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Water Quality Advisory Ends for Star Place - June 30, 2020

After consulting with Interior Health, the Regional District of Central Okanagan has rescinded a Water Quality Advisory for customers of the small Star Place Water System in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area. 

Turbidity in the system water source is once again within the acceptable and safe Canadian guidelines for drinking water quality.  As a result the precautionary Water Quality Advisory that has been in place since May 6 has been removed for the eight properties connected to the community water system on Star Place off Trepanier Road near the Okanagan Connector (Hwy 97-C).

The Regional District water systems provide service to just over 1,000 connections in six areas.

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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North Westside Hazardous Waste-Computer & Electronics Round Up - June 25, 2020

Saturday morning July 25 North Westside Road residents (with valid resident ID cards) will have a special opportunity to dispose of unwanted household hazardous waste products.  View Poster

From 8:00 am to 12 noon residents can safely dispose of hazardous waste materials from around their homes at the North Westside Road Transfer Station.  Household paint and aerosol paint, flammable liquids and aerosols, domestic pesticides with the poison symbol and PCP number, gas (in an approved ULC container), household and automotive batteries, electronics and computer equipment, along with small appliances, lights and light fixtures  will all be collected. No propane tanks, chemicals or commercial waste products will be accepted.  It is important when visiting this facility to ensure you are practicing proper physical distancing from those around you.

The Transfer Station is located along the Sugarloaf Mountain/Whiteman Creek Forest Service Road( Turn at the corner or Westside Road and Sugarloaf Mountain Forest Service Road.)

For more information and details about this collection please contact Kelowna Recycling, also known as the Battery Doctors at 250-860-2866, or the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250,  or email recycle@rdco.com.

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Curbside Mosquito Control Treatment - June 24, 2020

The battle against mosquitoes moves to roadside catch basins next week in many Central Okanagan neighbourhoods.

Weather permitting from Monday, June 29 through Friday, July 3, you may see Regional District Mosquito Control program crew wearing high visibility vests driving scooters with whip flags or a White Ford pickup Mosquito Control signage, stopping briefly at roadside catch basins in Kelowna, Lake Country, Peachland, a portion of West Kelowna Estates in the City of West Kelowna and the Sunset Ranch community in the Central Okanagan East Electoral Area.   They’ll drop water soluble pouches containing pellets of an environmentally approved mosquito larvicide into the catch basin.

Approximately 11,000 roadside catch basins will be treated as these areas participate in funding the Regional District of Central Okanagan Mosquito Control Program.  Another round of catch basin treatments is expected in early August.

Learn more about this program and how you can help reduce mosquito breeding sites around your property at rdco.com/mosquitoes.

The Regional District provides nuisance mosquito control services in the City of Kelowna, District of Lake Country, District of Peachland, Central Okanagan East Electoral Area and a small section of West Kelowna Estates in the City of West Kelowna.

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Grant Advances Regional Wellness and Poverty Reduction Strategy - June 23, 2020

A grant from the Union of BC Municipalities Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program will be used in the development of regional wellness and poverty strategy for the Central Okanagan.

The $149,000 grant awarded to the Regional District of Central Okanagan will be used to further the work that has been completed by regional community partners over the last several years and build on resources such as the Central Okanagan Community Wellness Analysis which provides baseline data and insights into poverty and wellness in the region and within each community.

RDCO Chair Gail Given says, “The Regional Board unanimously supported applying for the grant to develop a local strategy.  The regional focus and participation of all local governments, First Nations and key not-for-profit partners will provide considerable benefits to Central Okanagan communities. Working together as a region will also see efficiencies in resources, public engagement and involvement and advocacy.  Building and supporting Sustainable Communities is one of the key focuses identified in the Regional Board Strategic Priorities.  This strategy will go a long way in helping to achieve that goal.”

A Central Okanagan Community Wellness and Poverty Strategy will provide a coordinated, shared community framework around poverty reduction in the Central Okanagan while building capacity within and across the region for collaborative action. The strategy will identify actions and priorities to address poverty and wellness for the region, while also continuing to reflect the unique needs of each community.

RDCO will be partnering with United Way Southern Interior BC (SIBC) on the strategy development process. The strategy will be developed in consultation with the communities of the Central Okanagan and engagement opportunities will be forthcoming in Fall 2020 and Winter 2021.

"Over the last 70 years, United Way SIBC has been committed to working together with community partners to address unignorable and complex social issues that impact the most vulnerable in our communities,” says Kahir Lalji, Executive Director of United Way SIBC. “We are excited and honoured to be working with the RDCO and other key partners on the Central Okanagan Poverty Reduction Committee to tackle this important work in our region.”

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - June 23 2020

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Monday, June 22.  And here's where you can listen to Audio from the meeting.

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Killiney Beach Water Quality Advisory Removed - June 22, 2020

After consulting with Interior Health, the Regional District of Central Okanagan has rescinded a Water Quality Advisory for customers of the Killiney Beach Water System in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area.                        

The advisory affecting approximately 290 properties has been in place since June 9 as a precaution following the addition of equipment to the Winchester Control Room.  Since then system has been completely flushed and testing results indicate the system is within acceptable and safe Canadian guidelines for drinking water quality. 

The Regional District provides water service to just over 1,000 connections in six service areas.

For information visit the Regional District website water system webpage (rdco.com/water) or contact RDCO Engineering 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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Join the Mosquito Control Fight - June 19, 2020

Larval Mosquito control efforts have been underway in many Central Okanagan areas since mid April.  The cooler and wetter than normal weather has for the most part, helped to keep nuisance mosquitoes at bay.  But that may not last.

In the Central Okanagan mosquitoes usually peak between mid-June and the end of July.

While the Regional District Mosquito Control program keeps potential mosquito development sites in check, there are steps residents can take around their property to help reduce hatches.

  • Remove any standing water sources and unused items that collect water such as old tires, plant pots or garbage cans - just a few millimetres of water is all that’s needed for mosquito larva to survive and hatch
  • Cover rain barrels with a screen so that mosquitoes can’t lay their eggs in the water  
  • At least twice a week change the water in birdbaths, wading pools and pet bowls
  • Remove any water that sits in unused swimming pools and on swimming pool covers
  • Aerate water in ponds or add fish that will feed on mosquito larvae

Duka Environmental Ltd. provides mosquito control services within those local areas that help fund the RDCO program.  President Curtis Fediuk says, “The program is designed to control, not eliminate mosquitoes.  From mid-April through September, our staff regularly sample over 200 known mosquito development sites.   When we find mosquito larvae developing, we apply a bacterial larvicide that controls the larva before they become biting adults.”

During July and August, the program also controls larval development by monitoring, and if necessary treating approximately 11,000 roadside catch basins located along public roadways and residential streets.  These are treated by technicians using scooters.

Residents can also protect themselves in a number of ways:

  • Use approved repellents
  • Wear loose fitting, light coloured clothing
  • Minimize activities near treed and bushy areas at dawn and dusk when adult mosquitos are most active
  • Repair and replace any window screens to help prevent mosquitoes entering your home

Residents in the participating areas of the program (City of Kelowna, District of Lake Country, District of Peachland, Central Okanagan East and a small section of West Kelowna Estates in the City of West Kelowna) can report mosquito concerns by calling Duka Environmental Ltd. at 1-800-681-3472 or fill out an online form at rdco.com/mosquitoes.

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Environmental Education Centre Re-opens June 23 - June 18, 2020

For the first time since mid-March when the COVID-19 pandemic forced public facilities to close, the EECO will open again.

However, when the doors open for visitors on Tuesday, June 23, there will be some new restrictions in place in order to keep everyone safe.

Physical distancing is required:  everyone must keep at least two metres between themselves and others and a maximum of five people will be allowed in the public portion of the facility at any time.

The EECO will be open from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm each Tuesday through Sunday for the rest of the year and is closed Mondays and all statutory holidays.

Isabella Hodson, Supervisor of Community Relations and Visitor Services for RDCO Parks, says “We want everyone to feel comfortable knowing that we’re following the guidelines of our health experts to ensure their safety.  Visitors to the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan in Mission Creek Regional Park can learn and see more about what they can do in our regional park system.  Staff will be available to answer questions about our parks and help with any program registration requirements residents may have.”

She adds, “Due to the limited capacity at the EECO, we encourage people to only visit when needed.  Staff is available by phone (250-469-6140) or email eeco@rdco.com to answer any inquiries.  As well, information about Central Okanagan regional parks and programs is always available online at rdco.com/parks.”

At this point, no public meetings or rentals are being accepted for the facility.

