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Fire issues at top of list for regional municipalities

A regional association of local governments will be sending 14 resolutions to the Union of BC Municipalities.

A regional association of local governments will be sending 14 resolutions to the Union of BC Municipalities.

The Association of Kootenay & Boundary Local Governments (AKBLG) voted to endorse 14 of 16 resolutions made at its annual general meeting last week. The AGM took place during the AKBLG Convention in Rossland, and once 14 of the resolutions had been endorsed, members also had a chance to rank them before sending them on to UBCM.

The top-ranked resolution was “Interface Wildfire Risk & Prevention Responsibility,” the amalgamation of two of the endorsed resolutions that were submitted separately by Central Kootenay Regional District and East Kootenay Regional District.

The resolutions ask UBM to work with the province to compile a list of all wildfire mitigation activities in B.C., all organizations undertaking such activities and funding sources available to each organization, and asks the province to develop “a more efficient and effective model to address the interface wildfire risk reduction needs of BC communities.”

The next resolution in the rankings also addresses the needs of communities in dealing with fire.

The Central Kootenay Regional District brought forward a resolution called “Support for BC Fire Departments,” which calls on UBCM to “work with the Office of Fire Commissioner to explore provincial funding options to help support British Columbia fire departments in meeting the standards now required by that Office.”

“What we’re having difficulty with is getting the rank and file volunteers to be interested in upgrading their training, because they are unsupported many times or taking courses [that] take them out of the community or away from their families,” said Ramona Faust, director of Area E, while introducing the resolution.

The top three spot went to Kootenay Boundary Regional District’s resolution “Access to Used Oil Recycling Facilities in Rural BC.”

It asks the Ministry of Environment to “require that the British Columbia Used Oil Manufacturing Association (BCUOMA) Stewardship Plan include minimum requirements for public drop-off depots” so that there are public recycling facilities no more than 10 kilometers away from where the included products are sold.

The fourth spot went to “Tax on Vacant and Derelict Homes in British Columbia.”

The resolution was put forward by the City of Nelson to request that the province extend the authority to introduce a surtax on vacant and derelict residential properties as it did for the City of Vancouver. The resolution asks that the authority being extended to local governments across B.C.

A full list of the resolution endorsed by the AKBLG membership will eventually be made available at akblg.ca.

This year’s UBCM Convention, where resolutions are brought forward for consideration by UBCM members, will take place Sept. 25-29.