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Composter - Rain Barrel Sale This Weekend

Here’s your chance to cut your garbage in half, give your garden a chemical-free boost – and save money. Buy a composter or rain barrel this Sunday for Earth Day!

The Regional Waste Reduction Office in partnership with the Okanagan Basin Water Board is hosting the composter /rain barrel sale this Sunday at the KLO Campus of Okanagan College in Kelowna, 1000 KLO Road. The sale runs from 9:00am until 3:00pm, and a limited number of composters (350) + Rain Barrels (125) will be available on a first come first serve basis.

“The price of the composters is only $35, Or Rain Barrels for $80 including tax, so definitely a great price,” says Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart. She adds all forms of payment will be accepted on sale day.

Stewart adds the sale format is a little different than previous sales-no more pre-order. “The idea is to get these units into the hands of residents just that much earlier this year so they can start using them right away. On Sale day, we’re asking you access the College campus off of Raymer Avenue, park and walk up to purchase your unit. Parking is free on site all day. We’re very grateful to have the young athletes from the KSS Owls Football team, their coaches and some parents on hand this year if you need help getting your composter or rain barrel to your vehicle.”

For details on the one day only composter and rain barrel sale visit regionaldistrict.com/compostersale or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250.469.6250.

(April 18, 2018)

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Washouts Close Section of the Mission Creek Greenway

At least two washout slides have forced the closure of a section of the Mission Creek Greenway.

The Pinnacle Trail loop past the KLO Creek Bridge, the Black Bear Trail along Mission Creek and the upper Greenway Trail leading to the Hydraulic Creek trail-end are closed until further notice while staff assesses damage, stability and possible repairs that will be required.  View Map

For safety reasons, the Regional District of Central Okanagan urges Greenway users to respect the barricades and trail closed signs posted at the KLO Creek Bridge (downstream from Field Road entrance).

Regional Parks staff is continuing to monitor creek levels along the entire length of the Mission Creek Greenway recreational corridor. With creeks expected to continue rising due to the recent weather and with spring runoff, people are reminded that water levels may rise unexpectedly and they, children and pets should stay safely back from creek banks, which may be slippery or subject to erosion from the spring runoff.

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

(April 17, 2018)

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Flood Precaution and Spring Runoff Safety

Given last year’s widespread flooding across the Central Okanagan, residents are showing a heightened awareness of potential flooding this year.

The Central Okanagan Emergency program, RDCO fire departments, regional parks, public works crews and the BC Ministry of Environment are monitoring creek water levels as the spring runoff is in its very early stages. If needed, the BC River Forecast Centre will issue advisories, watches and warnings for Mission Creek.

Currently some parts of the region are experiencing localized flooding.  There are no imminent threats of flooding in the Central Okanagan electoral areas. An isolated overland flooding issue in the Valley of the Sun subdivision that flooded in the past is being monitored.  Depending on the weather, the risk of above average creek levels and potential flooding could rise given the higher than average snowpack at the mid and upper elevations.

Those living near creeks, streams and low-lying properties that have had flooding issues in the past are reminded that they are responsible for having an emergency plan as well as the tools and equipment necessary to protect their properties from possible flood damage.  They should monitor water levels and prepare their properties if they have concerns to reduce the risk of damage from potential flooding.  You may want to inspect your properties and adjacent culverts/drainage and clear debris to ensure that they will not impede water flow or redirect water to cause flooding on other properties.  Before doing any work in and around water courses or sensitive areas within the electoral areas, check with FrontCounter BC, as you may require special authorization or permits.

Sand and sandbags are available for residents who wish to prepare at four RDCO firehalls:

  • Ellison Station 61 – 4411 Old Vernon Road
  • North Westside Short’s Creek fire hall  Station 102 7355 Westside Road North
  • Joe Rich Station 51 - 11481 Highway 33 East
  • Wilson’s Landing Station 42 – 2396 Westside Road North

At this time, property owners will be responsible for proper removal and disposal of any sandbags that they deploy.

