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


   

Water Quality Advisory Removed for Sunset Ranch - September 22, 2020

After consulting with Interior Health, the Regional District of Central Okanagan has rescinded a Water Quality Advisory for some customers of the Sunset Ranch water system in the Central Okanagan East Electoral Area.                     

The advisory affecting the following properties, has been in place as a precaution following construction on the upper section of the water system:

  • Seminole Road
  • Escena Drive
  • Cimarron Drive
  • Riviera Drive
  • Torrey Pines Court
  • 3378 – 3606 Pine Valley Drive
  • 3606 – 3614 Sunset Ranch Drive

Since the work was completed early Wednesday evening, the affected portion of the system has been completely flushed and test results indicate the system turbidity is within acceptable and safe Canadian guidelines for drinking water quality.

An additional note for all customers: between September 16 and June 15 – Stage 1 Restrictions are in place allowing watering outdoors on alternating days.    Customers with even-numbered addresses may irrigate on even numbered calendar days while those with odd-numbered addresses may water outdoors on odd number days.  If you don’t need to water outdoors on your allotted day or time period, please do not waste water.

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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Stage 1 Outdoor Irrigation for RDCO Water Systems - September 22, 2020

As we move today into the fall season, a reminder that as needed, customers of the six water systems operated by the Regional District of Central Okanagan are once again on an odd/even outdoor irrigation schedule.

Between September 16 and June 15 – Stage 1 Restrictions are in place allowing watering outdoors on alternating days.    Customers with even-numbered addresses may irrigate on even numbered calendar days while those with odd-numbered addresses may water outdoors on odd number days.  If you don’t need to water outdoors on your allotted day or time period, please do not waste water.

Under the Regional District Water Systems Regulations Bylaw No. 1370, customers with an automated irrigation system may only water outside on their designated day between midnight and 6:00 am, while those with manual outdoor irrigation must restrict their watering to between 6:00 am and 11:00 am and 6:00 pm and midnight on their respective irrigation day.  By following the outdoor watering restrictions that are in effect all year, residents help ensure reservoirs are replenished and there’s an adequate water supply.

Every year from June 16 to September 15, Stage 2 water restrictions are in effect for customers of the Star Place/Dietrich, Falcon Ridge, Killiney Beach, Sunset Ranch, Upper Fintry-Shalal Road-Valley of the Sun and Westshore Estates water systems unless other restrictions are in place.  Stage 2 means outdoor watering is restricted on those six systems to two days each week. RDCO water customers with even number addresses may irrigate outdoors on Saturday and Tuesday while those with odd addresses may only water outside on Sunday and Wednesday.

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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Take Responsibility for your Trash - Keep Bears Out - September 17, 2020

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

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

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

Stewart adds the Regional Waste Reduction Office in conjunction with their waste contractor E360s is now into phase two of a pilot project testing fully automated bear resistant garbage carts in select neighborhoods this fall. “Dependent on the results of the pilot and how those carts stand up to bear activity, and winter conditions, there may be bear resistant cart options for residents by next year.”

WildSafeBC has tips you can follow to help keep wildlife wild and the community safe:

  • Secure your garbage – store it in a secure location indoors or a bear-resistant enclosure. Also secure Yard Waste cart if it contains fruit.
  • Only put garbage out for collection on the morning of pickup, not the night before
  • Encourage neighbors to do the same, offer to help if needed
  • Consider freezing your kitchen waste until the morning of collection day
  • Manage your fruit trees, pick ripe & fallen fruit immediately
  • Maintain your compost so it doesn’t smell. Add fruit slowly. No meat/dairy.
  • Use birdbaths and houses to attract birds, instead of 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/species/black-bear/.  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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Recycling Ambassadors hit the streets for recycling education - September 16, 2020

Are you putting the right things in your recycling cart? The Regional District will be back on the streets again this fall with the help of their Recycling Ambassadors, randomly checking what’s under the blue lid and inside curbside recycling carts. This is part of the ongoing cart education and inspection campaign by the Regional District to combat recycling contamination.

Engineering Manager Travis Kendel says they have brought back the Recycling Ambassador Student Program after a delay due to COVID-19. “Our Ambassadors will be reaching out to residents through curbside cart checks and education this fall.”

“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.”

“Things like 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 are found in the recycling, garbage and yard waste carts – to help encourage future compliance.

