Employment services contacts, March 19

IN RESPONSE TO THE RAPIDLY EVOLVING PANDEMIC, WE ARE TAKING STEPS TO ENSURE THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF OUR CLIENTS AND COMMUNITY AT LARGE. TO THAT END, WE HAVE TRANSITIONED TO VIRTUAL SERVICES EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY AND FOR THE TIME BEING. THIS MEANS THAT THAT WE WILL PROVIDE COUNSELING, ADMINISTRATIVE AND WORKSHOP SUPPORT BY PHONE, EMAIL AND VIDEO-CONFERENCE, INSTEAD OF IN-PERSON SERVICES AT OUR WORKBC CENTRES. WE CONTINUE TO PROVIDE ALL CLIENT AND EMPLOYER FINANCIAL SERVICES. WE WILL CONTACT ALL IMPACTED CLIENTS DIRECTLY. PLEASE DON’T HESITATE TO CONTACT US FOR FURTHER INFORMATION AT THE NUMBER BELOW.

Nelson Training Centre & Administrative Office contact: 250-352-6200 |1-888-952-6200 | centre-nelson@workbc.ca

Nelson WorkBC Centre contact: 250-352-6200 | 1-888-952-6200 | centre-nelson@workbc.ca

Nelson Youth Employment Centre contact: 250-352-6200 |1-888-952-6200 | centre-nelson@workbc.ca

Castlegar WorkBC Centre contact: 250-365-6515 | 1-855-365-6515 | centre-castlegar@workbc.ca

Trail WorkBC Centre contact: 250-512-3001  | centre-trail@workbc.ca

WE APOLOGIZE FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT IN MANAGING PUBLIC HEALTH PRIORITIES AT THIS TIME.

Update from RDCK Director Aimee Watson, March 16

Well as life as we know is changing fast and in ways we are not quite sure what they will look like, some things are continuing as planned. Here for your reading pleasure are this months agendas for Rural Affairs, Joint Resource Recovery and Board. Below the links is my Directors update which includes our proposed direction on Lardeau Park. 

Rural Affairs:
https://rdck.ca/…/Admin…/Documents/2020-03-18-RAC_Agenda.pdf

Joint Resource:
https://rdck.ca/…/Wast…/Documents/2020-03-18_JRRC_Agenda.pdf

Board:
https://rdck.ca/…/Go…/Documents/2020-03-19-BRD_Agenda-lr.pdf

Directors Report March 2020
1. Budget 2020
As many have read in the recent Valley Voice, we are amid our annual budget road show. This is when we bring the DRAFT RDCK budget to the residents. We walk through how taxation works, services you have and details on proposed needs for the year. Unfortunately, there were a few errors in the article.  
For one, yes, we are still in DRAFT form. March of every year is when the budget is approved by the board. The process starts in September. With 187 services and many of them having commissions and committees, it’s a long process!
We present the budget to the public so you, as the taxpayer, understand how taxes are determined and where they are being used. This does provide opportunity for feedback but no, not all feedback can be incorporated into the final. This year’s presentation walked through the increasing mandated roles of local government that come from other orders of govt; traditionally known as downloading and they are a significant portion of increases for 2020. These requirements are rarely negotiable.
The other misunderstanding was the number reported as the proposed increase to taxation for 2020. The VV provided the % increase of total funds raised, not the rate of taxation. The increase in total funds raised is not straight across what the increase is to the resident, assessment is also a part of that equation. 
Assessment is the total value of land holdings in a region. This includes all aspects to property value and with new builds, construction occurs, property values go up and the total assessment for a region increases. 
In 2020, Area D’s assessment is: $43,386,654  
In 2019 it was: $40,784,793 an increase of 6.38%
The Assessment is what is used to determine the rate per thousand that each resident pays for services. 
TO determine taxation at the RD, we do not due flat percentage rates, we determine the cost needed to deliver a service and then divide that total by the assessment available. This gives us rate per thousand and thus sets the tax rate. 
In Area D, you have 17-21 services. For a full list and details on each, please contact me. 
Total for all 17 that every resident in Area D participates in is $673, 979. Divide that by the total assessment (43,386,654) and the rate per thousand in 2020 is $1.55/$1000. The provincial fee is then added, bringing it to $1.63
For those with the additional services; water, fire, library and mosquito- the rate per thousand will be higher. 
In 2019 total cost for services in Area D was $588,554 with a rate per thousand of $1.44+ province=$1.51. An increase of 8.5%
This second number is what you use to determine your actual taxation for the year. Take your assessed value, $250,000, you would times 250 x 1.53= $407.50. That is what you would be paying in 2020. In 2019, it would have been $377.50. This is an increase of 8% to a $250,000 home. Still high, but not 14% which is the TOTAL amount raised. 
So now that no one is still reading this….
What are the big drivers for increases in 2020?
Due to increased responsibilities:
– Recreation: WorkSafe standards
– Fire Services: Office of the Fire Commissioner sets requirements on Fire Training, WorkSafe BC
– Emergency Management BC –Emergency Programming Impact; the Emergency Program Modernization will have further implications, set to be announced in the fall of 2020 as well as changes to the Wildfire Program
– Resource Recovery – Recycle BC impact on recycling costs and WorkSafe 
Shared Services (Kaslo and Area D both participate) with increases:
– Fire Services (increasing remuneration for fire fighters) 
– Economic Development (chamber support, housing society, north Kootenay Lake rural revitalization project)