With higher ground water levels from melting snow and rain, hillside property owners should also be aware of the potential for overland flooding and slides in the event of saturated soil conditions.  Information about the potential danger signs property owners should watch for and what you can do is available on the PreparedBC website.

Information and pamphlets on flood preparedness including a recommended method for sandbag diking are available from the Regional District of Central Okanagan office (1450 KLO Road) as well as on the Be Prepared page of the Regional District Emergency Program website www.cordemergency.ca and on the Prepared BC website.

This week, residents may notice activity in Hardy Falls and Mill Creek regional parks.  Bridges that were compromised from last year’s flooding in both parks are being removed to prevent potential damage should there be flooding in Deep and Mill Creeks.  Unlike neighbouring municipalities, the Regional District does not have the jurisdiction or approvals to dredge or remove sediments that have collected in any creeks or water courses.

All Central Okanagan residents should be cautious around area creeks as water can unexpectedly rise and flow faster.  People and pets should stay safely back from creek banks, which may be slippery or subject to erosion from the spring runoff.  Throughout the spring runoff, boaters should look-out for floating debris carried into area lakes from rising and faster flowing tributaries.

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

(April 17, 2018)

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Falcon Ridge Water Quality Advisory

The Regional District of Central Okanagan has issued a precautionary 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 from spring runoff 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 precautionary water quality advisory will continue until further notice. 

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

(April 12, 2018)

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Egg Addling Program Controlling Goose Population

As spring finally approaches, so does the onset of the Canada goose nesting season in the Okanagan Valley.  This week marks the beginning of the 12th annual Canada goose egg-addling program as part of the Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program (OVGMP).   The addling program continues to prevent explosive growth of the non-migratory resident goose population.

Since program inception, the nesting population has not increased and remains at approximately 2,500 birds. “This is remarkable,” says Kate Hagmeier, OVGMP Coordinator, “The 2017 population report from the Canadian Wildlife Service shows that elsewhere in B.C., the goose population is increasing at a rate of 16 per cent.  At that rate this population should be doubling every five years. Thankfully, this is not occurring in the Valley where over 11,000 geese have been humanely prevented from entering the population, in addition to their generations of offspring, through addling.”

Nesting geese targeted through the OVGMP are not native to the region. They are hybrid offspring of several different subspecies of Canada geese that were introduced in the 1960’s and 70’s. Canada geese from elsewhere in Canada and the U.S. were translocated to the Valley as part of managed introduction program.

What was not foreseen was the inability of these geese to migrate because they had no parents or natural triggers to guide them and their ability to adapt and thrive in the mild Okanagan climate. The consequences have been a steadily growing population with few natural controls and a need to manage this population.

Egg addling involves shaking eggs or coating them with non-toxic biodegradable food-grade corn oil within 14 days of incubation to make them non-viable. The U.S. Humane Society supports this egg addling technique.

Once addled, eggs are returned to the nest. Geese continue to incubate until they realize the eggs will not hatch. By then it is generally too late in the year to produce more eggs. Adults are not harmed and will continue with their regular life cycle.

Key to the success of the program is finding new nests. The public is asked to report lone geese, pairs of geese, or nest locations on private or public land by emailing coordinator@okanagangooseplan.com or calling 1-877-943-3209.

The public is asked to keep away from goose nests and to avoid touching the eggs. A federal permit is required to allow crews to addle goose eggs on public and private lands with owners’ permission. In the case of private lands, an authorization form is available on the program website.

In addition to egg addling and population surveys, many geese have been marked with leg-bands. Bird-banding is the practice of applying unique markers (bands) to legs of birds. When a marked bird is observed by a birdwatcher or recovered by a hunter, data on age, survival, habitat use and migratory patterns can be retrieved and analyzed.

“The data collected from leg-bands allows us to improve our understanding of how the population is formed and where to target management strategies,” said Hagmeier.

The Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program is a partnership between the City of Kelowna, Central Okanagan Regional District, Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen, District of West Kelowna, City of Vernon, City of Penticton, District of Lake Country, Town of Osoyoos, Town of Oliver, District of Peachland, District of Summerland, Westbank First Nation, Glenmore Ellison Irrigation District, Greater Vernon Water, and the District of Coldstream.

