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Highlights of the Inaugural and Regular Regional Board Meetings – December 9, 2013

December 10, 2013 - 2:48 PM

No Dog License Fine - Increasing Jan. 1

The Regional Board has adopted bylaw changes that will see a substantial increase in the fine for the owner of an unlicensed dog.  Starting January 1, any unlicensed dog will be subject to a $300 fine.  The current fine is $100.  The increased fine brings the Regional District in line with other local governments that are holding dog owners accountable for ensuring they have a valid dog license, which is required in the Dog Impounding and Regulation Bylaw.

Sunset Ranch Utility Acquisition

The Regional Board has agreed that the Regional District will acquire ownership of the sanitary sewer and water systems located within all current and future phases of the Sunset Ranch subdivision. In keeping with the Regional District Utility Acquisition Policy, it will acquire the service assets for $1. All existing strata corporations within the development requested the transfer of ownership to the Regional District and their members voted strongly to support the takeover of services.

2014 – 2018 Financial Plan Considerations

The Regional Board has received a report outlining possible items for consideration during the review of the 2014-2018 Financial Plan.  More specifics on the impacts of these items will be provided at the February 27 budget meeting.

Dog Service Model Implementation Update

The Regional Board has received an update on the implementation of recommendations stemming from the 2012 Dog Service Review.  Consultant Allan Neilson says many proactive measures have been taken during 2013 to encourage, support and reward responsible dog ownership.  These efforts include launching of the ‘My Dog Matters’ rewards program, licensing of an additional 3,600 dogs through the October Free License Amnesty and introduction of online license purchasing starting January 1, 2014.  Plans for 2014 include consideration of a new Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw and various educational and awareness efforts to support responsible dog owners.

Wildfire Prevention Initiative

The Regional Board has received a letter from the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) which has approved a successful grant application.  The UBCM will provide a grant of $134,004.60 to fund 90 per cent of the cost of providing wildfire hazard reduction treatment to approximately 20-hectares within Stephen’s Coyote Ridge Regional Park.  It’s hoped this work will get underway in early 2014.

Agricultural Advisory Commission Member

The Regional Board has re-appointed Molly Thurston to the Agricultural Advisory Commission.  She’s been Chair for the past three years and will serve an additional three-year term until December 2016. The Commission serves in an advisory capacity to the Regional Board and reviews agricultural-related applications and issues.

Environmental Advisory Commission Members

The Regional Board has approved re-appointing five members of the Environmental Advisory Commission.  In addition, Jenna Gall has been appointed to a second, one year term as a student member of the Commission. Serving a new three year term are Les Gyug, Beverly Andrews, Angela Cormano, John Janmaat and Allan King.  The independent Commission volunteers provide expert advice to the Regional Board on environmental issues related to land use and development applications.

Septic Tank Disposal Fee Increasing

The Regional Board has approved a two per cent increase in the septage disposal fee for 2014 to a rate of $39.41 per cubic metre.  Over the past five years, the rate to dispose of septic waste at the Regional Septage Facility at the District of Lake Country Wastewater Treatment Plant has risen two per cent each year.  Disposal fees at the facility will be reviewed after the current plant expansion and upgrade is complete and a new agreement is in place between the Regional District and District of Lake Country.

Regional Board Meetings

Regional District office – 1450 KLO Road, Kelowna (Woodhaven Board Room).  Residents are welcome to attend.

-  Thursday, January 16 – following 8:30 a.m. Governance & Services Committee meeting
-  Monday, January 27 – 7 p.m.
Christmas-New Year’s Office Closure
Regional District offices will be closed from Wednesday, December 25 to Wednesday, January 1.  Offices will reopen on Thursday, January 2, 2014.
During the closure payments may be made online at regionaldistrict.com.  Emergencies involving RDCO water systems should be directed to 250-868-5299.

2013-2014 Regional Board and Central Okanagan Hospital District
Kelowna Councillor Robert Hobson was acclaimed as Chair of the Regional District Board and Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District Board during the Inaugural meetings.  Hobson has been Chair since 1994.  Kelowna Councillor Gail Given was acclaimed as Vice-Chair of both boards.  The Regional District Board consists of 12 voting members representing the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West Electoral Areas, the City of Kelowna, District of Lake Country, District of Peachland and the District of West Kelowna.  The Westbank First Nation is represented with a non-voting member.

Regional Board Members
Chair Robert Hobson                 Councillor, City of Kelowna
Vice-Chair Gail Given                 Councillor, City of Kelowna
Jim Edgson             Central Okanagan West Electoral Area
Patty Hanson            Central Okanagan East Electoral Area
Walter Gray                                       Mayor, City of Kelowna
Colin Basran                              Councillor, City of Kelowna
Luke Stack                                  Councillor, City of Kelowna
Gerry Zimmermann                    Councillor, City of Kelowna
James Baker                         Mayor, District of Lake Country
Keith Fielding                          Mayor, District of Peachland
Doug Findlater                     Mayor, District of West Kelowna
Duane Ophus               Councillor, District of West Kelowna
Chris Derickson              Councillor, Westbank First Nation
                                                  (Non-Voting Member)

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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