The Regional District of East Kootenay has reevaluated its decision last month and has decided that the six Electoral Areas will fund all emergency stand-by costs previously supported by Emergency Management BC.
Back in February, the Elk Valley and Central Subregion RDEK Directors voted against funding their $2,840 portion of the stand-by emergency costs while the Columbia Valley Directors were in favour.
"This was a fee that was paid for by the Provincial Government and the Provincial Government has decided with no consultation, which frustrates us, to eliminate that across the Province," detailed Rob Gay, RDEK Board Chair. "The argument is, well why should we do it if they wouldn't do it, but then we decided that it's part of our responsibility, as it is the Province, around public safety, so we've brought it back in our budget."
More: RDEK Directors Split on Stand-By Emergency Funds (February 15, 2019)
Since that decision, all six of the RDEK's Electoral Areas will now cover the full $8,520 cost for the entire regional district, approving the decision at their March meeting.
Gay orginally wanted the RDEK to cover the funding gap left by Emergency Management BC, feeling the stand-by costs were imperative for the region to have quick response times to fire or flood emergencies.
"It allows us to put our staff on standby on the weekends, for example, when there's a high fire hazard or a high threat of flood, so people are there and we save time," Gay told Summit 107.
The $8,520 will fully cover all emergency stand-by costs for the RDEK for 2019.
Audio: Rob Gay, RDEK Board Chair