 Information about the program is available at okanagangooseplan.com.

(April 11, 2018)

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Community Shred-it Event

Dig out those old financial papers and bring them to the Regional District of Central Okanagan parking lot at 1450 KLO Road on Saturday, May 5th.

Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers will have Okanagan Paper Shredding on site to help you lighten your paper document load, protect your important identity information and help Crime Stoppers raise money for tip payouts.

The truck will be in our KLO Road parking lot from 10:00 a.m. til 2:00 p.m.   Shredding is by donation - It's suggested that you donate a minimum of $5.00 per box.

More details are available on the Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers website

(April 9, 2018)

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Celebrate Earth Day:  Buy a Composter, Rain Barrel

Here’s your chance to celebrate Earth Day and do your yard a big favor this gardening season, by purchasing a backyard composter or rain barrel. The Regional Waste Reduction Office in partnership with the Okanagan Basin Water Board’s (OBWB) Okanagan WaterWise program will be hosting a ONE DAY ONLY Composter and Rain Barrel Sale, Sunday April 22nd from 9 am – 3 pm at the KLO campus of Okanagan College in Kelowna. 

The ONE Day Only Sale is a format shift from previous sales where composters needed to be pre-ordered and pre-paid in March, then were delivered for pick up in May. This year’s sale will feature a limited supply of units, (350 composters and 125 rain barrels) but get them into the hands of residents earlier, in time for gardening season. Free Garden Earth Composters will sell for $35, Rain Barrels for $80.

“If you compost, you can easily cut the garbage you produce in half,” says Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart with the Regional District. “Composting is easy, fun, something the whole family can get involved in. And imagine how rewarding it is to make your own nutritious soil enhancer for your garden, all from the kitchen scraps and green matter from your yard that you’d otherwise be just tossing out! It’s like a super booster for your garden.”

Corinne Jackson, Communications Director for the OBWB says they’re pleased to be partnering again with Waste Reduction and expect the rain barrels to go quickly. Only 125 will be available with a limit of two per household.

“Collecting rain water for use in your yard has so many benefits,” Jackson explained.   “Rain water provides soft, fresh, untreated water for your plants.  Plus, collecting rain water limits run off from yards, helps prevent contaminants from washing into our storm drains and ultimately into local streams and lakes. By diverting some of this run-off into rain barrels you’re helping keep our waters clean for drinking, for fish and everything else that depends on good, clean water.” 

For details on the one day only composter and rain barrel sale visit regionaldistrict.com/compostersale or email the Regional Waste Reduction Office at recycle@cord.bc.ca  or call 250.469.6250.

(April 3, 2018)

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Wild Walks

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 90 minutes, is suitable for all ages including families with young children and range from easy to moderate.  Participants should dress for the conditions, and bring along some anti-slip/traction devices.   There’s no cost to take part but please pre-register for ‘Wild Walks’ on the following dates and locations:

  • Saturday, April 14th at 10:00 am and Wednesday, April 18th at 1:00 pm we’ll explore two heritage parks in West Kelowna.  We’ll begin at the Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park parking area off Whitworth Road, learning about the historic orchard then we’ll walk to Gellatly Heritage Regional Park exploring its interpretive trail, buildings and view, before returning to the Nut Farm.

To save a spot for your family on these free ‘Wild Walks’ outings, please drop in to the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan, email eeco@cord.bc.ca 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 the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/parks or contact the EECO at 250-469-6140.

(April 3, 2018)

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EECO After School

Students are welcome to join in at ‘EECO After School’. 

This is a perfect activity for students of any age to have fun after classes are done for the day.  Join us each Thursday afternoon for free, hands-on learning activities that explore the ‘wild’ in our parks.

The one hour program begins at 3:00 pm in the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan located in Mission Creek Regional Park, Springfield and Durnin Roads.  Parents of school aged children can enjoy a child-free hour in the park by dropping off their child for the program. Please pre-register for drop-off by stopping by the EECO, emailing eeco@cord.bc.ca or phoning 250-469-6140.

