RDCK Board Chair Aimee Watson

RDCK Board Chair Aimee Watson

RDCK board chair Aimee Watson: busy decade ahead for regional government

Here come the 2020s: Castlegar News asked local leaders to offer their thoughts on the new decade.

  • Dec. 31, 2019 5:30 p.m.

Aimee Watson is chair of the board of the Regional District of the Central Kootenay. She says big things are in store for the RDCK in the next decade.

The board of directors of the Regional District of Central Kootenay is looking forward to continuing to serve the residents and communities of our region as we move into the coming decade.

I reached out to my fellow directors to learn more about what they considered priorities. We recently went through a strategic planning exercise, so I know that everyone has already been reflecting on what we would like to achieve together as a board.

Here are some of the issues that are top of mind:

• Managing the impact of climate change is a priority. We will continue to take action — from reducing greenhouse gases through our commitment to the West Kootenay 100 per cent Renewable Energy initiative and the Regional Energy Efficiency Program — to respond to the increased severity of weather events and continue our work on wildfire and hazard mitigation.

• Water system and watershed governance are becoming increasingly important to residents and the RDCK. It is important for us to understand and fulfill our responsibilities as stewards of this critical resource.

• Resource recovery remains a key priority. We will work to align ourselves with the provincial mandate to prohibit organics from entering landfills while creating opportunities to manage waste better. This mandate will drive big changes across the region.

• We are partnering with other regional districts and organizations to enhance broadband connectivity. Our long-term goal is to have every rural resident connected and able to take advantage of the economic, social and communication benefits of high-speed connectivity.

• Improving transit is another way to help to keep our communities connected inside the RDCK and to other parts of the province. Better transit will provide tangible environmental, health, social, economic and skills development benefits.

• Delivering accessible and appropriate recreation programs and facilities is a major part of our work — and this includes managing both built and natural amenities, and understanding future needs. Recreation master plans have been completed for almost the entire RDCK, and the implementation of these plans will occur over the next several years.

In addition, the RDCK is looking forward to celebrating a significant milestone in a few years’ time — our 60th anniversary in 2025!

Our specific activities may change from year to year, but our commitment to providing RDCK residents with excellent service, programs and representation remains strong, and we look forward to continuing to deliver on that commitment in the years ahead.