To find out more about what to recycle in your curbside cart or at a depot, visit rdco.com/recycle, download the free Recycle Coach App, or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250.

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Cougar Sightings in Woodhaven Nature Conservancy Regional Park - September 16, 2020

Warning signs have been posted advising visitors to Woodhaven Nature Conservancy Regional Park about recent cougar activity in the area.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan says there have been some sightings reported and this information has been passed on to the Conservation Officer Service.

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy has information on Cougars on its website.  It advises that while human conflicts with these large cats are extremely rare and an attack is highly unlikely, it pays to be prepared especially when in a natural setting as cougars are unpredictable.  It recommends that people should travel in groups of two or more and that you make enough noise so that you don’t surprise a cougar.  Carry a sturdy walking stick that can be used as a weapon if necessary and keep children and pets close at hand and under control.  If you encounter a cougar, stay calm, talk to it in a confident voice, pick up all children off the ground and never turn your back on the animal.  Instead, back away slowly, remaining upright and do all you can to make yourself look larger, and always give a cougar an avenue of escape.

Regional Park visitors are reminded that if allowed, dogs must be leashed at all times and must remain on designated trails. 

If you observe a cougar or bear within any Regional Park please contact the Parks Services office at 250-469-6232 and the Conservation Officer Service RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.

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North Westside Fall Bulky Household Item Collection - September 16, 2020

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

Wednesday October 7 through Wednesday October 14, 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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Air Quality Program offers free Radon Test Kits - September 14, 2020

Radon is an odourless and invisible gas that can be found inside any building.  As the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, high levels of radon in your home could be making you and your family sick.

The Central Okanagan is considered by the federal government to be at a high risk for this radioactive gas that escapes from the ground into buildings. That’s why the RDCO Air Quality program is joining forces with Interior Health and Health Canada’s Take Action on Radon initiative to offer 400 free radon test kits for Central Okanagan residents.  With many Canadians spending more time at home, it’s the perfect time to focus on improving indoor air quality.

Residents can go online to rdco.com/radonchallenge to learn more about radon gas and register for their free test kit by October 26, 2020.  The kits are being offered to any Central Okanagan resident on a first-come, first-serve basis, limited to one free test kit per property, and must be picked up the week of November 2-6 from their local government office.  Those receiving a kit will be asked to follow the instructions for completing the 90-day minimum test and return their kit to their local government office in late February 2021.  Individual test results will be available and sent to each participant in early Spring 2021.

While online to register, residents may also sign up to attend a free radon gas webinar on Wednesday, October 28 at 6:00 pm.  During this event, participants will learn from public health and industry experts how to take action on radon, find out about available resources and tools, as well as ask questions.

Thanks to Take Action on Radon, the RDCO Air Quality program has also 50 test kits available for purchase for those who either miss the free giveaway or need additional kits to test indoor spaces. A maximum of two test kits can be purchased per property and must be reserved in advance by completing an online pre-registration form by October 26. Radon test kits typically cost $60 but this 50-kit purchase option is being offered through the Air Quality Program at a subsidized price of $20.

Take Action on Radon is led by the Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (CARST), CAREX Canada and the Canadian Cancer Society in order to raise awareness about radon and its potential hazard. To learn more, please visit takeactiononradon.ca.

Quotes:

“The Regional District of Central Okanagan Air Quality program is pleased to be part of the national Take Action on Radon initiative and to offer radon testing kits to our residents.  Radon can be found in every home, though not always at elevated levels.  Since homes are sealed against the weather, radon levels can build up inside to levels that Health Canada considers to be dangerous.”

Nancy Mora Castro, RDCO Air Quality Program Coordinator

“Measuring the radon level in your family’s home is critical for all Canadians, and it’s so easy to do.  There’s no need to fear finding a high radon test result as this should initiate action to lower exposure and reduce risk of lung cancer. Radon mitigation systems can be installed in any home and reduce radon levels by over 90%.  The installation work involved can generally be completed within a day.”

Greg Baytalan, Air Quality Specialist, Interior Health Authority

“Many Canadians are unaware that radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.  Radon is a radioactive gas that is present in the air and can accumulate in high concentrations in homes.  Long-term exposure to high levels of radon damages the DNA in our lung tissue and leads to an increased risk of lung cancer.”

