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Pedestrians Welcome in Mill Creek Regional Park

Visitors are now welcome once again in Mill Creek Regional Park.

The 15.3-hectare regional park located just northeast of Kelowna International Airport has been closed since the 2017 spring flooding caused extensive damage to bridges and the parking area.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “Thanks to the efforts of our Parks Operations team, they’ve removed tons of flood debris and made enough repairs to the trails, boardwalk and pedestrian bridge to allow visitors on foot, back into the park.  This spring as a flood prevention measure in partnership with the Regional Emergency Program, Emergency Management BC and the City of Kelowna the access road into the park was elevated to increase protection for infrastructure and homes backing onto the park and to direct stream flows under Spencer Road.  Until the parking area is restored, we’re asking visitors to park safely along the side of Spencer Road and not to block any driveways of our neighbours.”

In order to complete the flood damage repairs in the park, a contractor has recently been hired to design, build and install a new vehicle bridge over Mill Creek.   Smith says, “We expect this work to begin next month and the new vehicle bridge along the park’s main trail should be in place restoring full park access for the fall of 2018.”

Work continues on recovery projects for several other regional and RDCO Community Parks that were affected by the 2017 flood and record Okanagan Lake water levels.   See the status of these projects at www.regionaldistrict.com/parksfloodrecovery.

(July 18, 2018)

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Stage 4 No Outdoor Irrigation on Falcon Ridge Water System

The Regional District has instituted Stage 4 outdoor water restrictions for customers of the Falcon Ridge water system.

This means outdoor irrigation is banned for all 55 properties off Highway 33 south that are served by the community water system. 

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “Unfortunately we’ve had to ban all outdoor irrigation with Stage 4 restrictions as our earlier request for residents to voluntarily restrict their water usage has not been followed.  In fact, water use has actually increased to the point that not only have we not been able to fill the new reservoir cell, but the existing reservoir is also not being replenished as it would normally as residents continue to draw it down.”

Smith adds, “Falcon Ridge water customers are asked once again to minimize their indoor water usage so that we can adequately refill the system reservoir and fill the new reservoir.”  The newly constructed reservoir cell is part of the overall $900,000 system upgrading project.

The Stage 4 outdoor water ban will remain in place until both reservoirs are properly filled.  Failing to adhere to the outdoor Stage 4 irrigation ban could result in a fine of $300. 

Customers are reminded that a precautionary Water Quality Advisory remains in effect.

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.

(July 18, 2018)

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Dog License Audit Underway

There are about 3,300 ‘missing’ dogs in the Central Okanagan…dogs who were licensed in 2017, but are not licensed for 2018.

This week owners of these ‘missing’ dogs will be contacted in order to update the dog license registry.  All dogs in the Central Okanagan must be licensed.  The Regional Board recently reconfirmed its support for ‘zero tolerance’ when it comes to unlicensed dogs.   A fine of $300 will be levied to owners of unlicensed dogs (if paid within 14 days it is reduced to $150).

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “We’ll be contacting the 3,282 owners in order to determine the status of the dog so that we can update our records.  In the past we’ve found about half the owners no longer have their dog: it may have died or they’ve moved out of the region and didn’t let the Regional District know.  Others still have their dog(s) and forgot to renew their license.  That impacts all taxpayers because license fees have increasingly contributed to the cost of providing dog control services in the Central Okanagan.”

Smith says, “The goal of updating the registry is to ensure dog owners are responsible by licensing their dogs each year.  We’ve seen a remarkable turnaround in licensing compliance over the past five years.  Approximately 25% of the dogs that come into the pound are unlicensed. Prior to encouraging and supporting Responsible Dog Ownership in the Central Okanagan, that figure was 75%.  There are more than 20,000 licensed dogs in the Central Okanagan and we thank those owners for being responsible and embracing the need for a license.”

