • Textiles such as clothes, fabric and pillows
    • Soft cover novels and hard cover books and textbooks
  • Hazardous waste
    • Hazards such as syringes, propane tanks, oil jugs

In 2019 the Regional District inspected over 12,500 recycling carts and sent approximately 2,500 letters to residents when the wrong materials were found in the recycling, garbage and yard waste carts – to help encourage future compliance. “Due to COVID-19, contamination letters and cart checks were temporarily halted. As of late 2020, those programs are back online and we’re actively addressing recycling contamination throughout our community.”

To find out more about what to recycle in your curbside cart or at a depot, visit rdco.com/recycle, or download the free Recycle Coach App.

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Mission Creek Greenway underpass closed - April 30, 2021

Rising water levels forced the closure of Gordon Drive bridge underpass along the Mission Creek Greenway.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan urges visitors to respect any barricades and closure signs posted at these locations as they will remain closed until waters recede.

Pedestrians and cyclists are asked to use caution and only cross Gordon Drive when it is safe.  Motorists are also asked to watch for Greenway users who may be crossing the road in this area while the underpass trails are closed.

Regional Parks staff continues to monitor creek levels along the Mission Creek Greenway and Scenic Canyon regional park recreational corridor. 

People are reminded that during spring runoff 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.

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.

There are more than 2,100 hectares of parkland available to discover in 30 regional and 20 RDCO community parks for visitors while practicing physical distancing.  Find all the locations at rdco.com/pickapark.

For more information contact Parks Services at 250-469-6232 or email parks@rdco.com.

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2020 Annual Review - April 30, 2021

The Regional District of Central Okanagan 2020 Annual Review is now available.

The Annual Review outlines the RDCO’s accomplishments over 2020 in delivering the four Strategic Priority areas of the Regional Board:

  • Environment
  • Economic Development
  • Sustainable Communities
  • Transportation and Mobility

It also outlines some of the initiatives anticipated during 2021. 

Chief Administrative Officer Brian Reardon says “like all organizations, the RDCO had to establish a ‘new normal’ during 2020.  All essential services like fire, water, wastewater, garbage and recycling continued uninterrupted.  And we accommodated the increased need for some of our services including parks, where we saw a huge jump in the number of residents using our outdoor, natural spaces.  Our Economic Development Commission also shifted gears, providing a new focus by getting key information and updates to businesses while working with the business community to start planning how to help after the pandemic.”

The Annual Review is a succinct overview of approximately 80 different programs and services the RDCO provides across the Central Okanagan including:

  • 30 Regional Parks and 20 Community Parks
  • Recycling and Waste Reduction
  • Regional Emergency Program
  • Six water systems and four paid-on-call fire departments in electoral areas

The RDCO 2020 Annual Review is available online at rdco.com/annualreview.

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Bears are back, take responsibility for your trash - April 29, 2021

Central Okanagan residents have a role in reducing potential wildlife conflicts.

The Regional Waste Reduction Office encourages everyone to keep neighbourhoods safe by managing everything that attract bears and other wildlife around your home, including your household garbage.  

Facilitator Rae Stewart says with a warmer spring, Conservation Officers already report that bears are out earlier than normal, with many sightings in neighborhoods throughout the Central Okanagan. “That means it’s time to be extra vigilant. As always, when the bears come out of hibernation they’re hungry, and looking for food. The best advice if you live in an area susceptible to wildlife is reduce your risk of conflict, and take responsibility for your trash.”

  • Store waste and recycling carts inside a shed or garage
  • Only put your carts out the morning of pickup, not the night before.

She says “bears in particular, but other animals as well, have a keen sense of smell.  The idea is to not attract them to your garbage unnecessarily.  If they find your waste, they can make a real mess, but also become food conditioned. Then they can pose a risk to you, your family, your pets, neighbours, and themselves. And that’s totally preventable.”

Stewart says the Regional Waste Reduction Office and waste contractor E360s are in the final phase of a pilot project.  Various models of bear-resistant garbage carts are being tested in select neighborhoods throughout the region.  Depending on the results and how the carts perform for residents and stand up to bear activity, there could be new cart options for residents late this year.

