During the July regularly scheduled board meeting, the Kootenay & Boundary Farm Advisors (KBFA) provided an overview to the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary board members — a three-year pilot program to bring back agricultural extension services in the region.
The program is sponsored by the regional districts of Kootenay Boundary, Central Kootenay and East Kootenay as well as Columbia Basin Trust. It provides services to various agricultural sectors, supports farmers one-on-one, connects farmers with experts, coordinates farmer-to-farmer networking and on-farm research, and leverages resources for agriculture. KBFA communicates widely about its events and has now put a data management system in place to track advice provided to producers and outcomes that follow.
In other RDKB meeting news:
Community Energy Association (CEA)
The CEA is a provincial, independent climate and energy advisor to local governments. Their board is made up of member organizations including governments, transit authorities, utilities and others.
The CEA has worked with the RDKB on a draft carbon reduction plan and community energy planning. They highlighted three planning areas local governments are already focusing on to foster sustainability, and which the CEA supports in turn: 1) Building – implementation of the BC Energy Step Code toward more energy-efficient, sustainable buildings; 2) Transportation – Accelerate Kootenays electric vehicle charging stations in Rock Creek, Midway, Greenwood, Grand Forks, Christina Lake, Rossland, Trail, Montrose and Fruitvale as well as Clean BC’s Zero Emissions Vehicles target of 2040; and 3) Waste – the RDKB is already a regional leader in organics composting and the CEA supports work to expand our composting program across the region to reduce greenhouse gases & the need for more landfills.
Climate action in the RDKB
The RDKB and the Columbia Basin Research Development Institute (RDI) at Selkirk College are collaborating on research to identify local climate vulnerabilities and help local government adapt. The RDI has launched the Electoral Area ‘A’ Climate Adaptation Survey about backyard food production and emergency preparedness. All Area ‘A’ residents are encouraged to complete the survey at jointheconversation.rdkb.com by August 30, 2019. This project is funded through a Federation of Canadian Municipalities grant with the RDKB contributing $5,000 from its Carbon Neutral Initiatives Reserve Fund as well as in-kind support.
RDKB-BC Transit MOU for system expansion
The RDKB Board of Directors approved a Memorandum of Understanding with BC Transit for a three year term from 2020 to 2023. The MOU is for an estimated $163,414 in matching funds to the province for transit expansion initiatives and investments into the transit system.
Nelson/Trail transit exchange study
BC Transit, the City of Nelson, and the RDKB agreed to proceed with a joint study for construction of two transit exchanges, one in Trail and one in Nelson. The RDKB is contributing $20,000 to the $60,000 project with costs shared equally by all three partners.
Saddle Lake Dam spillway project underway
The Board approved a contract with Arise Contracting Inc. for $173,825 for construction of a spillway at Saddle Lake, in Electoral Area ‘D’/Rural Grand Forks. The RDKB received $190,000 in federal Gas Tax funding in 2018 to build the spillway to reliably manage water levels year-round at Saddle Lake Dam. The project is scheduled to be completed by fall 2019.
RDKB pursues meat processing facility grant
The RDKB has partnered with the West Boundary Community Service Co-operative Association to apply for $500,000 from the BC Rural Dividend Program to construct a meat processing and value-adding facility in Rock Creek. The RDKB has sponsored the Cooperative’s application in keeping with regional economic, agricultural and food security aims.
Kootenay Robusters to build boathouse
The RDKB Board approved entering into a licence of occupation with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to occupy land adjacent to Christina Lake Provincial Park. The land will in turn be leased to the Kootenay Robusters Society for a new boathouse.
Kootenay Robusters is a non-profit organization for breast cancer survivors and associates to experience physical, emotional, spiritual and mental wellness at a level that they find comfortable and personally challenging. Through the paddling experience, they aim to raise awareness of breast cancer and the uplifting truth that there is life after breast cancer.
$10K for riparian restoration
The Board approved a $10,000 allocation from the new Boundary Integrated Watershed Service to the Granby Wilderness Society who will work with the Boundary Habitat Stewards to restore and enhance black cottonwood riparian forests in the Kettle River Watershed. These forests provide key habitat for a number of endangered or sensitive species.
Grants-in-Aid: funding to local groups/projects
Electoral Area ‘B’/Lower Columbia-Old Glory
$1,276.34 to the Oasis Recreation Society for the Oasis Pickle Ball Court Grand Opening on July 6, 2019.
Electoral Area ‘E’/West Boundary
$4,000 to the Midway Public Library for free library memberships to any interested Area ‘E’ residents. The free library membership program is designed to promote information, communication and literacy support for Area ‘E’ residents.
The next board meeting is on Thursday, August 29 at 6 p.m. in our Trail office located at 843 Rossland Avenue.