The benefits of having a current dog license include:

  • A license tag on a dog’s collar or harness makes it easier for staff to reunite ‘at large’ dogs with their owners;
  • A one-time, free ride home;
  • Fees contribute to the operation of the Pound so that food, shelter and veterinary care can be provided to lost and homeless dogs;
  • Public Safety—service to our community 24/7 including investigation of aggressive dog attacks and protection from dangerous dogs;
  • Financial support of the SPCA spay and neuter program, public education initiatives including school programs, and dog adoption services;
  • Address-resolve neighbor dog-related conflicts;
  • Capturing and assisting injured or stray dogs;
  • Placement for unclaimed dogs;
  • Easy online dog license renewals and account management using the My Dog Matters App;
  • Education about barking, at-large and dog behavior;
  • And only licensed dog owners receive the My Dog Matters Rewards Program card.  Showing it at more than 60 local businesses participating in the program provides owners with the opportunity to receive discounts and special services. Visit the program website at: mydogmatters.ca.

There is information available on dog licensing and Responsible Dog Ownership on the region’s website: regionaldistrict.com/dogs.

Licenses can be conveniently purchased, renewed or accounts maintained online or by using the My Dog Matters App (www.mydogmatters.ca/MDMApp) or at the Regional District office (1450 KLO Road, Kelowna); at the Regional Dog Pound (890 Weddell Place, Kelowna); each municipal government office and at the Kelowna branch of the SPCA (3785 Casorso Road).  North Westside residents may also purchase a license when staff is available at the main fire hall (514 Udell Road) in Killiney Beach.

(July 10, 2018)

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First Ever Successful Firefighting Class

The first ever ‘RSS Firefighting Class’ held in collaboration with the Joe Rich Fire Department and Regional District of Central Okanagan was a huge success.   It recently wrapped up with 11 students from Rutland Senior Secondary successfully completing the rigorous program requirements.

The goal of the program is to provide valuable work experience and possible work opportunities to participating high school students.

The students who completed the program received certificates in Emergency Scene Traffic, BC Forestry Basic Wildland Firefighting and Forest Fire Suppression and Safety (Forestry s185/s100) and WHIMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System).  Instruction included classroom time as well as practical experience by participating in Emergency Medical Responder/First Responder training, live fire training at Big White and an abundance of other useful skills. The students also provided the Joe Rich Fire Department with maintenance around the hall and equipment including truck checks and cleaning. 

Joe Rich Fire Chief Ben Wasyliuk says the program provided these students with valuable skills that will hopefully be utilized down the road in either paid-on-call or full-time firefighting or other emergency services.  We look forward to holding another program next year.

The work experience program was taught by Rutland Senior Secondary teacher Aaron Volk, who is also a Captain with Joe Rich Fire and Primary Care Paramedic.

(July 6, 2018)

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Water Quality Advisory Removed for Killiney Beach

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 higher turbidity caused this spring by high levels of the Okanagan Lake source water has decreased and 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 June 4th has been removed.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says we appreciate the patience and understanding of the residents of approximately 280 properties that are connected to the community water system off located off Westside Road.  

Customers are reminded that in order to allow adequate water supplies in our reservoirs until September 15th Stage 2 outdoor watering restrictions are in place.  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 hours that outdoor watering is allowed visit regionaldistrict.com/water.

For more information about the six water systems operated and maintained by the Regional District visit 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.

(July 4, 2018)

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Summer Story Time

Bring your 3-5 year-olds to for a free drop-in story and activity at Mission Creek Regional Park Fridays at 10:00 am during July and August.  View Poster

The stories will be followed by an exploration of nearby areas through a series of mini nature walks.

No registration required. Meet under the trees near the park playground at Springfield and Durnin Roads.

For more information please visit www.regionaldistrict.com/parksevents, drop-in or call the EECO at 250-469-6140.

(July 3, 2018)

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North Westside Hazardous Waste Event

Saturday morning July 21st North Westside Road residents with have a special opportunity to dispose of unwanted household hazardous waste products.  View Event 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.

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 Battery Doctors at 250-860-2866 or the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250 or email recycle@cord.bc.ca.

(July 3, 2018)

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Accessible Canoe/Kayak Launch at Kalamoir

The waterfront at Kalamoir Regional Park is home to a one of a kind amenity for the Central Okanagan.