But Stewart stresses, the biggest takeaway from cart manufacturers and testing programs is no model or design is deemed is 100 percent bear proof, only bear resistant. So managing your attractants carefully is still critical.

Earlier this week, the Regional District and WildSafeBC announced a pilot program expanding WildSafeBC program coverage in the Central Okanagan. In addition to the existing Okanagan Westside WildSafeBC program, there will be a Central Okanagan WildSafeBC program this season.

WildSafe BC has tips you can follow to keep wildlife wild and communities safe:

  • Only put garbage out for collection on the morning of pickup, not the night before
  • Encourage neighbours 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 immediately; if composting, or putting in yard waste cart, ensure they are secured from wildlife access
  • Use bird baths and houses to attract birds, rather than bird feeders

Please report human-wildlife conflicts and sightings of bears, cougars or coyotes in the community to the BC Conservation Officer Service at 1.877.952.7277.

For more information on deterring bears from your garbage, visit wildsafebc.com. 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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Grant to help planning to protect Okanagan Lake - April 28, 2021

A substantial grant will help with the multi-year collaborative planning effort to protect the environmental and cultural values of Okanagan Lake and its watershed.

The Vancouver Foundation is providing $300,000 to the partnership that is developing the Okanagan Lake Responsibility Strategy:

  • Okanagan Nation Alliance
  • Regional District of Central Okanagan
  • Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program
  • South Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program

The strategy will enhance the ways of caring for, protecting, and restoring the values and interests of the Okanagan Lake shoreline and watershed tributaries. When complete, the strategy will provide the knowledge and expertise to assist with new land-use planning decisions that support common, consistent, and collaborative approaches to protect shoreline natural areas, prepare for and mitigate climate impacts, and promote sustainable development.

The partnership is key to the projects' success and holds the greatest potential for finding solutions to complex land use issues. This initiative plans to shift the existing planning processes and outcomes through the support of project partners that include differing perspectives, a collective understanding, and a shared approach to the issues in the watershed.

It’s envisioned that communities across the Okanagan region and all levels of government will benefit from this unique, unified - Syilx led framework that aims to:

  • Address cumulative impacts of shoreline and upland development
  • Promote Best Management Practices and leadership in watershed governance
  • Provide learning and knowledge sharing opportunities

The initiative has received support from the Syilx Okanagan Nation, three Okanagan Regional Districts, and seven local governments. Other active partners include the Province of BC, the Okanagan Basin Water Board, the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, UBC Okanagan, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Environment and Climate Change Canada.

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Be prepared for anything - April 28, 2021

Emergencies can happen at anytime and when we least expect it. However, there are ways to reduce the risk and impact of whatever emergency might come our way.

May 2-8 is Emergency Preparedness Week. The Central Okanagan Emergency program encourages everyone to set aside some time during the week to become better prepared and emergency ready. This time of year, a common emergency might include high water and flooding near creeks, streams and lakes across the region. Then, as we move into the drier, summer months, the risk of wildfire increases. Other potential emergencies include destructive windstorms, gas leaks, noxious fumes or structure fires that see people evacuated from their homes.

Emergency Program Coordinator Sandra Follack reminds everyone that a few simple steps can make the difference for families and individuals to be prepared for the range of emergencies they could face – anytime, anywhere.

  • Know the risks. Although the consequences of disasters can be similar, knowing the risks specific to our community and our region can help you better prepare.
  • Make a plan. It will help you and your family know what to do.
  • Get an emergency kit. During an emergency, some basic supplies may be required. We may need to get by without power or tap water. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours in an emergency.

Visit the Regional Emergency program webpage  at www.cordemergency.ca and click on the ‘Be Prepared’ link for information and links relating to a variety of potential emergencies.  With the spring freshet underway and the upper elevation snow still to melt, any property owner that has had flooding or high water issues in the past, should have the tools and equipment to protect against possible damage.

Follack says, “Experience has shown that individual preparedness goes a long way to help people cope better - both during and after a significant emergency event.”