Pam Warkentin, Executive Director of CARST and Project Manager at Take Action on Radon

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Highlights from the Regional Board meetings - September 11, 2020

The Governance and Services Committee and Regional Board met Thursday, September 10.  Here are links to information for those meetings:

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Nut Sale Changes at Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park - September 10

There are some changes this year for nut sales at Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park.

The proceeds from this annual fall nut harvest and sale is used by the non-profit Gellatly Nut Farm Society to assist with upkeep and improvements in the popular four-hectare waterfront regional park and working nut orchard off Whitworth Road in West Kelowna.

This year in order to keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, Society volunteers will not be operating the nut house store.  Instead through November, members of the public that wish to purchase nut varieties are asked to self-harvest:

  • Wash or sanitize your hands before and after nut harvesting.
  • Practice physical distancing by keeping at least two metres between yourself and others in the orchard and park.
  • Bring your own bags.
  • Pick from the ground only.  Please do not climb trees. Nuts fall to the ground when they are ripe and ready for harvest.
  • Payment is by cash only must be deposited into the payment box at the house near the Whitworth Road park entrance.  The Society is unable to accept any other form of payment.
    • Small bucket: $5.00
    • Large bucket: $10.00

Nuts that are not paid for upon leaving the Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park, may result in a $500 fine under the Regional Parks bylaw 1427.

Anyone that would like to purchase a special wood bowl or cutting board made from orchard wood is asked to contact the Society at 250-470-0999 or 250-768-5960.

For more information about the park, nut harvest and Nut Use and Care visit rdco.com/gellatlynutfarm.

All 30 regional parks and 20 RDCO community parks remain open for residents to safely enjoy. Find all the locations at rdco.com/pickapark.  There are more than 2,100 hectares of parkland available to discover in RDCO parks including 63 kilometres of formal regional park trails for visitors to use while practicing physical distancing. 

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Bear Watch in Regional Parks - September 3, 2020

Spawning Kokanee salmon.  Ripening fruit in orchards and vineyards.  These are a few seasonal attractants that bring bears down into the valley.

That’s also why you can expect more bears frequenting Central Okanagan Regional Parks, especially those connected to the higher elevations.

RDCO Communications Officer Bruce Smith says “This is the time of year that bears make their presence known and our field staff and visitors start seeing more signs that bears are around.  As sightings and evidence of their presence increase, we post signs in several of our parks advising that bears may be active in the area.”  View Safety Guide to Wildlife in Regional Parks

“If possible” he says “travel in a group and make some noise so any bears are aware of your presence.  As the fall Kokanee salmon spawning season ramps up visitors may encounter bears bulking up on this food source in local creeks and streams.  Bears fishing for food may not hear you over the noise of the creek water.   If you see a bear, give it plenty of space and stay well away from it.”

Whenever possible avoid encounters with bears as they can be aggressive, especially when defending their food or their cubs. Bears also have excellent senses of smell and hearing and better sight than you might believe.  Unless otherwise designated, dog owners are reminded their pets must be leashed and kept on trails at all times in order to avoid any potentially serious wildlife encounter.

Residents also have a role to play by securely storing any garbage and only placing their garbage cart out on the morning of their regular curbside collection.  That helps to reduce the potential temptation for bears or other wildlife.

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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Kokanee Interpretation Programs Adjusted - September 1, 2020

September is Kokanee spawning season!

Thousands of our fresh water, land-locked salmon will leave Okanagan Lake and swim upstream in creeks and streams to spawn in their natal waters.

In order to keep everyone comfortable, safe and distanced, we've adjusted our annual Kokanee Salmon interpretative programs.  Join a Park Interpreter by registering for a free session at one of two key spawning locations:

• Hardy Falls Regional Park

  • September 9 - 9:30 - 10:30 am / 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • September 23 - 9:30 - 10:30 am / 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

• Mission Creek Regional Park

  • September 16 - 9:30 - 10:30 am / 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • September 30 - 9:30 - 10:30 am / 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Learn more about the Kokanee salmon life cycles and unlock some of the fishy mysteries of the Okanagan.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, each program is limited to 8 pre-registered participants to allow for physical distancing.  No drop-ins.  There's no cost to register your space, just go to rdco.com/parksevents.   All ages welcome.