It has a fully accessible dock which features an EZ Launch Accessible Transfer System for safely launching canoes and kayaks. The EZ Launch system is great for people with disabilities, kids, and seniors.

Although initially installed in 2016, the dock had to be removed in 2017 to prevent damage during the flooding and record high water levels.  This year though, it’s back in service and ready for everyone to use.

Volunteers with the Community Recreational Initiatives Society (which provides barrier-free access through Regional Parks programs) participated in producing a video showing the Kalamoir EZ dock launch in action.   You can view it on the RDCO website Kalamoir Regional Park webpage or the RDCO Youtube channel.

Installation of the accessible dock/canoe/kayak launch cost $85,000 and was part of a larger project to improve Kalamoir Regional Park amenities which will  include trail and washroom improvements.

Also with the help of the Friends of Kalamoir Society, a new swim platform has been installed just off the main park beach. The Friends took the initiative in driving this project forward and raised almost $3,900 of the $10,500 cost of the swim platform.  Memberships are available for the non-profit society which also raises funds through its annual Kalamoir Community pancake breakfast.

For more information about Kalamoir Regional Park please visit www.regionaldistrict.com/your-services/parks-services/parks-and-trails/11-kalamoir-regional-park.aspx

(June 28, 2018)

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Volunteers Clean Up Squatters Mess

Another weekend, another volunteer cleanup effort played out in the bush. This time an ad hoc group of citizens  pulled  together to tackle  a large illegal dump site on Crown Land north of Peachland left behind this winter after two squatters were arrested for mail fraud.

The massive dump site in a secluded spot in the bush off Trepanier Road had been home to the pair and a stolen 35 foot RV.  RCMP towed the trailer out in December, but in its’ wake was left a massive amount of household garbage, makeshift structures, and hazardous chemicals.  In preparation for Saturdays clean up, a Hazmat team was hired to remove the remnants of the rudimentary drug lab, including various acids, aerosols, and dozens of propane tanks.

Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart with the Regional District says this was one of the uglier sites they’ve seen in some time, and all just meters away from the banks of Trepanier Creek, a source of Peachland’s drinking water. “The dozens of volunteers that lent their muscle to the cause Saturday deserve an enormous Environmental salute! Thank you to each and every one of the dedicated volunteers that showed up, and did their all to take care of one ugly mess. We rely on groups like these when the illegal dumping is difficult to access and this large in scale, and we couldn’t be more appreciative of their immense hard work and commitment!”

Clean up Volunteer Coordinator Keith Nixon who lives nearby the dump site says he’s thrilled this blight on their backyard playground is now gone. “Unfortunately this kind of thing is all too common, but this clean up was a roaring success with over 23 volunteers, including representation from the Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance, Mayor Cindy Fortin, and the Peachland Lions. Special thanks to the Districts Cheryl Wiebe for a callout to volunteers. A 40 yard dumpster (from For Less Disposal) was filled to the brim in just over two and half hours, and we dismantled a site where rogue criminals had occupied for five months, throwing contents of their crime spree all over and let their effluent flow to the creek. Job completed, nature restored.”

If you find any dump sites or littering while out enjoying our local natural areas here are some things you can do.  Start by filling in the online report form at:  www.regionaldistrict.com/reportillegaldumping or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250. Be sure to include:

  • a detailed description of the area (or GPS coordinates) for the illegal dump site
  • the size of the dump site
  • the type of items that were dumped
  • information on how we can contact you (all information will remain confidential)

The Regional Waste Reduction Office will supply any groups interested in cleaning up their community with bags and gloves to support their efforts, and will arrange for the collection and disposal of the garbage collected.

(June 26, 2018)

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Guide to help Okanagan Lake Property Owners

Central Okanagan property owners along the shoreline of Okanagan Lake will soon be receiving some important information in the mail.

A Best Management Practices guide (‘A Resource for Okanagan Lakeshore Living’) has been specifically developed to offer practical solutions on how they can help to protect natural areas and enhance our regions resiliency to climate change. The guide also promotes and encourages stewardship actions that can be taken to improve and effectively manage the Okanagan Lake shoreline while supporting flood preparedness. This resource can be used by Okanagan residents, developers, professionals, and governments and other large lake communities.

Okanagan Lake is an invaluable natural and recreational asset and is one of the most popular destinations for residents and visitors in the region. However, over the last 25 years, an increase in urban and rural development has caused significant changes to the lakefront landscape.

Natural shorelines are richly diverse habitats and an integral part of a functioning lake ecosystem. The riparian vegetation found there not only provides important habitat for fish and other aquatic species, but also acts as erosion control to protect from wave action. Native plants found along the lake provide a permeable and absorbent buffer area that allows lake waters to rise and fall with the changing seasons. When these sensitive areas are disturbed by development, they no longer provide these benefits. Important ecosystem services, like water filtration and flood protection, may also be permanently lost over time, unless these areas are better protected. 

The Okanagan Lake Foreshore Inventory and Mapping 2016 update report highlighted the loss of natural shoreline habitat and made recommendations to reverse this trend.  Across the region, work is being done to enhance shoreline protection.  However, a collaborative effort by all Okanagan residents and communities is required to help slow the loss of natural areas along the lake by enhancing and restoring natural ecosystems.

There are ongoing efforts across the valley for flood planning including the Regional District’s preparation of a Regional Floodplain Management Plan to better understand the risks and what can be done to reduce potential damage from flooding and prepare for future flood events in the Central Okanagan.

This collaborative outreach project was initiated by the Regional District of Central Okanagan in partnership with the Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program (OCCP) and the South Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program (SOSCP). Funding was provided by Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) WCQI grant program and the Real Estate Foundation of BC. 

(June 26, 2018)

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Applications Welcome for Advisory Commission Members

If you live within the Regional District of Central Okanagan and are interested in future development in your community, the Regional District would like to hear from you.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says “We’re currently looking for volunteer members to serve on the Agricultural Advisory Commission, Central Okanagan West Electoral Area Advisory Planning Commission, and the Environmental Advisory Commission.”

He adds, “Each group works with our Planning staff to advise the Regional Board by reviewing various development applications and referrals within the Electoral Areas pertaining to agriculture, land use and environmental sustainability. The comments and recommendations provided by the Commissions are considered by the Regional Board at time of decisions.”

Members of each Advisory Commission will be selected on the basis of various criteria established within the Terms of Reference or bylaw for each respective commission. The selection criteria may include demonstrated interest and participation in community matters, area of residence, academic and/or technical qualifications, knowledge, and professional expertise.

Information about each of these Advisory Commissions is available online by visiting regionaldistrict.com/advisorycommissions or by contacting Regional District Community Services by e-mail at planning@cord.bc.ca or by calling 250-469-6227

There’s a convenient link to an online form that can be completed and submitted on the Regional District website.  Forms may also be downloaded, completed and dropped off in person or by mail.

(June 19, 2018)

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Stage 2 Outdoor Water Restrictions Return

The annual return to twice weekly outdoor water restrictions starts tomorrow for the six water systems operated by the Regional District of Central Okanagan.

Each year from June 16th until September 15th, Stage 2 water restrictions are in place for customers of 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 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.”

Smith adds, “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 help ensure reservoirs are replenished and there’s an adequate water supply for everyone.”

The Regional District 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 am and 11:00 am and 6:00 pm and midnight on their respective irrigation day. 

The rest of the year, between September 16th and June 15th – Stage 1 Restrictions are in place allowing customers to water outdoors on alternating days based on their odd or even street address number.

While fines are possible for those watering when they shouldn’t, raising awareness successfully results in voluntary compliance. The Regional District water systems provide service to almost 950 connections in the six water system areas.

For more tips on water conservation inside and outside your home, visit the Regional District Water System webpage at regionaldistrict.com/water.

Customers may also sign up there to receive email notifications of any water advisories or special maintenance works affecting their water system.

(June 15, 2018)

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The Dog Ambassadors Are Back! 