2. Lardeau Park
I want to start by thanking everyone who participated in the consultation process. The last consultation round in 2015/2016 resulted in such little feedback, that Mayor Hewat and I could not move forward without considering an enhanced public engagement process. This time, you participated! Many times! Being engaged in your local services is democracy at its core, kudos team D! and Kaslo!
Now, the challenge is to ensure that public concerns and aspirations are understood and considered in the plan. Mayor Hewat and I met and went through ALL of the consultation, together we agreed to put forward a management plan for Lardeau Park with the following amenities:
– No wharf
– Simple design, some capital works; bathroom, move road off foreshore, parking adjustments, 2 picnic tables 1 bench and an accessibility path connecting these amenities.
– Potential for expansion into the remaining crown area between Lardeau and Davis Creek; if so, it will also be simple amenities 
– No camping, day use

The Lardeau Park plan will be on the RDCK board agenda for April 16th. The plan includes consideration of all consultation received during the process and this is when the board will be able to review all input received. Final decision on the Lardeau Plan becoming an operational document for the RDCK will be made by the Regional Board at this meeting. However, the plan is a guiding document. The phases are intended to show a progression of actions, but when and how much each costs are not set in stone. All actions will be subject to available funds. We intend to use as much grant funding as we can for capital works and redevelopment phases, these funds are not set aside through taxation in advance. 

3. Road to Kaslo Transfer Station responsibility 
Well I must admit I was wrong! I was asked about who was responsible for road management to the Kaslo Transfer Station and since the road was annexed into the Village a few years ago, I assumed it was the Village. This is partially true. There is a shared road agreement between the Village and the RDCK, the Village manages it in the summer and RDCK contract out management in the winter months. 
With that, here are the contacts should you have concerns with the road:
Winter: The RDCK at 250-352-6665 or 1-800-268-RDCK (7325)
Summer: The Village of Kaslo at 250-353-2311

Aimee Watson update on COVID 19 and services from the RDCK

Dear Community,

Well the good news is that we are naturals at social distancing, given many in area D can’t even see their neighbors house. Further good news is that I know Area D residents are very resilient at working and supporting each other in times of need.

The bulletin below outlines what RDCK services are doing to manage public safety during the pandemic. What I would like to further suggest is:
– check in with those close to us
– is anyone stuck that may need supplies delivered?
– are there people who would be high risk that need support to stay home, help them do so
– staycation! We live in the perfect area to explore the great outdoors and our local restaurants, community programs and businesses remain open
– wash your hands!!! Like they have cayenne on them..
– please, with compassion, let’s work together to ensure those who show symptoms of illness are able to stay home
– testing is available in Kaslo and Nelson, please see posts on our community pages for more information

I have full faith in our community spirit that we will get through this and come out with stronger friendships as we work together. As I receive information, I will post to my Directors page.

Ps: the sun IS coming!

Update on March 13, 2020

The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) continues to work closely with the Provincial government, Interior Health Authority and other partner agencies to monitor the COVID-19 situation and respond appropriately.

The health and safety of our employees and the people in our communities is our first priority. We continue to follow the guidance of our local experts at BC Centres for Disease Control, at Health Canada and at other global health organizations to help prevent the spread of infection.

