The Regional District of Central Kootenay office in Nelson. File photo

The Regional District of Central Kootenay office in Nelson. File photo

RDCK roundup: Planning for 2021

The last board meeting of the year was preoccupied with the coming year

by John Boivin

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice

The last Regional District of Central Kootenay board of directors’ meeting of 2020 saw the organization’s leadership spending most of its time setting up and planning for the coming year.

Much of the Dec. 10 meeting was taken up with selecting directors and citizens to sit on a dozen boards and commissions, as well as planning to attend conferences, both internal and external to the RDCK. From social development to transit, municipal insurance, water services and recreation, the district needs to have eyes on the ground on many organizations and groups to help manage the community’s needs. Each director sits on several boards, commissions, and community groups.

Other than appointments, directors decided to:

• Endorse the South Slocan’s Commission of Management’s call to have the old South Slocan School demolished in the new year.

• Approve the Commission’s plan to hike water rates in South Slocan 10 per cent in the new year.

• Approve a plan to increase fees at RDCK landfills across the region. In the West subregion, which includes the Arrow Lakes and Slocan Valleys, it will cost $3 to take a container of mixed waste to the dump. There’s a different schedule for the Ootishchenia and Nakusp landfills: it will cost a minimum $6.25 to get rid of your household waste at those central locations.

While the new fee schedule was approved, the changes have to be incorporated in the RDCK’s Resource Recovery Facility Regulatory Bylaw, which should happen early in the new year. It’s likely residents will see the higher fees by February.

• Write a letter in support of keeping the Flight Service Station open at the Castlegar Airport. The station works with the airport tower to help with flight planning, in-flight decision making and relaying traffic information to pilots. The station is critical at Castlegar, one of the most challenging airports in North America.

• Write to new Forestry, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Minister Katrine Conroy inquiring about bioenergy opportunities in the region. The cutting-edge system (a plant in Fruitvale has just opened that uses the process to generate energy) “would assist the RDCK in further investigating bioenergy projects, which would align with provincial objectives of maximizing firer utilization and reducing forest fuel loading,” directors say.

• Award the contract for the Woodbury Village Water Treatment Plant upgrades to Integrated Sustainability Consultants Ltd. The company will get just under $400,000 to begin upgrades to the aging water system.

• Defer a motion to begin a $40,000 feasibility study cell service infrastructure and leasing for Pass Creek, Krestova and the lower Slocan Valley. They’ll tweak the motion and bring it back to the board in the new year.

• Approve Rural Affairs Committee decisions on ALR exclusion requests in the Blewett area.

• Make a $250 donation to each of eight regional food banks in Kaslo, Nakusp, Slocan, New Denver, Salmo, Nelson, Castlegar and Creston in lieu of their annual Christmas lunch.