You can’t miss them with their brightly coloured shirts and friendliness as they check out the popular hot spots for dogs across the Central Okanagan. The hugely popular Regional District Dog Ambassadors are back for the fifth summer season.

They’ll be visiting local beaches and parks rewarding dogs and their owners with goodies for being responsible.  They confirm whether dogs are licensed and educate owners regarding the rules of licensing and leashing,

And of course, they’ll be visible in locations from Lake Country to Peachland armed with information on dog beach locations, leash and off-leash parks as well as partners in the My Dog Matters program. They’ll also be promoting use of the free My Dog Park Finder feature of the My Dog Matters program App (www.mydogmatters.ca/MDMApp).

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says “Our Dog Ambassadors are a dog owner’s best friend.  They have treats, leashes and dog-related information making a positive connection.  They don’t enforce the bylaw or issue tickets.  Instead, they’re an information source and resource, promoting the principles supported by the Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw.”

Smith adds, “We’re a hot spot for visitors during the summer months and many bring their dogs.  Our Dog Ambassadors are there to also help them with questions they might have about dogs and dog matters in the Central Okanagan to ensure everyone has a great visit and they don’t unknowingly violate the rules for dogs in our region.”

If you lose or find a dog, please contact the region’s Dog Pound as soon as possible so that we can help reunite the dog and its owner. (250-469-6284 or info-dogcontrol@cord.bc.ca)

Everything you need to know about dog licensing and Responsible Dog Ownership in the Central Okanagan can be found at regionaldistrict.com/dogs

(June 11, 2018)

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Water Quality Advisory for Falcon Ridge Water 

Residents served by the Falcon Ridge Water System in the Central Okanagan East Electoral Area are now under a Water Quality Advisory

Approximately 55 properties connected to the water system off Highway 33 are affected. Roadside sign notices have been adjusted to advise that the system is now on an advisory.

After consulting with Interior Health, the previously issued Boil Water Notice has now been downgraded as turbidity levels in source water for the system have improved.  However, some residents may be impacted by the continued turbidity, which remains higher than acceptable levels for Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines.

It’s recommended that those customers with weakened immune systems, the elderly and children and those wishing additional precautions should boil all water intended for drinking, washing fruit and vegetables, making beverages, ice or brushing teeth 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 more details and 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.

(June 4, 2018)

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Climate Action Annual Report

Through its participation in the Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program (CARIP), the Regional District of Central Okanagan publicly share the accompanying CARIP Progress Report each year.

The report details actions being taken during 2017 and proposed actions for 2018 related to the Regional District's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

(updated June 6, 2018)

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Rural Property Tax Notices

Property owners in the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West Electoral Areas will soon receive Rural Property Tax Notices from the Provincial Government.

All property owners in the Central Okanagan are reminded that the Regional District doesn’t collect taxes directly and doesn’t accept Property Tax payments.  Instead, the Province collects Rural Property Tax Notice payments and the taxes for Regional District purposes are included on municipal tax notices which are directly collected from property owners within the City of Kelowna, City of West Kelowna, District of Lake Country and 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, payable to the Minister of Finance, at most financial institutions and through their electronic payment services; through their mortgage agreement; or 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 with questions about their Rural Property Tax Notice should contact the Surveyor of Taxes at 1-888-355-2700; by email (ruraltax@gov.bc.ca); or they can go online to the Ministry of Finance website.

To avoid any penalty, please ensure rural property taxes are paid by July 3rd, 2018.  There are also a number of Provincial Government property tax deferment programs available that qualifying property owners may wish to consider.  Details on these are available on the Ministry 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.

(May 31, 2018)

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Be Cart Smart!

Are you putting the right things in your recycling cart? The Regional District will be back on the streets over the next eight weeks, checking to see as part of their ongoing cart education and inspection campaign to combat recycling contamination.

The Director of Engineering Services for the Regional District which oversees the recycling collection contracts for all member municipalities in the Central Okanagan says most residents are doing a good job following the rules for what’s acceptable to put in the carts. But David Komaike says waste audits show there’s still significant contamination going on in our recycling stream, and that’s a big problem.