There are confirmed cases of COVID-19 in BC and Canada, but the risk to Canadians and to people in the RDCK continues to be low. However, the situation is evolving rapidly, and we remain ready to respond as needed.

Since January, senior leaders at the RDCK have been following the development of the outbreak with a focus on potential impacts to our business and ability to continue to provide services throughout the region. As of March 10, our Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) was activated to a Level 1 to support the organization in preparing for possible impacts.

Please visit the RDCK website http://rdck.ca to find specific links to services available including what’s listed below .

RDCK offices and facilities

All RDCK offices and facilities remain open and operational during regular business hours.

We are undertaking enhanced cleaning of high touch areas, including door handles, elevator buttons, service counters and railings, in all of our facilities.

Some departments may be implementing social distancing, which means they may limit their contact with the public. Call the office first to ensure staff are available to assist you.

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19)—fever, coughing, and shortness of breath—please stay home. If you have a compromised immune system or believe you might be vulnerable to infection, please consider whether you should limit your contact with others. Contact us by phone so we can determine the best way to assist you.

Public meetings, events and social gatherings

Events organized by the RDCK or rental events at RDCK facilities that host more than 250 people will be cancelled until further notice.

To protect yourself and others, the RDCK asks all citizens and visitors if they are sick or have flu-like symptoms, are returning from a COVID-19 affected area or have underlying health conditions that may be impacted by respiratory illness, to stay away from scheduled events, community facilities and large gatherings, as recommended by the Provincial Health Officer.

The RDCK will be rescheduling or cancelling non-essential public meetings and gatherings. Changes to planned meetings will be communicated on our website and on our social media accounts. For public meetings that do go ahead, if you are experiencing the flu-like symptoms, please stay home.

Notices of any event cancellations will be posted on this web page.

Recreation Centres and Community Complexes

All recreation centres and community complexes remain open at this time. Programming for March Break will proceed unless the situation changes and they must be cancelled or rescheduled. Information about cancellations will be posted on this web page.

Signs have been posted at all RDCK recreation centres advising that customers who are experiencing flu-like symptoms should stay home.

The RDCK encourages customers to make the best decisions for themselves to self-quarantine or to reduce their social contact.

Members can request a hold on their pass for any length not shorter than 2 weeks and up to a maximum of 6 months on time based passes including Personal Training.

  • No doctor’s note required.
  • Can be done over the phone.

Program registrants can withdraw from a Registered Program:

  • Before Course Starts: The withdrawal fee is waived and an account credit will be placed on your account.
  • After Course Starts: The withdrawal fee is waived and a pro-rated account credit will be placed on your account.

Renters of our facilities can cancel their events and Cancellation Fees will not be charged. Any pre-paid rentals will have an account credit placed on the groups or individuals account.

Resource Recovery – Landfills and transfer stations

RDCK landfills and transfer stations are operating according to their regular schedules. Visit the website for hours of operation. Please do not visit one of these facilities if you are feeling unwell, experiencing flu-like symptoms or have been potentially exposed to the coronavirus.

Transit

The RDCK and BC Transit are working together to protect the health and safety of West Kootenay Transit ridership. The BC Center for Disease Control and the Government of Canada are providing our partnership with regular updates regarding best practices for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

At the current time the risk to West Kootenay Transit users is low. We will continue to monitor the situation and work with authorities at the federal, provincial, and local government levels to prevent the spread of the disease.

To ensure our fleet is as safe as possible vehicles are cleaned daily. Advisory information will be posted onboard shortly.

RDCK employees

We are taking measures to help prevent the spread of infection amongst RDCK staff, so that we can continue to provide services across the region. These measures include the cancellation of non-essential business travel, remote working arrangements (where appropriate), and regular updates and advice on preventative behaviours and actions.

General guidelines

Proper hygiene can help reduce the risk of infection or spreading infection to others:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom and when preparing food: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/hand-washing
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • When coughing or sneezing cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand
  • Dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible in a lined waste basket and wash your hands afterwards
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Elbow or toe tap instead of shaking hands
  • Consider social distancing (1m personal space)
  • Limit contact with anyone who is unwell

Learn more about protecting yourself and your family members from the following resources:

If you and your family members develop symptoms, call your health‐care provider or 8‐1‐1 (BC Health Link) to discuss any need for testing and follow-up.