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

(April 3, 2018)

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Extended Park Closure for Outfall Expansion Construction

Due to unexpected construction challenges related to the Regional District of Central Okanagan Wastewater Treatment Plant outfall expansion, the closure of a West Kelowna waterfront community park is being extended.

The City of West Kelowna’s Pebble Beach Park has been closed since January as the new outfall from the plant is passing through the park into Okanagan Lake.  Unfortunately the construction project is taking longer than expected and may not be complete until the end of May, requiring the park to remain closed.

The Regional District apologizes for the inconvenience and thanks residents for their understanding.

Construction takes place between 7:00 am and 5:30 pm daily. Pedestrians and vehicles should be aware and obey traffic control in this area.

The $4.7-million project will result in increased efficiency and operation of the plant located off Gellatly Road.  It treats approximately 10-million litres of wastewater each day from the City of West Kelowna, District of Peachland and Westbank First Nation Reserves #9 and #10.

You can learn more about this important infrastructure project and the plant by visiting www.regionaldistrict.com/wastewater.

(March 27, 2018)

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2018 - 2022 Financial Plan Approved

The 2018 – 2022 Financial Plan has been adopted by the Regional Board.  It results in decreases for many Central Okanagan property owners and slight increases for those in Kelowna and Peachland. 

The 2018 RDCO budget totals just over $65.96-million compared with $64.77-million in 2017. 

  • 46.54% is Operating Expenses ($30.7-million)
  • 44.74% is Debt ($29.5-million including $26.5-million Municipal Finance Authority payments on behalf of partner municipalities)
  • 8.71% is Transfers to Capital and Reserves ($5.7-million) for future infrastructure and capital projects and includes flood recovery revenue.

Board Chair Gail Given says, “For the second straight year there’s good news as many average homeowners in the region will see a decrease in the Regional District portion of their tax bills. We’ve been able to accomplish this while including $15.2-million for important Capital and infrastructure improvement projects. We’re also preparing for the future by increasing the amounts transferred to Capital and Reserves by 5.5% over last year (8.74% with flood recovery revenues included).  It’s important that we continue building reserves to minimize debt.  By fiscally planning for the future and leveraging grants, since 2008 the Regional District, has had more than $111.8-million in total Capital spending, requiring just $4.98-million in outstanding long-term debt.”

The tax impacts for general services on the average home that was assessed at $597,000 in 2017 are shown below.  Market value increases varied by area from 2017 to 2018.  The actual tax rate varies from neighbourhood to neighbourhood and municipality, depending on the local services provided by the Regional District. 

Member

 

2018
Assessment

 

Total Tax per House

 

Net Incr / (Decr) on the home from 2017

Kelowna

$692,000

$180.52

$2.74

Peachland

$684,000

$205.98

$0.19

Lake Country

$674,000

$200.14

($2.53)

West Kelowna

$682,000

$196.19

($0.06)

C.O. West

$675,000

$593.44

 ($31.86)

C.O. East

$664,000

$474.92

 ($1.53)

There’s a general decrease in the Regional District portion of taxes for the average property owner in Lake Country, West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West electoral areas.  The slight increase in the Regional District portion of taxes for the average Kelowna and Peachland property owner is primarily due to changes in assessment value.  If the home went up or down by more than the average market value, the change would be greater or lower than the average.

The Regional District does not collect taxes directly.  It requisitions funds from each local government on behalf of their residents and the Province which collects property taxes in each Electoral Area. 

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 general 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 (5.5-6%) of the total average tax bill for property owners ranging from just over $181 in Kelowna to almost $206 in Peachland. (See table above – Total Tax per House)

The Regional District is also the local government for residents in the two electoral areas providing them with 28 general services such as Fire Prevention, Planning, Community Parks, Building Inspection and Bylaw Enforcement.  Specific communities within the electoral areas also fund additional services received from four paid-on-call fire departments and six water systems that connect almost 1,000 properties.

The Westbank First Nation (WFN) also receives several services from the Regional District such as Regional Parks, Regional Rescue, Economic Development and the Okanagan Basin Water Board.  Cost sharing for Regional District services is based on the assessed value of properties in accordance with a service agreement.