All Regional Parks remain open for visitors using safe distancing practices.  There are 63 kilometers of formal trails in 30 regional parks, many of which are naturally protected forested areas and may contain natural hazards.   Visit rdco.com/pickapark for more information.  If you do visit our regional parks, please practice healthy hygiene and physical distancing by keeping at least two metres between you and other visitors.

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Sandbag and Sand Locations for RDCO electoral area residents - June 18, 2020

  • Sand (delivery June 19) and sandbags available at:
    • North Westside
      • Short’s Creek Station 102 - 7355 Westside Road North
    • Wilson’s Landing
      • Station 42 – 2396 Westside Road North
  • Sandbags available at:

    • North Westside 
      • Killiney Beach Station 101 - 514 Udell Road
    • Ellison
      • Station 61 - 4411 Old Vernon Road
    • Joe Rich
      • Station 51 - 11481 Highway 33 East
      • Station 52 - 6550 Goudie Road

Central Okanagan residents are encouraged to visit the Regional Emergency Program website www.cordemergency.ca and subscribe to receive email notification and information during any emergency situation.

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Waterfront properties vulnerable to wind and boat generated wave action - June 18, 2020

Weather patterns this spring have been challenging and unpredictable, resulting in sudden changes to creek, stream and lake levels throughout the Central Okanagan. Forecasts for increasing temperatures and wind activity in the coming days and over the weekend could result in flooding and damage to properties not adequately protected.

“The weather is unpredictable and has already contributed to isolated flooding this season,” said Sandra Follack, Central Okanagan Regional Emergency Program Coordinator. “Property owners need to be vigilant and should actively monitor the weather and act accordingly. Those in low lying areas and particularly those that were impacted in 2018 need to act now to protect their properties.”

“We continue to work with provincial experts to understand the current and potential risks. We know that lake levels are very responsive to rain and additional precipitation in the coming weeks will only contribute to higher lake levels. Combined with any wave action, whether wind or boat generated, the situation is prime for the potential to create significant damage to waterfront property if not protected.”

To protect public infrastructure, local municipalities, districts and communities are installing protective measures in key areas along the shores of area lakes, including several locations on Okanagan Lake foreshore.

Protect your property

Waterfront property owners should take action to protect their structures and properties from flooding and wave damage. This includes securing docks and boats and installing measures to protect against wave action and to prevent erosion. Some tips include:

  • If anchored, make sure the anchor lines are long enough, so they don’t snap if water rises too high;
  • Ensure boats are secured;
  • If you have a pull-up dock, pull it up as high as possible;
  • Secure the dock using sandbags on the edges of the dock;
  • Remove all loose items from the dock, but do not clean any debris from shoreline; and
  • Stay away from fast moving waters.

Boat owners with boats on lifts may choose to remove their boat from the lift and trailer it for safe storage.

To determine whether your property needs flood protection, go to the Flood FAQs section of cordemergency.ca/beprepared. There you will find instructions on how to measure for flood levels and build barriers to the appropriate height to account for both lake level flooding and wave action.

Residents are responsible for protecting their own properties and sandbagging self-serve stations are stocked at several locations throughout the Central Okanagan. Visit each community webpage for detailed location information.

City of Kelowna
City of West Kelowna
District of Lake Country
District of Peachland
Regional District of Central Okanagan
Westbank First Nation

Visit the Province of BC for information about physical distancing and sandbagging.

Boating and debris

Boating on area lakes continues to be permitted, but boaters and those using personal watercraft must keep speeds down, particularly when approaching or travelling near the shore. Boaters should also be on the lookout for floating debris that may have been carried into the area lakes from faster flowing tributaries. Debris washed up on beaches should be left for the time being, as logs and other wood material can help to limit erosion caused by wave action.

A reminder to boaters that the Provincial Health Officer’s guidance on physical distancing also applies on boats, docks and boat launches. For more information and details, visit covid-19.bccdc.ca. Note that some boat launches may be closed for safety reasons. Visit community websites for more information about boat launch locations, which boat launches are open in the area and for community-specific COVID-19 information and measures.

Stay safe around high waters

While creek levels are falling as the water works its way through the system, sudden creek rises and increases to flow can happen quickly. Those living near creeks, streams and low-lying properties that have experienced flooding and high water in the past are responsible for having an emergency plan as well as the tools and equipment to protect properties from possible damage. People and their pets should stay safety back from creek banks, which may be slippery or subject to erosion. Find resources and learn more about creating an emergency preparedness plan at cordemergency.ca/beprepared.

