RDCKRegional News Taxes, Services & Grants: RDCK response to COVID-19 SHARE ON: Jensen Shields, staff Friday, Mar. 20th, 2020 (Supplied by RDCK) The Board of Directors of the Regional District of Central Kootenay is making sweeping changes in response to COVID-19. Following their March 19, 2020 board meeting, the RDCK sent out a media release announcing the resolution to reduce overall RDCK taxation by more than $1.25 million “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 Chair of the RDCK Board Chair Aimee Watson. “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.” Budget resolutions include the deferral of capital projects representing a savings of $530,300. There will be a deferral of short-term loan payments of $121,200 and a reduction of Director travel budgets for conferences and other travel in the amount of $121,000. Two planned new positions at the RDCK have also been postponed as well as “a number” other projects. By the end of March 20, all RDCK offices will be closed until further notice. Many staff member will be working from home while some remain in offices 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 RDCK announced in their media release. “The application of health and safety protocols to effectively respond to COVID-19 may result in changes to our operations. Please visit the RDCK website at www.rdck.ca for up to date information regarding office hours and changes to our operations.” In addition, the Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives Program and Affected Areas Program (CBT CIP/AAP) public engagement meetings will be cancelled. But that doesn’t mean funds won’t be distributed. “…The grant process will move forward,” the RDCK said. “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 RDCK emergency managements updates, visit: https://rdck.ca/EN/main/services/emergency-management/covid-19-updates.html For more resources relating to COVID-19, please visit the BC Centre for Disease Control website: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19 For the most up-to-date information regarding the Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives Program and Affected Areas Program visit the website: http://rdck.ca/cip-aap.