Aimee Watson, Directors Report, May 7th

Directors Report

Hello Area D, how is everyone doing?

These times are uncharted waters with some thriving and some struggling but all wondering how this all will unfold? It is apparent that the information out there regarding our global pandemic is endless and often, at odds with each other. What I find fascinating is the infinite perspectives on how and what COVID is and what each household is doing to protect themselves while supporting the community. 

The good news: while being isolated from each other, I am seeing immense outpouring of support and connection, from community volunteer groups to business supports and thoughtful ways to adapt to our new normal. Staying positive is certainly a challenge, combine this with homeschooling, working full time and cooking so dam much! Its exhausting being tied to home. I am slightly kidding; the combination of homeschooling and working is not super easy but not driving endless hours and KM’s for meetings is a blessing!

On that note, please always know you can reach out to me for support, even if I cannot directly support you, I am happy to redirect you or support where I can.

I do think we are in a favorable situation knowing how remote we all are; however, emergency resources need to be considered and well cared for to ensure we are not quickly maxed out. 

We already have limited supports with our First Responders (want to join??), Search and Rescue, Ambulance and of course our business hours only health care center. The good news is that all the staff and volunteers in these organizations go well above and beyond the call of duty and thank each and everyone of you for your commitments, they are heroic!

While the global pandemic has certainly taken over most of our thoughts and actions, there are still many other actions and issues to pay attention to. I have a short (I know your laughing at me already…) list below. Have a read and let me know if you need more information or have questions. Most importantly, enjoy that beautiful spring sunshine!

1. Be Flood Prepared 
Flood and Debris line: 1800-663-3456
Please be sure you have that number in your contacts. If you see flooding or debris flows, please call it asap. 

While I hope we do not have to deal with any floods this year, on top of our global emergency, we know the melt is on and we must plan accordingly. Our Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been activated under the Provincial State of Emergency since the 2nd week of March. The EOC has been working hard on being prepared should evacuation alerts and orders be necessary. What is most important is that your household is prepared. I have linked to a few great resources on what should be in your to go bag and what to watch for around your house if you are aware of potential flooding.
https://rdck.ca/…/emerge…/emergency-preparedness/floods.html

In conjunction with our Emergency Social Services, (ESS) and the Red Cross, should the need to evacuate occur, we will not be hosting receptions centers but rather having residents register either online or via phone. We will also have accommodations established with protocols in place to address social distancing needs.

2. Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Funding Programs
It is unfortunate we are unable to host our annual community meetings to hear and ask questions about community projects. Hearing what we are all up to- and so much!- while working together to allocate funds according to your input, it does not get more democratic then that. Adjusting to a new process has not been easy but CBT and the RDCK staff have come up with what we feel with still achieve the goals while not impeding or delaying what our community organization have planned to support us all.

This year, it is online engagement. Find all the information here: https://rdck.ca/…/…/grants/columbia-basin-trust-cip-aap.html

Each Director with funds (I have two, Affected Areas and Community Initiatives I pool with Kaslo) has had to create local steering committees who will be adjudicating the proposals with recommendations to the RDCK board at our June meeting. 
Community Initatives:
Committee: 
Area D representatives: myself, Maggie Winters and Monica Davie
Kaslo: Mayor Hewat, Tom Humphries, Margaret Fry
Funds available: $58,366
Funds requested: $$134,094

Affected Areas:
Committee: (only residents in the Lardeau Valley qualify)
Deb Borsos, Janine Conrad, Carl Johnson, Gillian Sanders and me
Funds available: $87, 085
Funds requested: $158,039.64
For a copy of the terms of reference for this committee, let me know!

3. Forestry: Cooper Creek Cedar- terrain and caribou reports and KDCFS wildfire mitigation work
Forestry is a file I am constantly involved in, from wildfire mitigation, environment to logging. The Argenta Johnson Landing communities have been working diligently over the past two years to engage and provide input with the tenure holders for the land that surrounds the area, Cooper Creek Cedar. CCC has released three reports for public review, a terrain stability assessment including karst review and the caribou management plan. All three can be reviewed at the Lardeau Valley Opportunity Society (LINKs) website: https://www.lardeauvalley.ca/environment-weather/
Comments due before June 1st. 

For the Kaslo and District Community Forest plans and work from upper Allen Subdivision to Shutty Bench via branch 7, please see their plans online at:
https://kaslocommunityforest.org/…

4. Stabilizing Power in the Lardeau Valley 
There is movement on the efforts to assess how the regions power could be more stable. We have circulated a scope of work that would be covered in a feasibility, once the community group has reviewed, we will work on how and who can do the work. Stay tuned!

5. NKL Farmer Innovation program + CBT supports
It is our third year offering the Farmer Innovation program in Area D, 2nd year in partnership with the Village of Kaslo enabling all farmers and processors eligible in the North Kootenay Lake region. Lardeau Valley Opportunity Society is administrating the program, you can see details here: https://www.lardeauvalley.ca/agriculture-lardeau-valley/

Further, in great news! The CBT is now offering similar supports Basin wide, if you missed the intake for the Farmer Innovation program and/or know of others who could use support to enhance our local food and farming sector, more important than ever! 
https://ourtrust.org/two-new-programs-support-the-regions…/…

6. Kaslo and Area D Economic Development program support for businesses
From the Press Release: Revitalizing the economy of North Kootenay Lake is a top priority in 2020. Recent challenges in forestry, the changing landscape of agriculture, the growth of remote working and wide range of
tourism opportunities create an exciting time for residents of North Kootenay Lake to look ahead togetherand build a strategy to shape the region’s future. The Village of Kaslo and Regional District of Central Kootenay Area D are teaming up to develop a shared vision for the regions economy. 
This program was launched a month before our global landscape changed, since then, the program coordinator has been able to shift gears to focus on impacts of COVID and will be looking at how best we can support recovery. For further information, you can follow the page on Facebook, online or reach out directly. Here are those links:
https://www.facebook.com/NORTHKOOTENAYLAKE/
https://www.northkootenaylake.ca/…

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