More information

Residents can monitor lake levels for areas historically at risk of lake flooding or wake damage at wateroffice.ec.gc.ca. In the event of an emergency and activation of the Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre, find the latest information at cordemergency.ca, on Facebook (@CORDEmergency), Twitter (@CO_Emerg) and through email updates.

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Driving Economic Recovery in the Central Okanagan - June 17, 2020

As many Central Okanagan businesses work towards re-opening their doors in alignment with the Province’s BC Restart Plan, the Regional Mayors’ and WFN Chief’s Economic Recovery Task Force (Economic Recovery Task Force) held its second meeting to develop actions to influence long-term economic recovery in the Central Okanagan.

While some industries like tourism and hospitality felt severe and immediate impacts, others have experienced or expect to experience delayed impacts over the next several months to years. In order to determine actions and tactics to position the regional economy for a strong recovery, it is imperative that Economic Recovery Task Force members have a clear understanding of industry challenges.

To support the Economic Recovery Task Force, the COEDC is hosting a series of Industry Roundtables throughout the months of May and June 2020. The roundtables, hosted through the COEDC Advisory Council with additional industry representation, focus on understanding the local economic impacts experienced by industry and identifying industry recovery needs.

To date, Industry Roundtables have been held for Small Business, Aerospace, Manufacturing and Construction and Development. Arts, Culture and Recreation and Post-Secondary Education roundtables will be held in late June. Industry outreach to the Agriculture and Technology sectors will follow.

The roundtable results called “Early Indicator Summaries” were presented to the Task Force on June 16, 2020 and are available to the public at investkelowna.com/taskforce.

Key Findings:

  • The Region’s strong economic strength and record setting growth over that past several years prior to the impacts of COVID-19 and positive Public Health response since March 2020 position the region to recover well long-term.
  • Summer visitors to the region are expected to decline and Central Okanagan businesses need ongoing, community support to survive. There are many local initiatives to make it easy for residents to support businesses. See investkelowna.com/blog
  • While federal and provincial programing and supports have been instrumental in stabilizing many local companies as they weather the adverse impacts of COVID 19, gaps exist and further action is necessary for businesses that have not qualified for support.
  • Local governments and Westbank First Nation have a role to play in collaborating, connecting with, and assisting the diverse industries in the Central Okanagan – the Economic Recovery Task Force is recognized by industry leaders for their leadership in implementing a regional approach to long-term economic recovery.

As a result of yesterday’s meeting, the Economic Recovery Task Force provided guidance in the development of a regional advocacy strategy to work with senior levels of governments to address gaps in some of the existing aid programs and to share specific issues and concerns identified by industry in the Roundtables. COEDC staff have begun work to develop and implement the strategy immediately.

“We know businesses across the Central Okanagan have experienced a variety of impacts from COVID-19. While some industries were impacted early on, others are only beginning to see impacts now” said Economic Recovery Task Force Co-Chair and RDCO Chair Gail Given. “The Early Indicator Reports received by the Economic Recovery Task Force yesterday provided a snapshot of the impact to date and what businesses need to help us understand the long-term recovery needs of the Region.”

“Direct industry intelligence allows us to respond effectively, communicate regional business needs and position ourselves for new economic opportunities like funding programs from senior governments as we work towards economic recovery.” said Economic Recovery Task Force Co-Chair and Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran. “These outcomes will lead to a regional advocacy strategy to ensure the voice of the Central Okanagan is heard.”

To keep up to date on the Economic Recovery Task Force actions and current resources for local businesses, visit the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission at investkelowna.ca.

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Stage 2 Outdoor Water Restrictions - June 15, 2020

Tomorrow marks the annual return to twice weekly outdoor water restrictions for customers of the six water systems Regional District of Central Okanagan water systems.

Unless otherwise noted, each year from June 16 until September 15, Stage 2 water restrictions are in place for the Star Place, Falcon Ridge, Killiney Beach, Sunset Ranch, Upper Fintry-Shalal Road-Valley of the Sun and Westshore water systems.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says “Stage 2 means if needed, outdoor watering is restricted for customers of those systems to two days each week. Those with even number addresses may water outdoors on Saturday and Tuesday while those with odd addresses may only irrigate outside on Sunday and Wednesday.  If you don’t need to water gardens and lawns on your allotted day and time period, please don’t waste water. By following the outdoor watering restrictions, residents will help ensure that system reservoirs are replenished and there’s an adequate water supply for everyone.”