In addition, Park interpreters will be on hand in each park Saturdays and Sundays starting September 12 (until Oct. 4 at Hardy and Oct. 11 at Mission Creek) from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm to answer questions about Kokanee salmon.

For more information on this and other EECO and Regional Parks programs visit the Regional District website rdco.com/parksevents or contact the EECO at 250-469-6140.

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January - June 2020 Program Highlights- August 26, 2020

This video shows the highlights of various Regional District of Central Okanagan service and program accomplishments from January through June 2020 in the four key areas of the Regional Board Strategic Priorities: Economic Development, Environment, Transportation and Mobility and Sustainable Communities.

 

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - August 26, 2020

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Monday, August 24.  And here's where you can listen to Audio from the meeting (Note regarding Audio recording)

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Canada - BC Grant helps build out access to Regional Park - August 14, 2020

Black Mountain - sntsk‘il’ntən Regional Park will become more accessible, thanks to a large infrastructure grant.

Under the Canada-BC Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan, the two senior governments will contribute almost $715,000 towards new features in the 640-hectare regional park.   The Park protects cultural assets as well as a unique Okanagan grassland habitat.

The federal government is contributing $390,000; the BC government $324,967, while the Regional District of Central Okanagan will provide $260,033 for a project that will build community inclusiveness, stewardship and connectivity within the regional park.

RDCO Chair Gail Given says “This is an exciting investment in our community and the largest of our 30 regional parks. The funds will help us realize one of the Regional Board’s Strategic Priorities to provide residents with greater opportunities to connect with nature in the Central Okanagan.”

Westbank First Nation Chief Chris Derickson says “lim ləmt, thank you, to both levels of government for investing in our culturally significant sntsk‘il’ntən Regional Park, including, as part of the Regional Park Management Plan, improved access, safety, and information for its visitors. As stewards of the land, protecting areas of environmental and cultural significance is crucial to ensuring that these lands remain intact for future generations to visit, appreciate, and learn from.”

The Regional District and Westbank First Nation co-manage the protected 640-hectare regional park which is a significant cultural, historic and geographic namesake landmark.  It’s home to at least nine endangered or threatened species and ecological communities including grassland, open Ponderosa pine and grassland savanna. The park is vital to the syilx/Okanagan people for its wide variety of animals, plants and medicines along with resources for tool making found in the area. In nsyilxcín (in-SEALK-chin - Okanagan language), sntsk‘il’ntən (sins–te– KEEL–ten) translates to “the place where arrowheads/flint rock is found”.

The funds will be used to build three, new multi-use trails including one leading to the summit of Black Mountain.  In addition, important park amenities will be constructed:

  • washrooms
  • parking areas at Joe Rich Road and Swainson Road
  • information and kiosk signage
  • guard rail fences

The work is anticipated to begin this fall and be completed by summer 2022.

It’s expected an official park opening will take place this fall and while work in the park is still underway, some of the park is open now. The current temporary access to Black Mountain - sntsk‘il’ntən Regional Park is through an off-street parking area on Tower Ranch Drive and the City of Kelowna Tower Ranch Mountain park.  The Swainson Road access is currently closed while the Black Mountain Irrigation District installs a new water main.  Residents are asked to stay on the trail so natural areas are not disturbed.

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No Smoking or Fires in RDCO Parks - July 29, 2020

This morning (July 29) a potentially dangerous situation was averted in Glen Canyon Regional Park.

Regional Parks staff found and extinguished a campfire near the park entrance along Upper Smith Creek Road.  West Kelowna Fire Rescue also attended.

With a rising fire hazard and continued hot, dry conditions in the forecast, everyone is reminded that smoking, vaping, fires or open flames are not allowed any time in regional parks or RDCO Community Parks. If anyone in a park sees a fire, they should immediately call 9-1-1 to report it.

While the fines for anyone found violating the Regional Parks or RDCO Community Parks bylaws range from $250 to $1,000, the larger danger is that such activity could result in a serious fire that threatens nearby residential areas.

In addition to the regular signage at park entrances, special Fire Warning sandwich boards are being rotated around the regional park system reminding visitors of the fire hazard and that smoking and open fires are not allowed.

There are more than 2,100 hectares of parkland available to discover in 30 regional and 20 RDCO community parks.  Find all the locations at rdco.com/pickapark.   Please be safe and remember to keep at least two metres between yourself and other visitors.

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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)