Please check the Canadian government website prior to any and all travel: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories

North Kootenay Lake Water Monitoring Project

The flow monitoring portion the North Kootenay Lake Water Monitoring Project (NKLWMP) monitors 7 small to medium sized creeks located around the north end of Kootenay Lake. The stations on Davis, Bjerkness, Carlyle, Ben Hur and MacDonald creeks were originally installed by the Kaslo and District Community Forest. They were then taken over by the Area D Water Monitoring Committee and then by NKLWMP in May 2016. In 2016 and 2017 NKLWMP completed the current network by installing stations on Gar and Kootenay Joe creeks both located near Argenta.

By monitoring these smaller watersheds, we are building an in depth understanding of the hydrology of our region that will enable us to make excellent planning decisions and help our communities thrive under the challenges presented by climate change. Our data will be used to answer essential questions about water resource management, fire suppression, infrastructure planning and community safety among many others.

Please get in touch if you would like further information about our programs or have a use for watershed data that we could collaborate on!

Update & RDCK weekly agenda, from Aimee Watson, Feb. 2020

Happy Belated Family Day! We had a great weekend with family and friends gathering for food, stories and snow fun, grateful for all those close to me <3

This week at the RDCK we have our monthly meeting marathon, 9 in total over 4 days. We start with our Resource Recovery Plan committee, sustainability and our executive emergency committee today. Wednesday is Rural Affairs, Joint and Central Resource, Board on Thursday and budget and housing on Friday. All agenda’s are posted below including a monthly report from me.

Two updates, first is my schedule. I have not had an office day for several weeks and will not until early March. With budget season and too many meetings, my cup is over filled. With that, I am doing my best to keep up with emails and the ever growing list of items to attend to. I am hoping to gain some administrative support in the future but do note that this job is a one woman job, I am doing my best but the demands are more than the time available. Any requests I get that involve an RDCK service where I do have staff available, I am forwarding to them for support. I sincerely apologize if you have an issue I have yet to attend to, you are on the list!

Second, Lardeau Park. With a note of warning, I am an honest person and this update may be a little hard to hear.

I never would have guessed that a public consultation regarding what amenities should or should not be at a rural waterfront park would instigate such hateful, misleading and disrespectful input. I am horrified to read some of the emails and accompanying accusations simply because Mayor Hewat and I wanted to engage residents, who pay for this park, what their views and visions were. 

A few facts:

– there has been no decision made at this time on the future of the park

– public consultation only closed yesterday, staff are preparing a summary of all input that will then be sent to Mayor Hewat and I to review early March

– the proposed plan, depending on which one Mayor Hewat and I support; which depends on the cumulative public input, will go to the RDCK board at our March meeting including all of the public input received. 

– sending repeated emails indicating you are not being heard when there has been no decision made is misinformed of the process and ignorant to the fact that there are over 2500 voices in this conversation

– no matter what side you are on, forgive me for hoping communities could work together and not grow to be more divisive then ever, there are no ill intentions to either destroy the community by allowing a wharf nor are their ill intentions to discriminate against seniors if we do not allow a wharf

– the wharf being included in the draft plan is because that is what this park was originally acquired by the RDCK to provide as an amenity, when Mayor Hewat and I were elected and learned that there was opposition and no clear record of all taxpayers being consulted, we requested community consultation before any projects move forward. 

– the last community consultation did indicate only 23% wanted that wharf and many assumed it was done, however the other figure not included in that fact is that the 23% response came from less than 20 residents who responded out of 2500; not enough to draw a conclusion so we went back to you

– all of your emails on this consultation have been received, staff confirms with each submission, re sending them only adds to the 2000+ I need to sort through, it does not increase the value of your voice

– Mayor Hewat is equally a partner in this decision and on this service, if you are a Kaslo resident, please submit your input to her at mayor@kaslo.ca

One final note, I am trying hard to still love the work of working for the people. When the discourse becomes disrespectful, accusatory of ill intentions and I cannot run errands with my son without being bombarded by hateful words for suggesting a rural park- I lose faith and inspiration in why I am doing this work. There is no power, there is no personal gain other then less and less time with my family and friends, there is only the sheer belief and commitment that rural communities are a rare gem and working for you is my hope in a stark future, please do not erode that. I do this work for each and every voice, but with 1380 of you, you must accept I cannot please you all but I am trying very hard to find that common ground.