The RDCO Water Systems Regulations Bylaw No. 1370 also outlines the hours for automated and manual outdoor irrigation.  Customers with automated sprinklers should only water between midnight and 6:00 am on their designated day, while those with manual outdoor irrigation must restrict their watering to between 6:00 and 11:00 am and 6:00 pm and midnight on their respective irrigation day. 

Between September 16 and June 15 – Stage 1 Restrictions are in place allowing customers to water outdoors on alternating days based on their odd or even street address number.

For more tips on water conservation inside and outside your home, visit the Regional District Water System webpage at rdco.com/water.  Customers may also sign up there to receive email notifications of any water advisories or special maintenance works affecting their water system.

The Regional District maintains and operates six community water systems serving just over 1,000 properties in the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West electoral areas.

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - June 12, 2020

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Thursday, June 11.  And here's where you can listen to Audio from the meeting.

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Regional Board Strategic Priorities Highlighted - June 12, 2020

The priorities outlined by the Regional Board are front and centre in the 2019 RDCO Annual Review.

The Regional Board Strategic Priorities provides RDCO staff direction on implementing its vision and values in four key areas:

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

The Annual Review highlights some of the program and service accomplishments in each of those areas during 2019 on behalf of Central Okanagan residents.  As well, it also outlines some of the initiatives that were anticipated for 2020.  It should be noted, these were proposed prior to the current COVID-19 pandemic and in light of that, may be subject to change or adapted by the Board in light of fiscal priorities.

The 2019 Annual Review remains an excellent overview of the array of approximately 80 different programs and services that the Regional District delivers as a local government in the Central Okanagan.

The 2019 Annual Review is available along with past publications online at rdco.com/annualreview.

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RDCO Parks Transitioning for In-person Programs - June 8, 2020

Regional District of Central Okanagan in-person parks interpretation activities are gradually returning.

As our province moves into its phased reopening plan with guidelines to ensure residents safety, RDCO Parks Visitor Services is welcoming participants to once again join in a few initial programs.

“We are following the public health expert’s guidelines and recommendations to ensure the comfort and safety of small groups of people taking part in a limited number of programs” says Isabella Hodson, Supervisor of Community Relations and Visitor Services.

“We’ve made some important adjustments in order to welcome residents back to in-person interpretive programs.  For example” she says, “our Wild Walks program requires participants to register in advance; is limited to a maximum of eight people per outing and will see everyone physically distancing, keeping a safe, minimum two metres apart.”  Registration information along with dates and times for the Wild Walks this month in Stephens Coyote Regional Park can be found at rdco.com/parksevents.  In order to accommodate as many people as possible, please register for one hike this month.

As well, a number of free Pop-Up Programs are being offered at several different regional parks during June.  There is no registration required for these.  Residents may drop-in and RDCO parks interpreters will provide sanitized equipment and physical distancing will be required.  Among these programs are:

  • Butterfly Bioblitz – help track butterfly biodiversity by catching butterflies, identifying them and releasing back into the wild
  • Birding 101 – learn the basics of bird watching
  • Wild Waters Critters – discover the unique features of invertebrate life in ponds

Information on dates, times and locations for each Pop-Up program can be found at rdco.com/parksevents.

The popular @regionalparks Instagram Live interpretative programs are continuing each Tuesday and Thursday morning at 10:30 and Saturday at 1:00 pm.  The updated schedule of program topics and links to past video presentations can be found at rdco.com/parksevents.

All Regional Parks remain open during the current health emergency for visitors using safe distancing practices.  There are 63 kilometers of formal trails in 30 regional parks.  Visit rdco.com/pickapark for more information.  If you do visit our regional parks, please practice healthy hygiene and physical distancing by keeping at least two metres between you and other visitors.

