Welcome to your local government!
Incorporated in 1965, the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) is a local government that serves an estimated population of 60,000 residents. Our region consists of 11 electoral areas (A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K) and nine member municipalities: Castlegar, Creston, Kaslo, Nakusp, Nelson, New Denver, Salmo, Silverton and Slocan.
Regional districts can provide a broad range of services, with the exception of roads and policing. The choice of services is determined by the regional board but only with the approval of the electors. The scope of services therefore varies with each regional district.
Unlike municipalities, regional districts are required to match the benefits and costs of its services to the people who benefit from the services. Costs are recovered by taxing those who benefit from the services - in other words, residents pay for what they get.
Some services, such as street lighting, may be provided to only part of an electoral area in the form of a local service; to a combination of electoral areas and municipalities as a sub-regional service, such as transit; or to all electoral areas and municipalities as a regional service, such as mapping.
The RDCK provides approximately 160 services to taxpayers, including:
- General Administration
- Discretionary Grants
- Electoral Area (Rural) Administration)
- Building Inspection
- Planning and Land Use
- Community Sustainability
- Community Development Program
- Columbia Basin Trust Grants
- Community Works Service
- Feasibility Study Service
- Engineering and Environmental
- Economic Development (8)
- Advisory Planning (11)
- Fire Protection (21), Jaws of Life (4), Search and Rescue (3)
- Emergency Communications
- Emergency Programs (8)
- Dyking and Drainage (2)
- Street Lighting (8)
- Cemeteries (5)
- Animal Control (4)
- Insect Control (2)
- Refuse Disposal and Septage Handling (5)
- Libraries (8) and Museums (2)
- Regional Parks and Campgrounds (4)
- Ski Hills (1) and Recreation Area (1)
- Community Halls, Facilities (10)
- TV Grant-in-Aid (2)
- Arenas, Pools, Recreation Centres (7)
- Recreation Commissions (5)
- Transit (7)
- Water Systems (20)
Generally, the idea for a new service emerges from regional board directors, citizens, municipal councils, local government staff, or senior levels of government.
A Board member may initiate a new service request by proposing a resolution to the Board. If the Board approves the resolution in principle, the service establishment process begins. A feasibility study may be conducted, or direction may be given to staff to prepare a report and bylaws for the proposed new service.
If appropriate, all partners may be surveyed as to whether or not they wish to participate in the proposed service.
If the proposed service is deemed to be feasible, a service establishment bylaw is developed. The bylaw must be given three readings by the Board, and may also be required to receive the assent of the electors.
The bylaw must further receive approval from the province's Inspector of Municipalities, as well as the member municipalities and electoral areas that intend to participate in the proposed service. After receiving the necessary approvals, the service establishment bylaw may be adopted to create the new service.
The Regional District of Central Kootenay, like all local governments, is granted its powers by the provincial government and is governed primarily by two provincial pieces of legislation – the Local Government Act and the Community Charter – as well as numerous other supplementary enactments.
The RDCK is governed by a board consisting of two types of directors:
- Electoral Area Directors are elected directly by rural area voters, and serve three-year terms. The RDCK Board consists of eleven (11) electoral area directors.
- Municipal Directors are first elected to a municipal council, and are then appointed by their council to the regional district board for a one-year term. The RDCK Board consists of nine (9) municipal directors.
The Board selects its own chair and vice-chair.
Although the primary cost-recovery method is taxation, the regional district does not tax directly. In electoral areas, property taxes are levied and collected by the Province. Within municipal boundaries, property taxes for Regional District services are paid to the municipalities. The Province and municipalities then transfer funds to the regional district.
Regional districts also generate revenues from fees and charges, such as recreation use, and provincial or federal government grants.
Why Regional Districts?
Rural areas are home to approximately 12 percent of British Columbia's population. Regional districts are the Province's way of ensuring that all residents have access to commonly needed services, no matter where they live.
Regional districts provide rural residents with an effective form of local government, while also representing municipal residents on regional issues. Regional districts enable municipalities and electoral areas to work together and combine their efforts to provide those services desired by the people of the area, regardless of municipal and/or electoral area boundaries.
The RDCK is one of 28 regional districts in BC.
The mission of the Regional District of Central Kootenay is to provide area residents and communities with services, governance and representation in a manner that supports the economic, social and environmental goals of the region.
Representing Diverse Communities in the Kootenays
The content on this page was last updated January 17 2023 at 4:54 AM