In the event of an emergency and activation of the Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), the latest information will be available online at cordemergency.ca and via Facebook (facebook.com/CORDEmergency) and Twitter (twitter.com/CO_Emerg). Central Okanagan residents are encouraged to sign up for the ‘Central Okanagan Emergencies’ email updates to receive notifications from the Emergency program.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) Emergency program is coordinated by the Kelowna Fire Department on behalf of the RDCO, the cities of Kelowna and West Kelowna, districts of Lake Country and Peachland and Westbank First Nation.

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - April 28, 2021

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Monday, April 26. 

Here's where you can view a recording of the:

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Open burning season wrapping up - April 19, 2021

Open burning season in the Central Okanagan ends on Friday, April 30.

Until then when conditions allow, all eligible property owners, farmers and other large lot owners with permits from their local fire jurisdiction may burn specific wood debris outdoors. As well, the BC Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation must be followed.

Property owners must follow Best Burning Practices and call the toll-free Outdoor Burning Hotline:  1-855-262-2876 (BURN) before lighting any fire to ensure that open burning is allowed. Both the Venting and Air Quality must be good in order for burning to occur within the Central Okanagan.  A link to this Outdoor Burning information is also available each morning after 8 a.m. at rdco.com/airquality.

On days when open burning is allowed, it’s recommended that debris piles be ignited after 10 a.m., when proper venting conditions are more likely to exist.  Permit holders must continually supervise any permitted burning and have the proper fire extinguishing equipment and tools on hand to prevent the fire from spreading.

Under the Regional District Smoke Control Bylaw, creating nuisance smoke from open burning is not allowed in the City of Kelowna, the District of Lake Country, City of West Kelowna, Westbank First Nation, the Central Okanagan East and West Electoral Areas or under the bylaws of the District of Peachland. Violators could receive a fine or be charged with the cost of putting out the fire. Residents are encouraged to report anyone illegally burning on a non-burning day by calling the Regional Fire Dispatch Center at 250-469-8577.

Regardless of property size, all Central Okanagan property owners are encouraged to use other options to dispose of their yard waste including the:

  • Bi-weekly curbside collection
  • Mow-Chip-Rent-it Rebate Program
  • Year-round disposal at the Glenmore landfill and Westside Residential Waste Disposal and Recycling Centre (fees apply)

Central Okanagan residents are reminded to check with their local fire jurisdiction for regulations and restrictions regarding campfires, chimineas and other outdoor wood fire burning devices. Campfires, fire pits and outdoor burning appliances are not allowed at any time within the City of Kelowna.  Kelowna fire crews do have the ability to issue bylaw fines if they are notified of a campfire in the city limits.

The Regional Air Quality Program is an initiative of the Regional District of Central Okanagan, cities of Kelowna and West Kelowna, districts of Lake Country and Peachland and Westbank First Nation. It helps protect and improve the region’s air through education, awareness and pollution prevention programs.

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Star Place Water Quality Advisory - April 19, 2021

The Regional District of Central Okanagan has issued a Water Quality Advisory for residents served by the small Star Place Water System in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area.

The advisory affects eight properties connected to the community water system on Star Place off Trepanier Road near the Okanagan Connector (Hwy 97-C).   Increased turbidity in the water system source from the spring runoff has resulted in water quality that might impact children, the elderly or those with weakened immune systems.  Roadside sign notices will be in place to let residents know of the Water Quality Advisory.

It’s recommended that Star Place water customers follow Interior Health guidelines, especially people 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 water quality advisory affecting the Star Place Water System will continue until further notice and testing confirms water is within acceptable Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines. 

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

Links to Interior Health Information:

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Spring freshet preparations - a seasonal reality - April 16, 2021

Now that we’ve officially sprung into spring, here’s a seasonal reality check from your Central Okanagan Regional Emergency Program.

For some residents across the region, it’s time to protect their properties from the potential damage of high water and flooding.

With warmer temperatures and spring showers, the snowpack in the valley will begin melting, increasing flows and levels of our water bodies.  Anyone living near creeks, streams and lakes experiencing issues with flooding in the past should be making their annual emergency preparations.

Emergency Program Coordinator Sandra Follack reminds property owners that they are responsible for having a flood protection plan along with the tools and equipment to protect from possible flood damage.

She says, “Throughout the annual spring runoff, local governments and the BC Ministry of Environment are monitoring water levels and weather conditions.  If needed, advisories, watches and warnings will be issued.”