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Rural Property Tax Notices - June 1, 2020

Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West Electoral Area homeowners should soon be receiving their 2020 Rural Property Tax Notices in the mail

All property owners in the Central Okanagan are reminded that:

  • the Regional District doesn’t collect taxes directly
  • cannot accept Property Tax payments 

In the electoral areas the Province collects Rural Property Tax Notice payments while municipal governments directly collect the taxes for Regional District purposes from property owners within:

  • City of Kelowna
  • City of West Kelowna
  • District of Lake Country
  • District of Peachland

If they qualify, property owners in the two unincorporated rural electoral areas may complete their Home Owner Grant Application (remittance coupon at the bottom of the property tax notice) and make their tax payment to the Minister of Finance at most financial institutions and through their electronic payment services; mortgage agreement; or by enrolling in online eTaxBC.  They may also be sent by mail to:

Surveyor of Taxes,

P.O. Box 9446 Stn Prov Govt,

Victoria, BC V8W 9V6

Property owners in the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West Electoral Areas should note that the Rural Property Tax due date has not changed. To avoid any penalty, please ensure payment by July 2.  There are also a number of Provincial Government property tax deferment programs available to qualifying property owners.  Details are available on the Ministry website. If they have questions about their Rural Property Tax Notice they should contact the Surveyor of Taxes at 1-888-355-2700; email ruraltax@gov.bc.ca; or they can go online to the Ministry of Finance website.

Property owners in the City of Kelowna, City of West Kelowna, District of Lake Country, and District of Peachland must direct their property tax payments to their local government.

The Regional District provides approximately 80 different programs and services to residents across the Central Okanagan.

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North Westside Bulky Items Collection - May 29, 2020

North Westside Road residents within the Central Okanagan will have a special opportunity to dispose of unwanted bulky items.

Wednesday July 1 through Wednesday July 15 during regular operating hours at the North Westside Road Transfer Station, you can dispose of large household items for a cost of $20 per truckload. 

This special disposal opportunity is available to residents with a valid ID card only, for residential items only including: appliances, scrap metal, lawn mowers and other motorized parts, household and lawn furniture.  No hazardous waste (including computers, electronics, etc.) will be accepted. Unwanted fridges and freezers will be accepted at $15 per item, the Freon decommissioning charge.

Cash or cheques will be the only accepted method of payment. 

The North Westside Road Transfer Station is open Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 am until 12:00 noon.  It is located at the Sugarloaf Mountain/Whiteman Creek Forest Service Road. (Turn at the corner of Westside Road and Sugarloaf Mountain Forest Service Road and follow the signs.)

For more information and details about this collection please contact the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250 or email recycle@cord.bc.ca.

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - May 25, 2020

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Monday, May 25.  And here's where you can listen to Audio from the meeting.

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Bears are back - Take Responsibility for your Trash - May 7, 2020

The Regional Waste Reduction Office is sending out the spring reminder to do your part in keeping neighbourhoods 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 neighbourhoods from Peachland to West Kelowna and beyond. Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart says that means it’s time to be extra vigilant. “This is the time of year bears come out of hibernation, hungry, and looking for food.  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 store waste and recycling carts inside a shed or garage and put carts out only on the morning 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, they can make a real mess, but also become food conditioned. Then they can pose a risk to you and your family, your neighbours, and themselves. And that’s totally preventable.”

Stewart says the Regional Waste Reduction Office in conjunction with their waste contractor E360s will be continuing with the next phase of a pilot project of fully automated bear resistant garbage carts in select neighbourhoods. “There have been some design issues with these new model carts, so testing on the upgraded versions will continue this spring. 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 later this year. Something to keep in mind though, the manufacturer stresses these automated bear carts are still only bear resistant, not 100 per cent bear proof, so managing your attractants carefully is still critical. 

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 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 birdbaths to attract birds, rather than bird feeders

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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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - April 27, 2020

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Monday, March 23.  And here's where you can listen to Audio from the meeting.

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Falcon Ridge Water Quality Advisory - April 22, 2020

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. 

Increased turbidity in the water system source has resulted in water quality that might impact some residents.  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 or customers should use a safe alternative to water from the tap such as bottled or distilled water.

This water quality advisory will continue until further notice. 

For information visit the Regional District website water system webpage (rdco.com/water) or contact RDCO Engineering 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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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - March 23, 2020

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Monday, March 23.  And here's where you can listen to Audio from the meeting.

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Regional Board Approves Financial Plan - March 25, 2020

The 2020 – 2024 Financial Plan has been approved by the Regional District of Central Okanagan Board. 