“Things like garbage, garden hoses, plastic shovels, hazardous waste, electronics, scrap metals, textiles, even yard waste—items that have never been accepted in our recycling program are still showing up and contaminating the recycling stream, says  Komaike. “If we don’t significantly reduce and eliminate these unacceptable products from our loads, we face financial penalties from our contractor Recycle BC. We’re close to 15% contamination on average and it needs to be 3% or less. So we need to do a better job, and that requires continuous education and monitoring.”

Komaike says the inspection teams will have a quick view of the contents of the recycling cart, and if they find items that don’t belong they’ll leave a sticker telling you what went wrong.  And in some cases, carts won’t be picked up until the offending material is removed.

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

  • Bagged recyclables
  • Electronics, small appliances (depot only recyclable)
  • Hazards such as syringes, propane tanks
  • Textiles such as clothes, fabric, pillows
  • Garden hoses, landscape edging, tarps
  • Garbage such as food waste, paper towels, Kleenex
  • Plastic Bags, Styrofoam, Glass (DEPOT ONLY recyclable)
  • Soft plastics such as cling wrap, bubble wrap, chip and snack bags, zipper bags
  • Non-packaging plastics such as toys, Tupperware type containers, laundry baskets
  • Soft cover novels and hard cover books and textbooks

The Regional District annually inspects over 3,500 recycle carts and sends an average of 2,500 letters directly to residents when the wrong materials are found in the recycling, garbage and yard waste carts – to help encourage compliance in future.

To find out more about what to recycle in your curbside cart or at a depot, visit regionaldistrict.com/recycle, download the free My Waste App, or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250.469.6250

(May 28, 2018)

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Another Perfect Storm Year for Mosquitoes

For the second year in a row, with high flows of creeks and rising lake water levels, there’s a perfect storm for mosquitoes.

And crews for the Regional District’s Mosquito Control Program have been out monitoring and treating approximately 230 known larva breeding sites in areas participating in the program.

“We encourage residents to help us fight mosquitoes by removing any standing water sources and unused items that collect water such as old tires.”  Communications Officer Bruce Smith says “it only takes a few millimetres of water for mosquito larva to survive and hatch into biting mosquitoes.”   He adds, “Cover rain barrels with a screen so that mosquitoes can’t lay their eggs in the water.  And we recommended that at least twice a week people drain standing water from containers under plant pots or in garbage cans and change the water in birdbaths, wading pools and pet bowls.  And remove any water that sits in unused swimming pools and on swimming pool covers and aerate water in ponds or add fish that will feed on mosquito larvae.”

Under contract with the Regional District, Duka Environmental Ltd. provides all larval mosquito control within the participating funding.  President Curtis Fediuk says, “Not unlike last year when exceptional lake and creek levels created unprecedented flooding and water accumulations, standing water in low lying areas is much more than usual.    Field personnel continue to regularly sample and treat known larval habitats and accessible areas.   Where observed, developing mosquito larvae are being controlled using a bio-rational, bacterial larvicide called VectoBac 200G”

He adds the goal of the program is to control nuisance mosquitoes, not eliminate them.  “We usually see mosquitoes peak between mid-June and the end of July.  Residents can protect themselves by using approved repellents, wearing loose fitting light coloured clothing and by minimizing activities near treed and bush areas at dusk and dawn where adult mosquitos prefer to rest.  As well, repair and replace any window screens to help prevent mosquitoes entering your home.” 

In addition to the known surface water and treatment program in July and August over 10,000 roadside catch basins will be checked and treated if necessary to combat mosquitoes.

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 go to regionaldistrict.com/mosquitoes and fill out an online form.

Learn how you and your family can fight back and protect against mosquitoes by checking out the resources available on the Mosquito Control page on the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/mosquitoes.

(May 24, 2018)

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Keep Bears Out of Your Garbage

The Regional Waste Reduction Office is reminding you to please do your part to keep your neighborhood safe by managing wildlife attractants around your home.