Follack adds, “The Regional Emergency Program is here to help. The ‘Be Prepared’ page on cordemergency.ca has links to information about flood preparedness including a recommended method for sandbag diking. The website also provides information for what property owners should consider in areas that might be susceptible to land slippage or movement.”

Later in the spring, stockpiles of sandbags will be available at local fire halls throughout the Central Okanagan for those protecting their properties. As the freshet season progresses, local governments will provide information on their sandbag locations and availability.  A reminder for everyone that during the COVID-19 pandemic, anyone filling sandbags should keep a safe physical distance from others. Depending on the flood threat, property owners may be 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 cordemergency.ca and via Facebook (facebook.com/CORDEmergency) and Twitter (twitter.com/CO_Emerg). Central Okanagan residents are encouraged to sign up for the ‘Central Okanagan Emergencies’ email updates to receive notifications from the Emergency Program.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) Emergency Program is coordinated by the Kelowna Fire Department on behalf of the RDCO, the cities of Kelowna and West Kelowna, districts of Lake Country and Peachland and Westbank First Nation.

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Prevent auto crime - April 15, 2021

With spring weather, more people are getting outside and safely taking advantage of the fresh air.  And as parking lots fill, so too does the potential for theft from and of vehicles.

RDCO Crime Prevention program coordinator Roy Morgan says “We’re encouraging and making vehicle owners aware that when parking in a driveway, parking lot or anywhere for that matter, they should take a proactive approach by preventing auto crime.  Before leaving your vehicle, lock up and ensure valuable items are out of sight.”

While this is Auto Crime Enforcement month, Morgan says it’s a practise that should become a year-round habit.

Unfortunately, he adds some drivers are not getting the message.  “Criminal opportunists only need to walk past a vehicle and check to see if doors are unlocked and any valuables are within sight.”

Christine Kirby, ICBC road safety and community coordinator says “Any unsecured vehicle is a target for auto crime. Always lock your doors, and use an immobilizer or steering wheel lock to reduce your risk. And remember to remove any valuables including smartphones, laptops, backpacks and packages.”

Morgan echoes this.  “If the doors are locked and windows are closed and any personal valuables are removed or placed in the trunk, this crime can be prevented. We are encouraging all motorists to take the extra step to make sure their vehicles are locked and secured at all times.”

Information on preventing auto crime is available online at:

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Volunteers: the power of many - April 15, 2021

There’s a huge army of selfless, dedicated, community-building people across the Central Okanagan who deserve a tip of the hat!

They are our volunteers.  They come in all shapes and sizes, life experiences and reasons for participating.  They share one common trait:  they help keep organizations going.  And for the past year, many have adjusted to reflect the realities of the pandemic in order to keep everyone safe, while delivering their programs.

The RDCO salutes them all as we approach National Volunteer Week April 18-24 with the theme ‘the voice of one, the power of many’.   

Many RDCO programs and services are provided with the help and support of individuals and organizations like these:

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact any of these groups for information about what they do and how you can get involved.

All of our program volunteers give of themselves to make the region and their neighbourhoods a better place. Thanks to everyone!

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - April 9, 2021

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Thursday, April 8. 

And here's where you can view a recording of the:

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - March 29, 2021

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Monday, March 29. 

And here's where you can view a recording of the:

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2021-2025 RDCO Financial Plan approved - March 29, 2021

The Regional District of Central Okanagan Board has approved the 2021 – 2025 Financial Plan. 

The 2021 RDCO budget totals just over $56.8-million compared with $57-million in 2020.

Board Chair Gail Given says, “This year’s budget is fiscally conservative and considers the realities of COVID-19. It addresses the pandemic challenges we’re still facing but also advances projects based on the Board’s priority areas. These include Environment, Economic Development, Sustainable Communities, Transportation and Mobility. Operating costs are keeping pace with growth and inflation in the Central Okanagan and include some minor staffing increases. We’re also focused on building our capital reserves to address future infrastructure needs.”

