The most recent Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) board of directors meeting touched on several items of interest to the Upper Columbia Valley.

RDEK Area F director Wendy Booth was re-elected as vice-chair of the board, for a third term,  at the Friday, December 12th meeting. Current chair Rob Gay was also re-elected, for a fourth term. The chair and vice-chair positions have one-year terms. “I’m looking forward to continuing working with Chair Gay, in the role of vice chair, I think we make a good team. It is a job that I take seriously and enjoy. We had a 40 per cent turn over on our board, I’m looking forward to working with both the veteran and new members,” said Booth.

Gay and chief administrative officer Lee-Ann Crane have signed a five-year agreement with the Shuswap Indian Band through which the band will make a financial contribution for RDEK services available in the Upper Columbia Valley, such as regional parks, solid waste, libraries, landfill, dog control, cemeteries, emergency management, 9-1-1, grants in aid, Columbia Valley transit, the Columbia Valley recreation service area and invasive plants control. “Essentially, the agreement was a means for the Shuswap to contribute to these services,” said RDEK chief financial officer Shawn Tomlin.

A letter of appreciation will be sent from the RDEK to the Windermere Bottle Depot Group to thank the group for donating $2,900 to buy two new concrete picnic tables for Windermere Beach, and another one will be sent from the RDEK to Copper Point Golf Course for the golf course’s in-kind donations and assistance at the Crossroads Ballpark.

“Copper Point has been a tremendous help with that ballpark, they’ve been great neighbours,” said RDEK environmental services manager Kevin Paterson. “We’re also grateful to the bottle depot group. The (Windermere) beach continues to get a lot of use in the summer, so there was a need for more tables.”

During the meeting the RDEK board of directors voted to approve discretionary grant-in-aid money for Invermere’s Family Resource Centre’s contraceptive subsidization proposal ($1,000 from RDEK Area F and $500 from Area G); for the Panorama Mountain Freeride Club to help buy a laptop and race equipment for the Kootenay Freestyle Classic ($4,000 from Area F and $500 from Area G); for the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce for renovations to create a business service centre ($3,000 from Area F and $500 from Area G); and for SQx Danza to cover expenses for its interactive dance awareness program ($500 from Area G).

“This month’s discretionary grant-in-aids highlight the wide diversity of organizations and their initiatives contributing to the quality of life in the valley,” said Area G director Gerry Wilkie.

“Anytime we can support nonprofit groups in helping them achieve their goals that’s a good thing. These groups are often managed by volunteers and any amount of funds goes a long way,” said Booth.

There will be a public hearing in Edgewater on Monday, January 5th  on a proposed zoning bylaw that would permit commercial trucks to park on a portion of the Lautrup property on Highway 95.

An agreement  until December 2016 for the Columbia Valley RDEK emergency program has been signed by Columbia Valley emergency program co-ordinator Gary Burford and deputy co-ordinator Sharon Pasowisty.