RDKB Board Meeting Highlights — Search for Human Resources Advisor
The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) Board of Directors held meetings for February, discussing several items to report.
The next board meeting is March 31, 2021 at 1 p.m. on Zoom.
New Human Resources Advisor to be Hired
The Board approved the addition of a full-time human resources advisor to the RDKB staff this fiscal year. The RDKB has 175 employees in four distinct employee groups including two union contracts, and to date has had no dedicated position focused on the human resource function. Rather, the HR function has been spread across all departments. By adding this position to the Finance & Administration team, the organization will benefit from a more effective, efficient and focused approach to employee relations, labour relations, training, recruiting, hiring, and additional workplace health and safety. Recruitment is expected to begin in spring 2021.
9-1-1 service contract extended one year while new five-year contract negotiated
The RDKB is one of nine regional districts that have formed a partnership for the provision of 9-1-1 Public Safety Answer Point (PSAP) services for our communities. The PSAP services are provided through a partnership agreement with the Regional District Central Okanagan (RDCO) and the Regional District Kootenay Boundary. The RDKB has agreed to a contract extension with 9-1-1 service provider E-COMM 9-1-1 to allow the company time to confirm technological requirements and costs associated with Next Generation 9-1-1 upgrades and negotiate a new five-year agreement with the RDCO before the end of 2021.
The one-year contract extension, the second in as many years, has the same terms, conditions and costs as the previous contract, and will cost the RDKB $65,993 to provide 9-1-1 PSAP services for 2021.
Welcome to our new Emergency Program Coordinator
The Board welcomes Carlene Pires to the RDKB team. Carlene will work as a key member of the RDKB Emergency Program team, providing much needed capacity during emergency preparedness and activations. She moved to the region in 2007 and for the last 13 years has worked as a senior financial advisor at CIBC. She is also a paid-on-call firefighter and officer for Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue out of the Warfield Fire Station. Carlene lives in Warfield with her spouse Chris, their 10 year-old-daughter Sofia, and their dog Scout and are avid outdoors and sports enthusiasts.
Grants-in-Aid: funding to local groups/projects
Electoral Areas D/Rural Grand Forks and E/West Boundary
$1,500 each from areas D/Rural Grand Forks and E/West Boundary for a total of $3,000 to Boundary Youth Soccer Association for program costs.
Board advocates for better wireless service in the RDKB
The RDKB Board approved sending a letter to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and copied TELUS, supporting TELUS’ application to provide increased wireless connectivity in the region under the Universal Broadband Fund which includes a fibre-to-home solution to about 94 homes in the Park Siding area in Area A.
The RDKB letter of support cites concerns over the lack of rural broadband connectivity and cell coverage over highways 3 and 3B, the need for improved safety by enabling 911 calls from more locations, as well as increased regional capacity for tele-health, and tele-work. It also communicates that reliable cellular coverage will provide opportunities for commercial and industrial businesses in the RDKB, whether small or large, to operate and develop in an increasingly virtual world.
The Board also supported a commitment of $27,500 from Electoral Area ‘A’ gas tax funds to Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation for this project.
$350,000 from Hydro-Grants-In-Lieu to fund Beaver Valley Parks & Trails, East Transit projects
The RDKB Board approved that $200,000 be transferred annually from Hydro-Grants-In-Lieu (HGIL) revenues into the Beaver Valley Parks and Trails Service budget to support projects in the Beaver Valley including improvements to the Beaver Valley Arena and development of a proposed historical attraction in the Village of Fruitvale that will include construction of a train station that will also house important local artifacts, and relocation of the historic Park Siding School to the same site.
The Board also approved a one-time transfer of $150,000 to the East Transit Service that serves the Greater Trail area, to pay for bus shelter improvements and completion of the downtown Trail Exchange.
This amount will be earmarked in the Transit budget for specific capital costs for bus shelter improvements and downtown Trail Exchange projects until both projects are paid off.
To provide improved predictability for the RDKB financial planning process, the Board will develop policy guidance in 2021 regarding the allocation of HGIL payments for future years to account for impacts on tax requisitions and RDKB financial reserves.
The Hydro-Grants-In-Lieu is revenue the RDKB receives annually in lieu of property taxes from BC Hydro due to impacts in Electoral Area A from the Seven Mile Dam and from Columbia Power Corporation due to impacts from the Waneta Expansion under the authority of the Hydro and Power Authority Act. In 2020, the RDKB received $1,525,629 from BC Hydro and $364,021 from Columbia Power Corporation.
For 2020, $500,000 of this payment was allocated to the Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire & Rescue Service and the remainder was allocated to General Government/Legislative & Administrative Services. The same sum of $500,000 will be allocated to the Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire & Rescue Service in 2021.
Grants-in-Aid: funding to local groups/projects
Electoral Area A
$2,500 to the Beaver Valley Blooming Society for flower tubs and ground plantings in and around Fruitvale.
Electoral Area C/Christina Lake and D/Rural Grand Forks
$1,000 to the Boundary Youth Soccer Association to run their program and buy equipment.
Electoral Area D/Rural Grand Forks
$3,500 to the Grand Forks Flying Association for pilot car courtesy car maintenance, insurance and repairs.