In 2020, the Regional District received a Provincial COVID-19 Restart program grant of more than $1.1-million. Just over $481,000 of that was used in 2020 to offset costs incurred for the RDCO response and recovery and lost revenues due to the pandemic.  In 2021, the remaining $625,800 is allocated to offset additional anticipated costs for COVID-related programs and services.  Recently the Province announced an additional $357,000 in Restart program funding for the RDCO in 2021, which will be appropriately allocated later this year.

In this budget an estimated $18.7-million in important Capital and infrastructure improvements are proposed including approximately:

  • $10.7-milllion for Regional Parks
  • $4.5-million for liquid waste systems
  • $1.15-million for new equipment and supplies for the Regional Emergency Program and RDCO fire departments

Since 2009 the Regional District has used reserves and leveraged grants to complete over $99-million in Capital projects.

At the end of 2020 there was just over $4.2-million in outstanding capital debt compared with $4.5-million in 2019. As a result of good fiscal planning with reserve contributions, the RDCO continues to provide needed services to our growing region while building its reserves.  It hasn’t required financing to replace assets for decades. At the end of 2020 financial reserves total just over $36.9-million. That’s an increase of $6.23-million over 2019.

Unlike municipalities, 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 RDCO is conscious of the financial impacts COVID-19 is having on all governments.

The tax impacts for general services on the average home that was assessed at $734,000 in 2020 are shown below. Market value increases varied by area from 2020 to 2021. The actual tax rate varies from neighbourhood to neighbourhood and municipality, depending on the local services provided by the Regional District. 

If a home went up or down by more than the average market value, the owner will pay more or less than the numbers estimated.

Member

 

2021
House Value

 

Total Tax per House

 

Net Incr / (Decr) on the home from 2020

Kelowna

$750,000

$190.38

$6.97

Peachland

$754,000

$221.76

$8.31

Lake Country

$774,000

$224.66

$13.98

West Kelowna

$753,000

$210.59

$7.25

C.O. West

$746,500

$674.42

            $8.49

C.O. East

$739,000

$534.82

           ($0.49)

The Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District (CORHD) Board also approved its Five Year Financial Plan.  Each year, ratepayers within the Hospital District contribute up to 40% of the funds for approved capital and equipment services. The 2021 budget includes $10.2-million in new capital project funding. 

Hospital Board Chair Given says, “The challenges we’ve all faced over this past year with the pandemic shows just how important health care is across our region. The Hospital District’s funding contributions to bolster our health resources are important, well leveraged and bring a huge return. For every 40 cents we spend, Interior Health and the Provincial Government contribute 60 cents to the economy for the capital investment portion of these much needed projects.”

Interior Health has indicated that in the next ten years, there will be several potential capital projects coming forward. In order to continue to build reserves to fund these and reduce the possible need to borrow, the Hospital District Board has agreed to an annual four per cent increase starting in 2021. That means this year the average household in the Central Okanagan will contribute $196.49 (up $7.56 from 2020) towards capital improvements and new health equipment in the region.

This fall, there will be a large debt refinancing initiative carried out, which due to lower interest rates, is anticipated to result in a significant debt payment reduction. This should enable increased transfers to reserves in 2022, to assist with meeting Interior Health requests.

Central Okanagan property owners may be eligible for the Provincial Homeowner Grant. Information will be available on your Property Tax Notice or 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

For more information on Regional District of Central Okanagan budgeting visit rdco.com/budgets.

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Falcon Ridge Water Quality Advisory - March 19, 2021

The Regional District of Central Okanagan has issued a Water Quality Advisory for residents served by the Falcon Ridge water system.

Approximately 55 properties connected to the Falcon Ridge system off Highway 33 are affected. 

Channel maintenance in Mission Creek has been completed to provide sufficient water flow past the system intake. As a result, turbidity has increased and some residents may be impacted by the change in water quality. Interior Health has been consulted and roadside sign notices will be in place advising of the water advisory.

It’s recommended that Falcon Ridge water customers follow Interior Health guidelines, especially 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. As a safe alternative to boiled water from the tap, customers may choose to use bottled or distilled water.

This water quality advisory will continue until further notice and testing confirms water is within acceptable Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines.

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

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - March 12, 2021

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Thursday, March 11. 

And here's where you can view a recording of the:

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East Park Development begins in Mission Creek Regional Park - January 21, 2021

The first phase of new development is underway in the east part of Mission Creek Regional Park.

