Director news on Schroeder Creek, Feb 2


I am aware of and have been actively pursuing solutions to the congestion in Schroeder Creek, however, transportation via roads and water are under provincial jurisdiction.

The Ministry of Transportation, responsible for public access points, has clearly indicated that any requests for development of public access points be done by the RDCK. For the RDCK to do this, it would require acquiring the land under License of Occupation, starting a new service inclusive of new staff- referendum plus 2-3 years of getting it in a long line up of other lands waiting for management plans ie: Lardeau (10 years so far).

We have parks staff, but we do not have transportation-based staff for the reason stated above, in rural electoral areas- transportation is the responsibility of the Province.

As your Director:
– I am working on a public survey inclusive of exploring other options for public access.
– I have met twice with Ministry staff onsite to discuss Orr Rd and a variety of issues at Bickel Rd. Both times they point to the RDCK to take over ownership and develop as a response to the community needs.
– I have also met with Ministry staff in Nelson.

The only success I have had in three years of lobbying for the residents is the Ministry ‘allowed’ the Schroeder Creek Home Owners Association a sign, that Area D had to pay for, indicating where other public access points are- this took over a year of negotiating.

So far, two accretions for the Orr Rd properties have been approved despite any comment received by the RDCK Area D Director or the Area D APC in opposition. Add several water access only communities that were approved for subdivision, again, under the Ministry of Transportation. None of these were approved with an overall review of impacts to the community and thus, here we are with congestion, limited access to the west side of the lake and community pressure.

With a continual increase in local taxation and a constant request to take on services that are those of another order of government, I have a hard time adding yet another service to your bill especially when I have 0 staff available for any of the work let alone the discussions. Combine this with the fact you are already paying provincially for services not being delivered; I cannot in good faith charge you as well. It’s like opening our own hospital because the provincial system is not working for our rural residents. I have certainly been asked for that, but the cost would be completely prohibitive given our tax base.

My next step is a survey, it will not have RDCK letterhead, as again, this is not our jurisdiction, but is indeed being carried out by your local elected official.

Post survey, I will investigate a community meeting to determine, hopefully with the Ministry of Transpiration, next steps. From there, if the residents want to see the RDCK take this on, it will need a petition to initiate a service case analysis that provides the basis for a referendum. If successful, local taxation would pay for the service and its operational needs.

Area D director taxation news

2019 DRAFT Taxation

The RDCK delivers 187 services, more when you separate out those housed under a larger umbrella such as wildfire mitigation being under emergency services. For Area D- you participate in 17 of those services and depending on where you live in Area D, an additional 7 may apply to you.

Close to all services are seeing an increase this year. Some are due to legislative requirements the province is imposing. Two examples of this are the Fire Safety Act which requires fire inspections of all public buildings in rural areas and cannabis legalization which now requires most of our planning dept to process and administer applications. Other increases are due to requests from community-based services such as recreation and library.

For Resource Recovery (waste) we are successful in signing up to Recycle BC which is mandated to manage recycling in BC but due to our rural and remote geography, Directors are committed to ensuring no reduction in services, therefor savings on not operating our core depots will be offset by the costs to continue operating our satellite (rural- don’t qualify under RBC rules) sites. That and the RBC requirements for staffing and inspection of commercial recycling adds up to very little saved.

The other aspect to increases are due to local government being required to do asset management planning and thus, ensuring their are reserves in place for all infrastructure. Woodbury water system will see a sharp increase to both their utility bills and parcel tax for long term needs. We are also hoping to do some major capital upgrades that does not have currently have sufficient funding to manage. We have applied for a 100% funding for the work but must plan as though we are not successful with that grant so work may proceed either way. With the asset management approach, there will be funds available in the future for these needs. While this is a smart way to manage water systems, our resource recovery assets and others, I find it curious that provincial assets such as health care facilities do not require this type of planning and/or reserves for when they break, fall apart etc. Add this to mines and we would not be dealing with what we are in regards to HB Mine. Although why we own an old mine is another story with many ??

What does this all add up? Taxes are going up. The Valley Voice attended our Meadow Creek public meeting and has reported the details on page 7 here:

Thank you, Jan, for attending and reporting!

The purpose of our Annual Budget Road Show is to hear from you. At both the Kaslo and Meadow Creek meetings, I have not heard any opposition or concerns raised. What i have heard is that residents value the services and the transparency associated with being able to go through each service and knowing exactly what we are providing and what it costs you. This information is still readily available with March as the month we finalize and approve the budget.

All of this to say- I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU. Comments, concerns, questions.

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