Several items of interest to the valley came out of the most recent Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) board of directors meeting in Cranbrook.
Construction contract awarded
During the Friday February 6th meeting the construction contract for phase one of the Fairmont Creek debris flow mitigation project was awarded to local Invermere company Max Helmer Construction Ltd. Work on the first phase, which will likely begin this spring, will include mitigation measures on the length of the creek running through Mountainside Gold Course from Marble Canyon to the pond on the 12th hole.
Booth on Water Advisory Committee
Area F director Wendy Booth was appointed as the RDEK representative to the Kootenay Boundary Drinking Water Advisory Committee, with Area G director Gerry Wilkie being Booth’s alternate.
“Area F has several different water systems, both public and private, surface and ground water, all at different stages of meeting Interior Health drinking water objectives. With this background I feel that I can bring a lot of knowledge and insight to this committee,” said Booth.
Area F and Area G seek WildSafe coordinator
The RDEK decided to submit an application to the WildSafeBC program to provide a WildSafe coordinator for Area F and Area G.
“The addition of the rural areas into the WildSafeBC program will add to the good work that has already taken place in the municipalities. All areas have wildlife encounters, so this is the opportunity to provide further educational opportunities to living with wildlife,” said Booth.
Conservation funding approved
Several programs were approved for funding from the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund for 2015, including more than $24,000 for Columbia Lake Lot 48 ecosystem restoration; $11,000 for the Neighourhood Invasive Plant Program; more than $29,000 for northern leopard frog reintroduction efforts, more than $15,000 for the Kootenay Community Bat Project; $5,000 for strategic invasive plant control efforts to deal with leafy spurge; $11,000 for water quality monitoring of Lake Windermere; $25,000 for the Climate and Water Conservation Action Initiative; $31,000 for groundwater monitoring in the Lake Windermere watershed; more than $12,000 for Columbia Lake ecosystem monitoring and education; and $7,500 for the Ecological Goods and Services project.
“We feel that this investment in ecology and biodiversity in the valley is beneficial and all the projects had good merit,” said Invermere mayor Gerry Taft.
All proposals made to the fund were screened and scored by a technical review committee, which then passes its recommendations on to the RDEK board of directors. The only exception was the money that went from the fund to Lot 48, which the board of directors decided on without the help of the review committee, and was meant to be a regional contribution to help the Nature Conservancy of Canada offset its purchase of the ecologically important property.