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

  • 2019 - $56.8-million
  • 2020 - $52.8-million
  • 2021 - $52.1-million
  • 2022 - $52.6- million

The Five-Year Financial Plan for the Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District (CORHD) was also adopted.  Each year, ratepayers within the Hospital District contribute 40% of the funds for approved capital and equipment services.  The 2018 budget includes $10.2-million in capital project funding.  Chair Given says, “The good news is that for the second straight year, there’s no increase for the average homeowner in the Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District budget.  In order to ensure continued quality healthcare it’s anticipated over the next five years they’ll contribute $180.29 a year towards capital improvements and new health equipment.”

Given adds. “All Central Okanagan residents benefit from excellent health care and facilities.  We’re preparing for the future by setting aside reserve funds for debt repayments or additional capital requests that might come forward from Interior Health in the years ahead.”

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

Link to Financial Plans reports, presentations and audio are available at www.regionaldistrict.com/budgets.

(March 27, 2018)

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Mow-Chip Alternative to Outdoor Burning

There’s another incentive program now available as an alternative to outdoor burning.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan Air Quality Program is offering a rebate through the new Mow-Chip program.  It provides 80% of the cost of equipment rental (daily/multi-day/weekly/) or chipping/flail mow service up to a maximum of $500 per applicant.

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 Air Quality Technical Committee has been working on different approaches to reduce particulate matter across the region. In order to preserve good air quality and to keep material out of the landfill, one option was to encourage more on-site grinding.  According to the Agricultural Waste Disposal - Best Practices Guide, BURNING IS NOT RECOMMENDED for prunings as they’re easily managed by chipping or using a flail mower. A number of businesses provide rental equipment or services and chipping can be done year-round. Green wood waste is not allowed to be burned and is perfect for chipping.  Dry wood creates too much dust and wears the chipping blades down faster.

A November 2017 survey on open burning found Central Okanagan residents expressed their support for a rebate of this type program. The rental rebate includes fuel mitigation activities, as around 15% of all burning permits issued in the Central Okanagan are for fuel reduction to create a defensible space reducing wildfire risks. Homeowners are also encouraged to remove and chip any flammable landscaping materials (cedars, junipers etc.).

Open burning should not be considered as a first option for wood management. Residents and farmers that apply for this new rebate will show their commitment and social responsibility by using alternatives to burning and supporting the region in its efforts to protect the health of their families and neighbours. Working together, we will help improve local air quality.

(March 21, 2018)

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Free Wood Heating Workshop in Lake Country

A free workshop in Lake Country will share the secrets behind clean, efficient, smokeless wood heating.

It takes place on Wednesday, April 11th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Lake Country Municipal Office, 10150 Bottom Wood Lake Road.  View Poster

Some Central Okanagan neighbourhoods including the Woodsdale area in Lake Country were identified in an air quality monitoring study (November 2015 to April 2016) as having consistently higher levels of harmful air pollution.   Wood smoke is a contributing factor to potential air pollution and related health problems.

Workshop attendees will learn about:

  • proper wood heating and burning techniques
  • purchasing and preparing your wood
  • how to make your wood pile last longer
  • tips on loading the firebox and chimney care
  • what EPA and emissions ratings mean
  • how to plan an effective wood heating system
  • rebates available to residents who wish to update their wood burning appliances

The first 20 people who pre-register by April 9th will receive a free wood moisture meter.

This free event is part of the Wood Stove Exchange program funded through a grant from the Province of BC and BC Lung Association.

For more information and to reserve a seat, email airquality@kelowna.ca or contact the Regional Air Quality Program Coordinator at 250-469-8408.

(March 12, 2018)

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Parks Flood Recovery Projects

It’s anticipated that more than two million dollars in flood recovery projects will take place this year in several affected Regional District parks.

Parks services staff continues working with the Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) Program to secure funding and approval for recovery projects.  Given the volume of requests to DFA for flood recovery, approvals are taking longer than expected.