Here are this weeks agenda’s:

https://rdck.ca/EN/meta/events/events-list/meetings.html

Update from Aimee Watson, on power instability in the LV, attached minutes and BC Hydro’s response. Jan 9th, 2020

Dear LV Residents,

I started a conversation in the summer with various residents regarding the power instability in the LV- please see that attached minutes and BC Hydro’s initial response to our questions. Obviously, as you have all experienced, the issues are not resolved and we need to continue the discussion. I will be coordinating another meeting for community members to explore the options highlighted from the first meeting, most notably community survey and assessing options to improve services from lobbying to potential for off grid supports. 

I will post to LINKS and Facebook when we have set a date. Stay tuned

Lardeau Valley Power Stability

Purpose: to hear residents concerns regarding utility grid vulnerability

Opening remarks:

–       Unreliable power in north Kootenay Lake Valley and very long power outages: affects local industry & economic activity.  Telephone service is lost after as little as 12 hours.  Water service and refrigeration is lost. Elderly residents placed at risk. Many forced to use backup generators; there is a safety risk if they are not properly isolated from the Hydro meter. This is due to the community being on a dead-end line with no redundant power source.  It is compounded by the long delay time for BC Hydro crews to arrive on site from Nakusp or Vernon to repair line damage due to tree falls & rock and snow slides.

–       There is a need to document the power outage statistics.

–       We should set up a research team to study solutions.

–       This is not seen as a priority issue by the Provincial Government; moreover, the Government is not interested in promoting local renewable energy.

  • This should be regarded as a compensation issue going back to the Columbia River Treaty
  • Need stats on power outages and duration over the last 10-20 years; compare to on the ground knowledge
  • Trees down very often the cause; can BC Hydro cut them down- do a better job of line maintenance?
  • What about having redundant lines that are in place as back up?
  • Need a better understanding of how the grid works; specific to how it works in the LV
  • Distribution is the barrier; currently comes up from the East shore and thus has many areas of vulnerability
  • Gap from Marblehead to Howser
  • No lineman since 2013; would that make a big difference in response time for restoring power
  • Possible for BCUC support; clean energy section 2- Andy Shadrack to follow up
  • Its getting worse
  • More power failures in Howser than Johnson Landing; how does that work?
  • Historical level of service; 26 years ago it took only a day to replace polls and lines, now it can take up to 72 + hours
  •  

ACTIONS

Document collection

  • BC Hydro: **Aimee is seeking this information**
    •  Stats on power outages and duration
    • There are BC Hydro employees here to operate Duncan Dam; why not a local lineman
    • BC Hydro policy/ management of danger trees? Are they accounting for or working towards a wildfire mitigation plan that could support more stable system?
    • Why are the outages more frequent? Due to longer response or more frequent weather event? 
  • Independent Power options: **Don Scarlett, Andy Shadrack, Joel Hutton, Bob Watters working together**
    • Hugh Elliot/Argenta Power; what agreements, if any, do they have as an utility?
    • Options for utility structure(s); in terms of governance
    • Columbia Power Duncan Dam power feasibility study (Aimee has a copy but it is considered proprietary, hoping to gain permission to share it)

o   Would a substation at the north end of the Lake improve power reliability?

o   Terms of Reference for an economic development study aren’t the first priority; first address the power unreliability issue, do the study, etc.

  •  
  • Misc.
    • Renewable Energy Scan for Kaslo/D- **Aimee to circulate**

Community Engagement:

Premise of this action is to glean ground evidence and concerns from the residents while also soliciting locally based solutions. Actions and those who volunteered are listed below:

o   Andy Shadrackcould write up standardized questions for collecting community concerns.

o   Larry Leonardis willing to print out questionnaires to be dropped off at a central location.

o   Greg Underwoodis willing to put the information into a database; his business can help set up public polling questions/forms and manage the data.

o   Responses could be mailed in to the Lardeau Valley Community Hall.

o   Opportunity Links needs to be notified about this initiative.

o   At this stage funding could be available for materials needed to collect the data.

o   Bring LINKS into the loop, ask for a section on the website to host information and documents ** Aimee will share these notes with Nichol Ward and ask that they be posted, once the group approves them**

o   Responses could be mailed in to the Lardeau Valley Community Hall