The Regional District of East Kootenay held a Town Hall meeting for Area E at the Centennial Centre in Kimberley on Monday, June 3.
Several different topics were discussed at the meeting including recycling, mosquito control, the five year financial plan, the solid waste management plan review, emergency preparedness and FireSmart basics.
Area E Director Jane Walters says that the RDEK has been working hard on The Solid Waste Management Plan Review, which they hope to be able to take back to the public soon for feedback.
“We also looked at the costs for recycling and how important the new system is in Kimberley.
It’s important that people are using that system because they can actually pay us for some of the things that are recycled, it lessens taxes,” said Walters.
She adds that many have inquired about the Mosquito Control Program, specifically in the Meadowbrook area.
She says that in the Wasa and Bull River area, mosquito control was voted down, mostly due to the costs associated and how it affects taxes.
“I’ve heard requests for the program in the Meadowbrook area, but I need to hear from more people. It will increase taxes,” Walters explained. “I shouldn’t be spending a lot of money and time investigating the costs etc., if no one wants it.”
She says that the same goes for fire prevention.
“If we continue to hear from people that they are willing to pay for these services, we can make it happen,” she said, adding that if neighbourhoods and community groups are serious about it, they can send her a petition.
The FireSmart program was also a topic of discussion at the meeting, where Wasa was showcased as an example of a community that is working hard to get to FireSmart status.
“They are only about three steps away from being declared FireSmart, they’re working really hard out there,” Walters said.
She encourages neighbourhoods and small community groups to familiarize themselves with the FireSmart program. Meadowbrook is currently working on getting a community group together.
The RDEK’s Five Year Financial Plan, which was adopted in March, was also discussed. The 2019 operating budget totals $32,436,112, which results in a three per cent tax increase over last year.
Copies of the plan are available online at www.rdek.bc.ca or by request at the Cranbrook office.
The RDEK’s town hall meetings will continue to take place across the remaining electoral areas over the next few weeks. For a list of upcoming dates visit www.rdek.bc.ca.