Regional District of East Kootenay

The Regional District of East Kootenay will be holding community meetings in both Electoral Areas A and G later this month.

Members of the Baynes Lake and Jaffray Fire Departments responded to a grass fire in the Jaffray area this afternoon.

“A private property owner was burning grass and it got away on him,” says Elk Valley & South Country Rural Fire & Rescue Chief Michael Hockley. “When we arrived on scene, the fire was moving into longer grass and our firefighters did a good job of containing it quickly and preventing what could have been a much more serious situation.”  

Rural residents in the East Kootenay looking to introduce more energy efficient heating systems in their homes may be eligible for a rebate through a new program being offered by the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK).

A firefighter recruitment drive is underway for the Elk Valley & South Country Rural Fire and Rescue Service and the RDEK is appealing to residents to consider stepping forward to become part of the team. 

After being closed since spring of 2020, the RDEK’s Reuse Centres are set to open in early July. 

“These centres are extremely popular with the public and I know people have been eager to see them reopened,” says Environmental Services Manager Kevin Paterson. “We are looking to the public to help us ensure we are able to keep them open by obeying the rules of operation, continuing to follow public health advice as posted and listening to any direction provided by site staff.” 

In spite of a decrease of 4.1% on an average residential assessment for 2021, the Electoral Area A portion of the RDEK’s budget is already making a big impact through the programs and services its supports. 

Volunteers are the heart of the RDEK’s rural communities. If you know an outstanding volunteer in one of the rural areas in the region, the RDEK encourages you to nominate them for the 2021 Electoral Area Volunteer of the Year award. 

Nomination forms are now available and, as it has in past years, the Regional District will be honouring one outstanding volunteer or couple from each of its six Electoral Areas. 

The Elk Valley will once again be part of the regional organics program after the Elk Valley Directors reversed a decision earlier this year and voted in favour of re-joining the East Kootenay Regional Organics Strategy and constructing an organics processing facility at the Sparwood Transfer Station.

With spring in the air, many people will be heading outside to do spring clean up around their homes and properties and the RDEK is urging residents doing any spring burning to use caution.

“Anyone doing spring burning must make sure they are taking steps to be prepared by having a water source, shovel or tools, burning when it’s not windy and staying on site monitoring the fire until it is completely out,” says Columbia Valley Rural Fire & Rescue Chief Jim Miller.

The RDEK is encouraging residents within the region to share their thoughts on the projects being considered for funding through the 2021/2022 Trust Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs.