RDCK taking further actions in response to COVID-19
Earlier this week, the Regional District of Central Kootenay made the tough decision to close facilities in the region.
Friday, the RDCK announced that during Thursday Board meeting on March 19, 2020, directors passed a number of resolutions to reduce overall RDCK taxation by more than $1.25 million.
These changes are intended to assist residents and business owners who will be in the throes of recovery from the COVID-19 crisis when tax bills arrive.
“The RDCK is also taking further actions in an effort to protect the health and safety of employees and the public during the outbreak,” the media release said.
“These actions include the postponement of Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives Program and Affected Areas Program (CBT CIP/AAP) public engagement meetings, and the closure of administrative offices to the public, effective the end of business on Friday, March 20.”
Some of the changes include:
The budget resolutions include the deferral of capital projects representing a savings of $530,300; deferral of short-term loan payments of $121,200; a reduction of Director travel budgets for conferences and other travel in the amount of $121,000; the postponement of two planned new positions; and the deferral, reduction or postponement of a number of other projects and expenditures.
CBT CIP/AAP PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT MEETINGS CANCELLED
Effective immediately, all Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives Program and Affected Areas Program (CBT CIP/AAP) public engagement meetings are cancelled. However, the grant process will move forward. Public engagement is an integral part of the CBT CIP/AAP process, and RDCK staff are working closely with the Columbia Basin Trust to explore an online engagement tool. More information will be available soon, and applicants will be notified by email. For the most up-to-date information, visit the website: http://rdck.ca/cip-aap.
ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES TO BE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC
All RDCK offices will be closed to the public as of end of day on Friday, March 20, until further notice. Many of our staff will work from home, however some will remain in the office to address public needs by phone. RDCK services will continue to operate to serve residents and businesses, including building inspection services and permit issuance. The application of health and safety protocols to effectively respond to COVID-19 may result in changes to our operations. The public is asked to visit the RDCK website at www.rdck.ca for up to date information regarding office hours and changes to our operations.
“The health and well-being of RDCK residents and the safety of our staff as they ensure continuity of essential services are our top priorities,” said Aimee Watson, Chair of the RDCK Board of Directors.
“We are also committed to doing what we can to reduce the taxation impact to our residents and businesses while keeping critical operations running during this difficult time.”
Watson said the Board recognizes the importance of keeping CBT CIP/AAP grant funding flowing to organizations doing vital work in all of our communities, especially considering the economic uncertainty created by the COVID-19 situation.
“The RDCK will endeavor to award the grants with as little delay as possible while continuing to meet community expectations for input into the grant award process,” Watson added.
Stuart Horn, Chief Administrative Officer, RDCK said in spite of the closures, the community can still count on RDCK staff to provide fire protection, accessible recreation opportunities, responsible community planning, emergency management, bylaw enforcement, drinking water, recycling facilities, and so much more.
“During this crisis, they are responding with continued commitment, dedication, and care,” Horn said.
“My sincere thanks to the RDCK team — and to first responders, health-care professionals and everyone who is going above and beyond to protect their communities.”