RDBN board briefs

RDBN board briefs

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) is allocating $100,000 towards increasing the availability of local food items.

The initiative comes in the form of two study projects which will each receive $50,000. The RDBN approved them at its board of directors meeting on Nov. 7.

The first will explore possibilities for increasing food and agriculture opportunities in forests.

The Non-Timber Forest Products Study would work with Indigenous communities and agricultural producers to expand the availability of forest products like saps and syrups, fruits, herbs, edible flowers, aromatic oils, nuts, mushrooms, wines, biofuels and other organic items.

The second study will look into forming food hubs, which are intermediaries connecting small scale farmers and ranchers with buyers like restaurants and hospitals and consumers.

“Food hubs help small farms grow by offering a combination of production, distribution and marketing services. They help farmers gain access to larger markets so they can focus more on farming and less on marketing, distribution, etc,” according to a RDBN memorandum.

For both studies, the RDBN hopes to hire contractors to start by January of 2020 and conclude the projects with actionable points by December of next year.

The funding would come out of the RDBN’s Environmental Services Capital Reserves.

The RDBN has prioritized the availability of local food and in the summer launched its Connecting Producers and Consumers Program that offered as much as $1,100 to community events that included local food producers.

READ MORE: RDBN pushes local food in new grant program

Grant allocations

The RDBN board has budgeted $627,752 for environmental projects.

Almost half of that budget ($300,000) will be allocated for retrofitting the RDBN’s administrative headquarters in Burns Lake.

That work could include modifications to the entrance and reception area, updating the building’s audio visual equipment and information technology and phone system, or possibly replacing the furnace.

A spare Bobcat vehicle for transfer stations in the regional district will be purchased for $75,000. It will be used wherever it is needed.

For the creation of new septage receiving beds in the Burns Lake Transfer Station and at the Knockholt landfill, $50,000 will be set aside. The beds are designed to store solid waste pumped out from the septic systems of rural residents.

“Sometimes they let one dry out and scrape out the material and put it into the landfill,” said Curtis Helgesen, Chief Administrative Officer of the RDBN. “They were finding that with the volume coming in from rural areas they had to make some modifcations and expansions.”

And a total of $202,752 will be earmarked for capital projects of Environmental Services in 2020.

The allocations come out of the $100 million Northern Capital and Planning Grant, announced by the NDP government in February. The RDBN’s share of the grant was $5.8 million.

LOOK BACK: Burns Lake gets $3.4 million in infrastructure grant

The board of directors decided that 30 per cent of the total grant ($1.7 million) would be spent on region-wide projects, such as recycling, internet connectivity, emergency planning and others. The remaining 70 per cent (just over $4 million) would be doled out to services in each of the seven electoral areas according to population size and fixed amount.

Smithers Rural (Electoral Area A) is due to receive the highest amount of $946,919. The lowest amount of $402,861 will go to Houston Rural (Area G).


Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
Send Blair an email
Like Lakes District News on Facebook

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ski trails
Great skiing in Houston

The trails are in good shape at Morice Mountain Nordic Ski Club.… Continue reading

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

The food hub survey showed that over 61 per cent respondents were looking to expand their business. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Houston Today)
RDBN’s food hub survey highlights producers’ needs

The project team to set up further discussion sessions with producers this year

“We are very excited and very grateful that in a year that has been challenging for a lot of people, we have been fortunate to be where we are,” said Tim Close, the manager for Tim Hortons, Houston. (Laura Blackwell photo/Houston Today)
Houston Trailer Park. (Angelique Houlihan photo)
Homeowner successful in having assessment lowered

Valuation had soared 800 per cent

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
Canadians divided over Keystone pipeline, despite U.S. president’s permit pullback

Two-thirds of Canadians think Biden’s decision was a “bad thing” for Alberta

Most Read