The first Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) meeting of the new year had directors discussing topics that varied from the Woodstove Exchange Program to mining permits.
Rogers Communications tower
A new communication tower may be established outside of Greenwood for more cellular coverage. Rogers Communication Inc. has submitted an application to FrontCounter BC for a 30-year license that would place a 40-metre self-support tower on a rocky outcropping outside of Greenwood.
Rogers is working with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for road access and FortisBC for power.
“It’s about time,” said Greenwood Mayor Nipper Kettle. “We’re all looking forward to it.”
Woodstove Exchange Program
In an effort to increase better air quality, the Woodstove Exchange Program and its associated workshops began almost a decade ago.
The province of B.C. created the Wood Stove Exchange Program to improve air quality and fuel efficiency. The goal is to exchange old, smoky stoves for lower-emission appliances.
“If you go in there and do a workshop, people will get interested,” said John Vere, head co-ordinator of the Wood Stove Exchange program in the Kootenay Boundary region.
“My workshops aren’t just about woodstoves anymore, but also alternative heating and staying warm, and air quality.”
Within the Kootenay Boundary district, Fruitvale has exchanged seven woodstoves, Grand Forks 24, Midway six, Montrose two, Rossland 16 and Trail has exchanged seven. In Area A nine, Area B three, Area C 14, Area D 70, Area E 36.
Vere pointed out that there haven’t been any woodstove exchanges yet in Greenwood or Warfield.
RCMP Contract Management
RDKB Area C Director Grace McGregor was appointed as the representative for the Kootenay Boundary region on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Contract Management Committee prior to the meeting. McGregor’s role is to provide and assist with consultation, analysis and communication between the local government and the province.
North Fork drilling
Much discussion has been raised over North America Stone Inc.’s recent application to explore and possibly mine for granite near the Granby River, north of Grand Forks.
RDKB Chief Administrative Officer John MacLean noted that the city and the regional district are able to ask for an extension for commenting on the procedures.
“We can ask the government for an additional 30 days to comment if we feel that we need to assess it more,” stated MacLean
Grand Forks Mayor Brian Taylor, who added he had been away during the city council discussion said, “I think we need to think about this (application) a bit more. It sort of came up on us and there have been some complaints from residents.”
Mail ballot voting
Theresa Lenardon, RDKB executive assistant and last election’s chief elections officer, completed a staff report regarding mail ballot voting.
There are certain requirements necessary for an elector to be permitted to vote by mail ballot, including a disability or illness, and remote location.
Lenardon listed several pros and cons in her report. It would allow more opportunities for possible voters to cast a ballot, a potential increase in voter turnout and it supports democracy. However, mail ballots may be lost or delayed in the postal service, it could increase election fraud and there would be an increase to elections budget.
The board previously discussed implementing mail ballot voting but resolved not to proceed in 2008.
Regional districts where mail ballot voting was provided for byelections are: Central Kootenay, East Kootenay, Central Okanagan and Okanagan-Similkameen.