What the Regional District did over the summer

RDBN Area A (Smithers rural) Director Mark Fisher’s overview of what happened over the summer.

Thanks to everyone who has given feedback on these articles. It has been a while since my last article, but now that the winter is here the articles will resume. This week — just a few point form notes on some of the things that happened over the summer.

General

2017 Regional Business Forum. Very successful, well attended, broad sector representation and partners.

UBCM Community Emergency Preparedness Fund — grant application for ESS volunteer and supplier management software/website development, training activities, reception centre / group lodging kits and computers.

Transit — Hwy 16 service uptake better than expected.

RDBN / First Nation Protocol Agreement Draft.

Northwest Benefit Alliance. Currently negotiating fair share agreement.

Advocacy: concerns around home owner/building restrictions, tailing pond safety, Oil and Gas Commission process, connectivity, community wildfire protection plans, and fiber supply/harvesting practices.

Solid Waste

Advocacy: Northern representation on Recycle BC, province-wide material bans, requirements for industry to work with local governments during the project planning process, lack of Recycle BC services (because of provincial versus regional targets) and residents who are thereby double paying for diversion initiatives (through EPR and RD fees).

Solid Waste Management Plan — Tetra Tech Canada, eight-month process underway.

Salvaging — wood waste approved, metal banned, new bike and lawnmower bays, staff considering other bays and processes (which can be developed in SWMP).

Application for support for waste reduction/recycling groups developed.

Rural / Agriculture

Agriculture coordinator hired. Start November. Welcome all to contact Debbie at debbie.evans@rdbn.bc.ca.

Access to farmland issues: Senate hearing (Chair Parker), met with Andrew Weaver at UBCM (who has subsequently introduced foreign ownership legislation).

Area A specific

BV Pool. Condition assessment and energy study moving forward.

Economic Development — BVEDA contract not renewed, continued with Area function (with reduced taxation for 2018, focus on rural projects, open to partnerships).

Grant in Aid — NSDP (Critical Incident Response training), Bulkley Valley Christian School (litter-a-thon), Groundbreakers (Young Agrarian summer project), Chamber of Commerce (environmental business award), BV Pool (LED lights), Smithers Senior Cohousing Association (community involvement workshop), Treehouse Society (wheelchair lift).

Area A Gas Tax grant — Smithrs and Area Recycling Society (foam densifier), Bulkley Valley Child Development Centre (doors/windows), Lake Kathlyn Protection Society (water diversion system), Village of Telkwa (community hall), Town of Smithers (parking lot), Smithers Public Library (summer reading club), Permaculture Club (food security forum).

Laidlaw Street lighting petition — successful.

Seymour Lake AAP — threshold not yet reached.

Feedback from you is not only appreciated, it is necessary to serve you better. Everyone is encouraged to check the RDBN website, call the office, or contact me for more information or to discuss these or any other issue. Thanks.

Mark Fisher is Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako director for Area A (Smithers rural), mark.fisher@rdbn.bc.ca.

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