Bears have already been spotted in several neighborhoods from Joe Rich to Peachland and the North Westside, and Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart says it’s that time of the year to be extra vigilant. “The bears have come out of the long winter hibernation hungry and on the prowl for food. The best advice if you live in an area susceptible to wildlife visitors is to reduce the risk of conflict by taking responsibility for your trash.”

Stewart reminds residents not to put their garbage, recycling or yard waste carts out for collection until the morning of their actual collection day. “Bears and other animals have a keen sense of smell, so the idea is not to attract them to your garbage unnecessarily.  If they find your waste, not only can they make a real mess, but they can pose a risk to you and your family, your pets, or to themselves by attracting the totally preventable attention of conservation officers.”

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

  • Only put garbage out for collection on the morning of pickup, not the night before
  • Encourage neighbors to do the same, offer to help if they are not able to put garbage out at appropriate times
  • Secure your garbage on non- collection days
  • Keep your barbeque clean and covered
  • Pick ripe or fallen fruit, mix well into your compost bin, or put in yard waste cart
  • Clean up and properly store bird seed or pet food

To report human bear conflicts to the BC Conservation Office call 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.regionaldistrict.com/recycle, email (recycle@cord.bc.ca) or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250.469.6250.

(May 10, 2018)

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Firefighters' Donations for Fire Truck

It’s not often people put their money up to support what they believe in, but firefighters in Joe Rich have done just that. 

Members of the paid-on-call department have voted in favour of donating funds to the Regional District to purchase a 1996 fire engine that was being sold by the City of Kelowna.

Joe Rich fire department members contribute three per cent of their wages to a special fund which is used for equipment and other purchases determined by a majority vote of the members.  Recently, the membership voted to donate some of this money towards the purchase of the Kelowna fire truck.

The Chief of the Joe Rich department says “We have a small tax base, and large purchases like trucks put a strain on the department budget and ultimately the taxpayer.  It’s not uncommon for smaller fire departments to seek value in purchasing used vehicles.”

Ben Wasyliuk adds “We have an aging fleet and while we still budget and set aside reserves to purchase newer trucks to meet our insurance rating obligations, this truck provides us with some valuable flexibility and redundancy in our fleet if we were to face any unforeseen mechanical or service-related downtime on other trucks.”

Regional District of Central Okanagan Fire Services Manager Ross Kotscherofski says “The Joe Rich Fire Department has experienced significant growth in the last few years, almost doubling in membership since 2015.  As a result, it can be challenging with its current fleet to transport firefighters to incidents.  This truck will add six more seats to get responders to emergencies.”

The Regional District of Central Okanagan has worked with Joe Rich Fire Rescue to come up with creative solutions and the department appreciates its support.  In addition, the paid-on-call department is extremely grateful for the excellent working relationship with the regional district and the City of Kelowna.  The truck is now part of the fleet owned and maintained by the Regional District.

This engine is expected to be in service shortly and will be stationed at Hall 51 (11481 Highway 33 East).

(May 9, 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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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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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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June 29, 2018

 

Repair Scheduled for Sunset Ranch Water System

 

About 80 customers of the Sunset Ranch Water System are being advised of a service interruption for several hours next Wednesday morning.

 

From 8:30 am to approximately 1:00 pm, Environmental Services staff will be repairing a Pressure Reducing Valve which requires the water to be shut off affecting residents living from 3980 – 3928 Sunset Ranch Drive, Silverado Place, Camelback Drive and Shadow Creek Drive.

 

These customers are asked to limit their water use while the repair work is underway.  

 

Once service is restored, if customers notice any cloudiness in their water, please run a cold water tap until the water runs clear.

 

The Regional District provides water to just over 950 properties in the following areas: Falcon Ridge, Killiney Beach, Sunset Ranch, Star Place/Dietrich, Westshore and Upper Fintry - Shalal Road - Valley of the Sun.

 

Customers are reminded that in order to allow adequate water supplies in our reservoirs until September 15th Stage 2 outdoor watering restrictions are in place.  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 hours that outdoor watering is allowed visit regionaldistrict.com/water.

 

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.

 
 
 
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)