RDCK Board Highlights - January 2024

Proposed RDCK Five-Year Financial Plan

At the Special Board Meeting on Friday, January 19 a preliminary draft of the 2024-2028 Financial Plan was provided to the Board. The latest projection is an 11% average increase in taxes for RDCK residents, although this is highly variable depending on the Electoral Area or Municipality the resident lives in. The RDCK has over 180 different services, with each service having its own budget and funding. Surpluses from one service cannot be used to fund a deficit in another service.

Inflation and supply chain constraints will continue to have a cost impact across many services and projects/initiatives, while an increase in Interest rates will continue to put pressure on both short-term and long-term borrowing costs with a partial offset from increased investment income.

The RDCK will host public information sessions (in-person and online) through February and March which will allow the public the opportunity to understand how the budget impacts them in their respective Electoral Area or Municipality.

Community Wildfire Resiliency Plans

The Board approved and adopted the updated Community Wildfire Resiliency Plans (CWRP) for Electoral Areas D, E, F, and I. The purpose of the CWRP is to identify the wildfire risks within and surrounding a community, to describe the potential consequences if a wildfire was to impact the community, and to examine possible ways to reduce the wildfire risk. These plans are based on seven FireSmart disciplines: education, legislation & planning, development considerations, interagency cooperation, cross-training, emergency planning, and vegetation management. By approving these plans, the RDCK is able to proactively manage wildfire risk and increase community resilience to wildfire.

Electoral Area D CWRP
Electoral Area E CWRP
Electoral Area F CWRP
Electoral Area I CWRP

Wildfire Mitigation and FireSmart Program

The Board directed staff to apply to the 2024 and 2025 Union of BC Municipalities Community Resiliency Investment Program intake to coordinate and manage grant funding with the RDCK to operate the wildfire mitigation and FireSmart program in 2024.

The funding will go towards hiring seven wildfire mitigation specialists and one FireSmart coordinator to deliver FireSmart and neighbourhood programs, offer and administer the FireSmart rebate program, as well as support neighbourhoods pursuing neighbourhood recognition, bolster educational activities promoting FireSmart, and updating Community Wildfire Resiliency Plans.

Last year the RDCK completed 411 FireSmart home assessments, free of charge, with 145 residents receiving rebates and 26 communities were issued grants under the Neighbourhood Recognition Program. In 2024 FireSmart is offering up to a $5,000 cash rebate per household for those that complete compulsory components of the assessment.

West Kootenay Rural & Northern Immigration Pilot

The Board approved funding in the amount of $20,000 over three years ($4,000 in 2024, $13,000 in 2025, and $3,000 in 2026) to the West Kootenay Rural & Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) program. The RNIP helps smaller rural and northern communities attract and retain skilled foreign workers to meet their economic development and labour market needs. The West Kootenay region is one of 11 communities selected by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada to be a pilot region for the program. Community Futures Central Kootenay is the community partner responsible for administering the pilot in the West Kootenay.

Creston Valley Fire Service Contract Extensions

The Board entered into one-year contract extensions from January 1, 2024 to December 31, 2024 with the Town of Creston for fire protection services for the Canyon Lister Fire Protection Services Agreement, Wynndel Lakeview Fire Protection Services Agreement, and Electoral Areas B and C and the Arrow Creek Fire Protection Service Area Protection and Response Agreement. Under the contract for the Canyon Lister and Wynndel Fire Protection Areas, the Town of Creston operates and manages both the Canyon Lister and Wynndel Fire Halls, and is responsible for recruiting, training, and maintaining a roster of volunteer firefighters in each fire department.

Under the contract for Electoral Areas B and C and Arrow Creek, the Town of Creston provides fire protection and fire response services respectively to the areas included in the contract utilizing Town of Creston firefighters, and apparatus that are responding from the Creston Fire Hall.

Directors Reports

RDCK Directors provide monthly reports outlining what they have been working on. Click here to read the January reports in the Board minutes.

RDCK Quarterly Report

For the latest RDCK Quarterly Report, which details the current projects and initiatives of the RDCK, please follow the link.

Click here to view a print-friendly PDF version.

The content on this page was last updated January 30 2024 at 3:36 AM