Hardy Falls and Mill Creek regional parks remain closed as they await substantial repair work, while portions of Glen Canyon, Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour and Woodhaven Nature Conservancy regional parks are open, but have closed areas due to the damage from last year’s flooding.  As well, two community parks in the North Westside area, Fintry Access #1 and Killiney Beach are also closed while awaiting repairs.

Residents can find the latest information and status of these park flood recovery projects by visiting www.regionaldistrict.com/parksfloodrecovery.   We also have some photos and maps of these recovery works and other major infrastructure projects on the RDCO website Major Projects Map.

For more information contact Parks Services at 250-469-6232 or email parks@cord.bc.ca.

(March 6, 2018)

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Prepare for an emergency, when there is no emergency

There’s still snow on the ground and much more than would normally be measured at this time of year in the higher elevations. 

While future snowfall and spring weather will determine whether we have flooding this year, if your property has been impacted in the past, this is a good time of year to develop or go over your flood and family emergency plans.

Start thinking about how you’ll protect your property and reduce the risk of damage in the event of high water.  Property owners living near creeks, streams and low-lying areas that have flooded in the past and those with lakefront properties are responsible for having a plan as well as the tools and equipment necessary to protect their properties from possible flood damage.  Before doing any work in and around water courses or sensitive areas, check with your local government planning staff, as you may require special authorization or permits.

There are many federal and provincial resources available to help your family prepare.  You’ll find links by clicking on the Be Prepared menu option across the top of the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations website www.cordemergency.ca.  There’s information on how to assess potential emergency risks; how to make a plan and prepare a family ‘grab and go’ emergency kit.

If your family is ahead of the game and already has an emergency kit, this is a good time of year to check through and replenish it.  Remember to replace any water, food or special medications that may have expired.  And add anything that’s missing that your family might need.

While you’re on the www.cordemergency.ca website, sign up to receive email updates directly from the Emergency Operation Centre.  Thousands of Central Okanagan residents have already subscribed and know that this is the best way to get information when the EOC is activated during an emergency.

As well, our social media channels are available with the latest information during an emergency via Facebook (www.facebook.com/CORDEmergency) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/CO_Emerg).

(March 1, 2018)

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Don't Rush, Think Before Your Flush

West Kelowna, Peachland and the Westbank First Nation residents are encouraged to think, before flushing products or pouring substances down their drains!  That’s because it costs over $60,000 a year to remove clogs from sewer pipes.

They recently received an information card from the Regional District’s Westside Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant urging residents to ‘Don’t Rush, Think Before You Flush’.

Each day, the plant treats an average of ten million litres of wastewater.  Pausing before they put something down the drain will help protect the integrity of the plant’s biological treatment process.  It’ll also help prevent costly clogs and backups of pipes flowing from homes and businesses into the hundreds of kilometers of sewer collection mains throughout the Westside communities.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says think of the treatment plant as the heart with hundreds of kilometers of sewer pipes acting like the arteries of your body, filled with liquid that should never be flushed or put down drains.  “Food waste like fats, grease and oils (deep fryer oil, vegetable oil, cooking oil) can easily congeal and block pipes.  As well, diapers, wet wipes, bandages, personal hygiene products and cotton swabs should be placed into the household garbage.  And hazardous waste materials like paints, solvents and other chemicals should be disposed of at the free household hazardous waste drop off at the Battery Doctors in Kelowna.”

“Unlike toilet paper” Smith says, “wet wipes, even those labeled flushable, don’t easily break down and once flushed, can cause sewage and septic overflows into homes, businesses and the environment.  Our goal with this information program for Westside residents is to think about what they’re flushing or putting down the drain. There are proper disposal options for many of these materials.  For example, unused or expired medications and prescription drugs should be returned to a pharmacy and residents can visit www.medicationsreturn.ca for more information.”

Smith adds, “Collected kitchen cooking oils, fats, grease and lards can be placed into a container and put into the trash, or taken for disposal in receptacles at the Westside Regional Waste Disposal and Recycling Centre in West Kelowna or the Glenmore landfill, in order to be recycled in a program with McLeod’s Byproducts of Armstrong.”