From now until June, crews will be working in this area of the park, south and east of the Leckie Road parking lot.  View Map

This area will be closed for:

  • Building new gravel surfaced trails
  • Upgrading of existing trails and circular pathways
  • Construction of four new wooden footbridges
  • Building a new nature play log obstacle course
  • Turf grass areas
  • Accessible picnic tables and other park amenities

While most of the parking lot will remain open, ten stalls will be closed for construction equipment and materials staging and storage.

Visitors are asked to stay out of the signed, closed area and to be aware of trucks and heavy equipment accessing the work area from Leckie Road parking area.

The Regional District offers more than 2,100 hectares of arkland including 63 kilometres of formal trails in 30 regional parks for visitors to safely explore while practicing physical distancing.  Visit rdco.com/pickapark to plan your next outing.

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Public Meeting Attendance Curtailed - December 7, 2020

Public attendance at RDCO Board and Committee meetings is now curtailed following the latest Public Health Officer Order affecting gatherings and events.

The Provincial Health Officer’s December 3 Order indicates that meetings are allowed to continue, but without members of the public in attendance.  This practice will continue until the Order is rescinded or replaced.

Tonight’s Regional Board meeting will take place without any public seating in the Woodhaven Boardroom.  A link to the livestream of the meeting will be available starting at 7:00 pm at rdco.com/board.  An audio/video recording of the meeting will be online tomorrow.

The Regional District continues to follow the direction of public health experts for the safety of its staff and residents to reduce the impact of coronavirus on our community and our health system.  For the latest information and updates on the RDCO Response to COVID-19 visit rdco.com/covid-19.

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In-person Parks Programs Cancelled - December 4, 2020

The Regional District fully supports efforts to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 and has been following strict health and safety guidelines in its public programs.

In accordance with the latest Public Health Order, all in-person Regional District parks programs and events, are postponed indefinitely.  Any program fees will be refunded.

In addition, the RDCO will not be opening outdoor public skating at either Joe Rich or Scotty Creek community parks.

RDCO Parks staff continues to closely follow information from the Ministry of Health and Provincial Health Officer (PHO) and will evaluate our ability to restart the delivery of our outdoor programs including the opening of outdoor ice rinks in Joe Rich and Ellison over the weeks ahead.

Throughout the pandemic, RDCO Parks Visitor Services staff have provided virtual interpretive programs through @regionalparks Instagram and other social media channels.  While we’re temporarily unable to provide in-person park and school programs our Visitor Services staff remain committed to offer programs in a virtual format to help connect with our community and to inspire residents to venture outside when and where it is safe to do so – which includes our parks.

All 30 RDCO Regional and Community Parks remain open for visitors to enjoy our natural surroundings.  For the safety of everyone using our outdoor park areas, please keep to a safe social bubble and practice physical distancing.

The Regional District continues to follow the direction of public health experts for the safety of its staff and residents to reduce the impact of coronavirus on our community and our health system.  For updates on the RDCO Response to COVID-19 visit rdco.com/covid-19.

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Face Coverings - Masks Required for RDCO Visitors - November 2, 2020

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic across the province and in order to reduce the risk of virus transmission, effective immediately all visitors to indoor RDCO facilities are required to wear a mask or face covering.

This update follows the expectation of the Provincial Health Officer that masks be worn in public areas of buildings in the province.

This includes the main KLO Road administration office, the Environmental Education Centre (EECO) in Mission Creek Regional Park and the Regional Dog Pound on Weddell Place.  For visitor safety, each facility is currently open with restrictions on the number of visitors, personal hand sanitizing requirements on entry, physical distancing and protective barriers.

For those without a face covering, non-medical masks will be available at the main entrance to each facility.

RDCO staff will also wear a mask when having any indoor or outdoor interaction with the public, unless a physical barrier is in place.

Residents are encouraged whenever possible to reduce their in-person visits by continuing to contact staff by phone or email or seek out information online through the rdco.com website.  As well, customers requiring specialized services like development applications and building inspections should continue to arrange appointments with staff by phone or email.  A department directory is available at rdco.com/directory.

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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)