The 2020 RDCO budget totals just over $55.99-million compared with $58.92-million in 2019.

Board Chair Gail Given says, “This is the first time that our Board has passed a budget in such uncertain times.  The budget was drafted before the currently evolving COVID-19 pandemic and by proceeding we can ensure that we are able to continue delivering all our services and especially the essential ones that residents require during these dynamic times.”

“Considering the changing and unusual public health emergency that we find ourselves in,” she says “there may be times in the coming year when we need to revisit and adapt the Financial Plan in order to best respond to the needs of our communities.  This might require adjustments to reflect the financial changes and grants that are available from the federal and provincial governments, supporting the COVID-19 response.”

In this budget an estimated $12.5-million in important Capital and infrastructure improvements are proposed. Since 2009 the Regional District has spent more than $95.6-million on Capital projects by using reserves and leveraging grants to complete those projects.  At the end of 2019 there was only $4.5-million in outstanding capital debt compared with $6.9-million in 2018.

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 $741,000 in 2019 are shown below.  Market value increases varied by area from 2019 to 2020.  The actual tax rate varies from neighbourhood to neighbourhood and municipality, depending on the local services provided by the Regional District. 

Member

 

2020
House Value

 

Total Tax per House

 

Net Incr / (Decr) on the home from 2019

Kelowna

$730,000

$182.22

($1.63)

Peachland

$736,500

$214.08

$2.28

Lake Country

$749,500

$214.98

$6.29

West Kelowna

$735,000

$203.57

$0.88

C.O. West

$748,000

$677.36

 $39.65

C.O. East

$752,000

$547.25

 $33.67

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.

Regional Districts differ from municipalities because they don’t have just one tax rate. The Central Okanagan regional district has more than 80 individual services provided and paid for by different combinations of taxpayers. 

The member municipalities of Kelowna, Lake Country, Peachland and West Kelowna receive a basket of 18 – 20 general regional services such as Economic Development, Regional Parks, Dog Control, 9-1-1 and Regional Rescue/Emergency Planning.  These services account for a relatively small share of the total average tax bill for property owners ranging from just over $182 in Kelowna to almost $215 in Lake Country.

The Regional District is also the local government for residents in the two electoral areas providing them with 28 general services such as Fire Prevention, Planning, Community Parks, Building Inspection and Bylaw Enforcement.  These services account for average taxes of $547.25 for property owners in the Central Okanagan East Electoral Area and $677.36 for those in the Central Okanagan West Electoral area.  A decrease in requisitions for Transportation Demand Management has partially offset increases for Electoral Area Planning, Electoral Area Governance and Regional and Community Parks.

Specific communities within the electoral areas also fund additional services received from four paid-on-call fire departments, three community halls 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 in accordance with a service agreement.

The Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District (CORHD) Five Year Financial Plan was also adopted.  Each year, ratepayers within the Hospital District contribute up to 40% of the funds for approved capital and equipment services.  The 2020 budget includes $10.5-million in capital project funding.  Hospital Board Chair Given says, “Our priorities and those identified by Interior Health were based on pre-COVID-19 conditions.  These priorities may require some flexibility and adjustments to reflect the realities of the response to the virus.  Now, more than ever, we recognize the critical importance of health services in our community.”

Interior Health has advised it anticipates between $55 and $65-million in large capital projects over the next ten years.  Given says, “In order to build financial reserves and reduce the potential need for debt financing, the hospital board has agreed to annual three per cent increases over the next five years.  That means in 2020 the average household will contribute $188.86 (up $5.51 from 2019) towards capital improvements and new health equipment in the Central Okanagan.  With this additional investment, we will be able to fund the proposed capital projects in 2021 from reserves and without any additional borrowing.  This includes a new parkade for Kelowna General Hospital.”

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

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - March 12, 2020

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Thursday March 12.  And here's where you can listen to Audio from the meeting.

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - February 25, 2020

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Monday evening January 27.  And here's where you can listen to Audio from the meeting.

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - February 13, 2020

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Monday evening January 27.  And here's where you can listen to Audio from the meeting.

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Highlights from the Regional Board Meeting - January 29, 2019

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Monday evening January 27.  And here's where you can listen to Audio from the meeting.

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Highlights from the Regional Board Meeting - January 16, 2019

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Thursday morning January 16.  And here's where you can listen to Audio from the meeting.

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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)