Learn more by visiting www.regionaldistrict.com/wastewater.

(February 6, 2018)

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Get Cash Back for Upgrading Old Wood Burning Appliances

If smoke from your old wood stove or insert clouds the air in your neighbourhood, consider upgrading and recycling your polluting burner.  There are some financial incentives for you to help you ‘clear the air’!

The Regional Air Quality Program has cash rebates available (thanks to the Provincial Government) for Central Okanagan residents who upgrade their old wood stove to a cleaner burning one.

A $400 rebate is available for anyone replacing an uncertified wood stove with cleaner appliances such as new pellet stove, an electric heat pump or a gas or propane stove. 

For those who replace and recycle their old wood burning appliance with a new EPA/CSA B415.1 certified wood replacement, a $250 rebate is available.   

Participating Central Okanagan retailers will take care of recycling your old stove and provide all the necessary paperwork for the applicable rebate.

Regional Air Quality Coordinator Nancy Mora Castro says “It’s great that our Air Quality Program is able to help put some cash back in the pockets of Central Okanagan residents who are upgrading to new cleaner burning technology.  Changing out these older, inefficient, wood burners for new appliances cuts smoke polluting emissions by up to 90%.  It could also make your woodpile last longer, reducing the amount of wood burned by one third.”

Additional incentives may be available, so be sure to check with your local retailer or Fortis BC for more information.  To take part in the program, visit one of the participating Central Okanagan retailers, or contact the Regional Air Quality Program for more information airquality@kelowna.ca or 250-469-8408. 

Useful information and video links on how to burn smarter and get the most from your wood heating appliance can be found at regionaldistrict.com/airquality.

(January 26, 2018)

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Story Time At The EECO

Tuesday mornings are ‘Story Time at the EECO’.  The free, weekly one-hour drop-in program for children aged three to five and their care-givers returns for the winter months.

The younger ones love the nature-themed stories and songs followed by an art or craft project. The program is an excellent way for preschoolers to interact with others while learning more about the natural world. 

‘Story Time at the EECO’ runs each Tuesday morning at 10:30 through March 13th.  It resumes April 3rd and continues until June 26th.  

The EECO or Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan is located in Mission Creek Regional Park, Springfield and Durnin Roads. For more information please visit www.regionaldistrict.com/parks, drop-in or call the EECO at 250-469-6140.

(January 2, 2018)

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Philpott Trail Closed

Effective immediately, the Regional District has closed the Philpott Trail, off Philpott Road in the Joe Rich area of the Central Okanagan East Electoral Area.

A detailed assessment has been done throughout the approximately two kilometre long trail right-of-way which was burned in July by the Philpott Road wildfire.  It found burned and hazard trees, compromised root systems and large ash pits and holes from burned tree stumps.

The trail will be closed until at least spring 2018, while salvage operations are conducted and hazards are mitigated.  Fire-related debris that can’t be salvaged or chipped will be collected and burned on site when open burning is allowed.

For their safety, until further notice residents are asked to obey trail closure signage and stay out of this area.

For more information visit the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/parks.

(October 31, 2017)

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Document Download Problems? 

Recently the Regional District has become aware of periodic problems regarding the inability of some users of our website to open Adobe PDF documents that had been previously accessible.  They've received an error notice saying that the document they were trying to open is not available. 

We understand that the problem has been caused by a recent Microsoft Internet Explorer Security update.  This update on the user's computer has broken the ability of the Adobe Acrobat Reader program to open and access previously downloadable PDF documents in Internet Explorer. 

Should this problem occur on your computer system, please download and install the latest free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.  You can find this by following this link:  http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html or by clicking on the Adobe Reader icon on the bottom right corner on each page of our website. 

We thank you for your patience and appreciate your continued support of the Regional District of Central Okanagan website. 

For information or queries about our website please contact:  webmaster@cord.bc.ca 

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Regional District of Central Okanagan | 1450 KLO Road | Kelowna, BC V1W 3Z4
Ph: 250-763-4918 | Fax: 250-763-0606 | Email: info@cord.bc.ca
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 4:00 pm (Closed Holidays)